This young man is an evangelist – and he works in the former Soviet Union and joined us at our recent leaders training in the nation of Belarus. Several evenings he was asked to take up the offering to help cover expenses of the conference and he “preached” the offering powerfully. He is not shy to state things as they are and to let you know where things stand. I suspect he is just as blunt and straightforward when declaring the Gospel when out witnessing.
I have been witnessing on the streets and in parks for a number of years and it is exciting and an “experience” each and every time I have opportunity to do it. I have also been studying “street preaching” from some people who do it on a regular basis – Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. They have some neat training on DVD for anyone who desires to learn how to draw a crowd and how to share the Gospel in a way that draws people in and encourages them to interact with you, the preacher.
As well, I have studied, over the years, others who preached in times past in public situations – be it revival meetings in farmers fields (George Whitfield) or large crusades in Central Park, New York (Billy Graham). I have even studied in depth the street preaching of John Wesley … who, at times, preached from the back of his horse, the top of tombstones in graveyards, street corners and open fields and hills.
I believe we are going to see an increase in street preaching (not just witnessing one-on-one on the city sidewalks). I believe we are entering a season when the believers will begin to take seriously the command to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel…” I believe we will see believers standing up and declaring publicly what it is they actually believe – in school rooms, board meetings, the political arena, university classes, at work and at play. It is time that believers spoke up and no longer let those in society walk all over our beliefs and our values.
Let me quote a former Archbishop of Canterbury, (England) who was the head of the worldwide Anglican Church, in a statement he recently made in England where he now serves in the House of Lords I believe…
“We Christians are very often so soft that we allow other people to walk over us and we are not as tough in what we want, in expressing our beliefs, because we do not want to upset other people. We have got to be more outspoken.”
I totally agree. We need to speak up and be very specific about what we value as Christians and what the basic beliefs are that are central to our faith. Afterall, every other faith is vocal about their beliefs – even militant at times. What they believe is acceptable and in ou Yet, when born again believers speak up we are seen as “oddballs” and as intolerant and narrowminded.
Nevermind – it is still important to speak up and ‘witness’ to others about Jesus who states “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light.” Others are living in spiritual darkness and need to see Him who is “Light”. Others are living in deception and lies and need to see and hear about the “Truth”. And, we need to declare loud and clear – yet diplomatically – that Jesus is the only “Way” to the Father and to Heaven.
Time to stand tall and be strong and speak up about what we believe. We may not all be street preachers but we are all called and empowered to be witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus and the Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation.