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The word "evangelist" comes from the ancient Greek word for herald or town crier. It was the job of the herald to go to the center of a town and announce to the citizens there that a new king had been established, or to annoumce new decrees on his behalf. This news was unsolicited. And individuals like Phillip carried out this function.
But they didn't over stay their welcome. I don't think street preachers today should either. One shouldn't be rude in their proclamation. A few hours a day in one location for a few days in a row should be the general length of one's stay somewhere at most in my opinion.
| 2012/6/21 10:59||Profile|
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A poor man doesn't need somebody to remind him he is poor when he is the dinner guest at a rich man's house.
Paul Frederick West
| 2012/6/21 15:46||Profile|
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Renowned Methodist preacher Samuel Chadwick experienced what his biographer described as three years of revival during his period of ministerial probation in Clydebank between 1887 and 1890. Born in Burnley in 1860 into a devout Methodist working-class family, Chadwick became a Christian at the age of ten. While in his teens, he sensed a strong call to the ministry and would rush home after a twelve-hour factory shift to engage in five hours of prayer and study. As a lay-preacher in Stacksteads, Lancashire in his early twenties, Chadwick experienced a fresh baptism in the Spirit. This added greater authority to his preaching and quickly thereafter revival spread through the valleys, with hundreds being converted to Christ.
In 1886 the fiery young preacher moved to an Edinburgh circuit for a year, then to Clydebank, where a new church had just been completed, albeit without congregation or prestige! 37 There was no reception for him, as nobody knew of his arrival. The first that people saw of him was at a street corner on Saturday night preaching the gospel. He found a place which he thought was ideal for an open-air meeting. There was a row of houses opposite. He went to the end cottage and knocked at the door. It was opened by a big, bulky, strong-looking woman, with her sleeves rolled up above her elbows. Mr. Chadwick asked her if she would let him have a chair for an hour. No! she said, banging the door in his face. The young man was not dismayed. His first impulse was to ask at the cottage next door, but thinking he might get the same reply, he ventured to knock at the same door again. The same woman answered. The second time he asked for the chair. I told you once, she said, you wont get it, and again the door was closed. He knocked a third time. The woman opened the door in a rage. I want to give you a shilling for the loan of a chair, said Mr. Chadwick. The woman was hesitant for a minute, then she replied, why didnt you tell me that at first? She brought the chair and he put his hand in his pocket and gave her the shilling, saying, Ill give you another if you will come and hold it for me while I stand on it.
The big woman walked across the square with the frail-looking little minister. He put the chair where he wanted it, stood on it, and told her to put her hand on the back of it. Then he turned round and gazed at her. What a scene for the middle of a Scottish town on a Saturday night! A young man standing on a chair, gazing down at a big, masculine-looking woman! Some people were passing, and they stayed to see what it was all about. The man on the chair uttered not a word. More people came and stood. Presently there was a crowd around. What is it for? shouted somebody. Mr. Chadwick did not answer. Hes selling pills, replied another. Still Mr. Chadwick did not speak. The crowd began to get excited. At the end of twenty minutes the woman had had enough, and bolted. Mr Chadwick preached to his first audience at Clydebank. Within a few days the whole town was talking about him. His church was soon full. His own converts became the first church officers, and three of his keenest workers he got from behind the publicans counter 38 .
Every Saturday night Chadwick stood in the open-air to preach, and remained for hours afterwards answering questions. Brewers had secured the most strategic positions in the neighbourhood for public-houses and drunkenness was a huge problem. Once, when applications were made for five new licences, Chadwick vigorously opposed the move in court. In all, scores of drunkards were converted through Chadwicks ministry, and he became the trusted friend of the people. They brought their troubles to him and sent for him to settle their quarrels.
By this time, the young ministers name and reputation were becoming known throughout Methodism, and when he was ordained in 1890, he was called to be Superintendent of the Leeds Mission. Here, and again in Sheffield, Chadwick saw revival fires burn and hundreds of souls turn to Christ. The final phase of his life was spent as Principal of Cliff College, a Methodist training school for preachers situated in Hope Valley, near Sheffield, and it was here that he wrote his famous book, The Way to Pentecost, which was being printed when he died in 1932.
| 2012/6/21 20:20||Profile|
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Thank for posting this wonderful account of faithfull open air preaching.
As I read it I thought of a part of Phillipians 4:8
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
| 2012/6/21 21:36|
| 2012/6/22 7:48||Profile|
| 2012/6/22 18:14|
Whittier CA USA
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Thought I would share some thoughts regarding preaching unsolicited messages to people in public places. In the Gospels and in the book of Acts we see that the preaching done by Christ and the apostles and disciples wasn't always welcomed. There was much opposition much of the time. There were always some who received the message and some who didn't. I have found that to be the case in my experience of preaching to crowds on the streets over the years. Many hate, mock, or ignore the message but some receive it with an open heart.
To be sure we do see that there were many signs and wonders and conversions of multitudes many times during their preaching, things we do not see often today. Part of the reason may be because we, including myself to much shame, do not pray and fast and seek the Lord as we could or should.
On the other hand, it could be that even if we did seek the Lord as we should it would be no guarantee for signs and wonders and success all the time, as in the case of many OT prophets and some in the NT.
The main thing is for us to be faithful in whatever calling we have from the Lord and that we seek Him with all of our heart.
I believe these exhortations given to Ezekiel can apply to evangelists even today:
"Then He said to me: Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. 5 For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, 6 not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. 8 Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. 9 Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.
10 Moreover He said to me: Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. 11 And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, Thus says the Lord God, whether they hear, or whether they refuse.(Ezekiel 3:4-11)
Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, You shall surely die, and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul."(Ezekiel 3:17-19)
| 2012/6/22 20:25||Profile|
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Good word Oracio! Thanks for sharing!
| 2012/6/22 21:28|
| 2012/9/7 22:48||Profile|
| 2012/9/8 23:51||Profile|