Now, I understand that some have already determined in their mind what they feel about “Street Preaching” just by reading the title of this blog, and nothing I can write here can change your mind. I am not mad at the fact some some people have a problem with this awesome method of preaching the gospel, disappointed maybe, but not mad. So therefore, the purpose of this post is not to convince you to join in the ministry, but to give those that are interested in Public Ministry a basic run down on the basic concepts involved.
Now, the very first and most important rule of this ministry is one that you HAVE to follow or this thing is a waste of time and a detriment to the cause of Jesus Christ. The most important thing you absolutely need to remember and prioritize is that we are to preach ONE thing, THE GOSPEL. I am sure some of you may have seen on YouTube, and other media outlets, videos of guys claiming to street preach, but in fact were only making a fool of themselves, by yelling about politics, dress codes, or mocking other religions by burning their books or just name-calling the people walking around. If your desire is to go around and act like an idiot then it is a free country, but don’t call it street PREACHING. Call it something like street stupidity, or a street waste of time. We, as Christians are commanded to preach the GOSPEL to every creature, not anything or everything else. I have seen guys get up on a corner and just yell about the American government, or women dressing wrong, or yell about how they have “rights” to stand there and yell. None of this is helping to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world, it only helps your ego, and we know that is never a good thing. People will hate and despise the message of the gospel without you giving them a reason.
So, Street Preaching can be done in basically 3 venues that we want to address in the next few posts. These are 1) Traffic intersections, 2) Public Corner(Includes downtown, college campuses, and other foot traffic) 3) Festivals (Includes sporting events and Parades). All three are great places to preach and I personally recommend doing all 3 regularly. You will realize quickly that each of these methods will bless you differently than the others.
Today, I want to talk about the ministry at the traffic intersection. This is the best method for a beginner because it provides a lot of opportunities to preach in a short space of time. This is as simple as it sounds. Go find a BUSY intersection in your city or town. It is best to find one with a sidewalk adjacent to the road in order to give your self a place to stand without putting your self in immediate danger. When the light turns red, and the cars pull up to the light, start preaching, and preach until the light changes. An average stop light is between 1 and 2 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time, especially when you are starting out in this ministry. In this capacity, it is almost impossible to preach a sermon or 3 point outline, your best bet is to simply quote verses back to back to the cars.(well, to the people in the cars anyways) This will most certainly help with your Bible memorization in a major way.
There are a few reasons this works great for those just getting started in public ministry. First, although you may have alot of Bible memorized, when you get in a public arena, your mind will strangely forget them all, so it is good to bring notes or a highlighted Bible. But when you start to preach, you will, without a doubt, mess up. The great part about this venue is in 60 seconds those people who just saw you mess up, will pull away and another group of people will come to hear you preach. And during green lights, you will have a break to re-group and gather your thoughts. Another reason this is a great starting point for public ministry is the amount of response, both good and bad. Of course, people will flip you off, or curse you, or even ignore you but others will wave, honk, or yell out words of encouragement. Either way, they will not be there long enough to discourage you with offenses or on the other hand, puff you up too much with pride. remember, they are leaving in 60 seconds, but it will get you used to other situations we will talk about in posts to come with people who will oppose what you are doing in person.
The best thing to have with you in this ministry is a sign. Now, I don’t mean a sign like the homeless have, made of cardboard written in sharpie. Try to get the nicest sign possible in order to not appear to look like a bum. Surely, if you can spend fifty bucks on supper at the buffet for your family, you can afford to invest in a good sign or signs. Remember who we are representing, Jesus Christ our Saviour. This is a great way to include the women and children in this ministry too. My family goes with us on occasion and they enjoy holding up their signs and watching the folks stop and read them. Some guys like the the ones with cute sayings or”Turn or Burn” signs, but I personally recommend to stay away from using those due to the fact that the Bible says preach the WORD, not your cute or catchy saying. I have found those with straight Scripture on them to be the best and most effective. With the radio on, the windows up, and talking on the phone, people will not always be able to hear what you are saying, but they will be able to see the sign(whether they want to or not). You can find those signs pretty cheap on the internet on various sites or you can even design or make your own.
Another thing that may help you is a megaphone or some other voice amplifier. This a great tool to help you save your voice, and send your voice further down the line of cars. There are not many towns that allow this though so I suggest you research the laws for your city or town in order to ensure that you are not going to be in violation. It is unconstitutional for a town to have a law against you preaching, but they can and do regulate the volume of your preaching under the clause of noise ordinances. I have found that it is best to not put a bad taste in mouth of the local law enforcement, considering you will probably be seeing them again and it is best to not have already irritated them. (Someone who is offended by the gospel, will undoubtedly call the law on you in order to appease their pricked conscience, and it is best to have not already ticked off the police officer.)
I encourage everyone of you to try this great way of representing your Saviour before you decide it is not for you. I never thought it would “be my thing,” but it is one of the most enjoyable things that I do in the ministry. Get yourself a partner if you need to (and we all pretty well need to) and I guarantee you the fellowship with be great. Until next time,
Bro Kenny Seremak.