"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Evangelism with Joy.|
Lately I've seen several people open-air preach in person, and on video, and I've noticed a disturbing trend among some of them. Few of them deliver the message with a smile! Their countenance does not reflect the joy of salvation that should be resident within them. We need to remember that we are sharing the greatest news ever, and we don't need to deliver it in such a way that it comes across as hatred.
I know that God is a God of wrath, and He is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11). He is also a God of compassion, love and mercy, Who has demonstrated His love through the cross. Let's also remember to demonstrate His love through our countenance. Sure, we can preach a strong word! We need to do that! We need to show people their sin (Isaiah 58:1). But, remember that HOW you deliver it is very important. We are to be representatives of Christ, and follow his example. Where He went, people followed. In fact He seemed to always have a crowd behind him. So, the question is, "Is there anyone stopping to listen to you?"
I saw one young man in particular lately who was basicly screaming non-stop at the people for about 20 minutes as many passed by. There was not one person who actually stopped to hear the full gospel message. In fact, even if they had stopped, they wouldn't have heard the full gospel because he wasn't giving it. He never shared about the cross, and what God did about the sin problem. He just yelled at the people as they were passing.
In a way, we need to look at this from the sinner's point of view. Let me explain. People followed Jesus and stopped to listen to Him because they saw things in Him that they liked. Many saw characteristics in Him that they not only wanted to embrace, but also emulate. When a sinner is walking by a street preacher such as the one I just mentioned, they think to themselves... "Man, I don't want to be like that. That guy is crazy!" They keep on walking right by and don't stop. They don't see anything in that type of person that they want to be like. And why should they? That type of ministy is not at all welcoming. It only makes the hearer even more hard-hearted towards preachers.
Many of these types of preachers have plenty of passion. What they lack is compassion. It is possible to deliver a hard message with compassion. Jesus did it and so should we. The sinner needs to be made aware of their sin, but they need to be (lovingly) told how to be set free from it.
Understand this...I am not saying that you judge your effectiveness by the size of your crowd. I am saying, though, that you will catch more flies with honey than you will with vineger. Try to stay somewhere in the middle. You'll find that many people will not only stop and listen, but they will appreciate what you are doing.
Now, get back out there.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2006/5/15 12:44||Profile|
| Re: Evangelism with Joy.|
"Many of these types of preachers have plenty of passion. What they lack is compassion. It is possible to deliver a hard message with compassion. Jesus did it and so should we. The sinner needs to be made aware of their sin, but they need to be (lovingly) told how to be set free from it."
| 2006/5/15 14:24||Profile|
Great, great article. We are preaching the Words of Eternal Life, this is such blessed news!
| 2006/5/15 14:27||Profile|
Thats a great word of encouragement
It is something I have forgotten to do a couple of times, but it is oh so necessary.
| 2006/5/15 14:31||Profile|
You have to find a balance. You can't smile all the time, weep all the time, or have a straight face all the time.
If you smile while you are pronouncing what God's judgements will be you look like you enjoy people going to hell. If you weep all the time you look depressed. If you have a straight face all the time you look like you don't care either way.
I think your emotions have to follow what you are preaching.
| 2006/5/15 14:45||Profile|
I also think it depends on your location when preaching. I find it hard to be joyful when preaching near bars late at night. It's very heartbreaking watching people drunk and mocking the Gospel on their way to Hell. But ofcourse there are light times when something funny happens.
Preaching in the day time is usually different though.
The style and content of the message usually ends up conforming to the crowd. I don't mean comprimsing, but if you are preaching at a miltant homosexual parade, it's just not the same as preaching on a Saturday afternoon in the park while children are playing and such. :-)
EDIT: By the way I am not disagreeing with the article, I agree with him.
| 2006/5/15 14:55||Profile|
I love this quote brother Parsley "Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it." - Matthew Henry
| 2006/5/15 18:16||Profile|
good word, amen brother!
| 2006/5/16 0:14|
Rochester, New York
| Re: Evangelism with Joy.|
I just opened air preached for the first time at the GNN boot camp in NYC. The first time was on the subway. The 2nd time was on the Staten Island Ferry and third & fourth time was at Washington Square Park. Each time I preached my tone and message was less harsh and more pleading with the people and trying to engage in conversation, sharing from my heart and life.
I have come to realize that while I might be considered a "bible thumper", my heart is to see souls saved. I desire each time that my open air preaching would come with love, conviction and gentleness.
Serving the King,
| 2006/5/16 0:25||Profile|
Priase God brother Doug!! Let us know when you have some audio recordings!!
| 2006/5/16 11:34||Profile|