| Fruitful Outreach/Street Preaching|
This Friday evening I went out to preach in the streets at Birkdale Village (an outdoor strip mall 'new england' style, with condos on top of the stores), where I first openly proclaimed the gospel at. This adventure turned out to be an extremely fruiltful endeavor like the first one, and even more so. The first time I went out to Birkdale Village over a year ago to preach the gospel, immediately I was met with resistance from the police, but not before I gathered a crowd.
This time I went to Birkdale Village to preach, I prayed much for favor with the local authorities, knowing that they could at any time bust up any crowd that gathered. I went to Birkdale Village with some "e-tracts" I had burned onto a CD, and set them up on the wishing well water fountain in front of the movie theatre. I began to setup the CD's on the ledge, and handing a few out. Next I took off my sandles, rolled my pant legs up, and crawled into the knee deep water, and began to preach repentance, and offer those who would repent today to be baptized.
Quickly a crowd gathered, mostly young teens. They listened to me preach for a minute or two, and then heckler after heckler came, and others began to ask questions. Eventually what I had anticipated happened, a security officer approached me as I was preaching. He began asking me about the CD's, and if I were selling them. When I told him no, that I was freely giving them away for anybody who would take them, he was fine with that. Then he asked me one thing, to please get out of the fountain water. He told me I was free to preach all I want, just to not stand in the fountain while doing so. Then he smiled at me and showed me a ring he had on his finger that said "Jesus" and encouraged me in my preaching, saying it was good, and that he was happy I had the courage to do it.
So, I happily complied with the security, and got out of the water, and began preaching again. Of course, when any security official shows up, crowds automatically get bigger. Quite a few teens showed up to listen to me preach, at one time I would guess that I was preaching to a crowd of about 30-50 teens who had gathered around to listen, ask questions, mock, heckle and blaspheme. I preached from 7pm until about 8:30pm when the crowd began to diminish as the sun set. Sometimes the crowd was thin, as some kids tired of me and moved elsewhere. Sometimes so many pressed in to hear me that I nearly fell back into the water. Once a kid standing in front of me kept persistantly asking me if I wanted some of his chips. I cautiously declined, not knowing if perhaps there was some prank setup with them. Eventually he would spill his BBQ chips on my open Bible (though I think it was accidently, as there were many kids tightly pressed in). It was a bit difficult on my lungs in such times, because not only were the kids pressing in tightly, but they were smokingly heavily, and some were puffing smoke in my face as I preached.
I never got to preach very long without being heckeld, or being asked 10 questions by 10 different people at once. However, I knew God was getting through to some of them, as I really sensed the anointing at times.
Eventually the sun would set, and as I began to make my way back to the car, one of the girls who heckled me ended up catching up to me away from the crowd. She wasn't probably but 13 or 14 years old. She asked me "Do you really think if I had sex I will go to hell?" I told her yes, but that Jesus would forgive her of her sins if she repented and gave her life to Him. She then started telling me how she recently found out she was "expecting" and that her boyfriend had run off, and that her parents didn't yet know. I told her that though she still needed to have that baby, that no matter what she goes through over the next months, that she could repent of her sins. I told her it did not matter that she got pregnant to God, that the child that was in her was still a gift from God, even if she wound up pregnant through doing something bad. I asked her if she wanted to receive Jesus and if she would believe that Jesus is Lord and alive from the dead. She nodded. Before going further, I gave her my phone number and told her she could call me if she needed help (I plan on having her talk with my pastor and his wife). I asked her if she wanted to pray, and she nodded, but said she had to go because she had to be somewhere else right then.
Right after that as I started walking again, yet another young girl came up to me. I had seen her earlier in the evening as I was preaching on the fringe of the crowd. She had started crying apparently as some of her "friends" had stood her up. She said she knew the Lord. I just encouraged her that if she knew the Lord, that the Holy Spirit would bring her comfort and peace in such circumstances, and that no matter if she is rejected by the world, she has Christ as her friend, who accepts her even if all else reject her. I told her then I had to get going (as I was a little nervous that she was following me for such a long distance, and thought it prudent that it was not good for me to be seen walking alone with a young teenage girl by myself at night). I encouraged her to seek God and get in the word and pray.
After that, the 2 of the 3 security guards came up to me and told me they were highly encouraged by my preaching. They said they could not believe that though I was heavily mocked and reviled at times, and some kids even broke a few of the CD's I handed out, that I continued preaching "with a smile on my face." I told them I just give all the glory to God. They said they really enjoyed my preaching and found it good. I exchanged my number with them. They said while because of their job have to sit around and look official, that they couldn't get very involved while I was preaching, but wanted to greatly.
I am greatly encouraged, and glad to have seen some major fruit while I was out. I met some resistance, even from a supposed "friend" that I went to school with in Jr High and College, who liked me handing out CD's, but did not like me preaching. I had a wonderful time in the Lord, and believe many seeds were firmly planted in my preaching, and I'm praying that this girl that found out recently that she is pregnant really turns out to be saved.
| 2005/5/27 22:02||Profile|
| Re: Fruitful Outreach/Street Preaching|
Your testimony here is deeply moving. You guys are a challenge and an encouragement to me.
| 2005/5/28 4:18||Profile|
That's awesome. Thank you for your obeidence.
| 2005/5/28 11:11||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Fruitful Outreach/Street Preaching|
Just read this via email and glad to see you posted it brother, came looking to see if you had.
It brought a profound smile to imagine you climbing into that fountain and making that even more profound offer! You guy's are incredible and try to keep you always in prayer, these are such a great reminder and encouragement to do so, besides just being so edifying...
| 2005/5/28 23:23||Profile|
| Re: Fruitful Outreach/Street Preaching|
great to hear you doing this - the Lord has been challenging me to go out and do this - I live in London UK.
Do you have individuals that help you - what did you do on the first time you street preached =- was it a pre-prepared sermon
| 2005/6/16 15:46||Profile|
This has motivated me, and added "Fuel to the Fire" within me. God has been dealing with me about Street Preaching and Preaching to the Jews first.
This has greatly encouraged me and im glad to hear such a wonderful testimony.
Stay in His will (prayer and meditating on His word).
| 2005/6/16 16:04|
Often I have gone out with small groups as large as 7 people, but often I have also gone out alone. While there was prior meditation to my message that day, it wasn't very prepared. In open-air preaching, I've often delivered full blown 30+ minute messages, but I've also often been interupted within minutes of opening my mouth by people wishing to discuss, argue, mock, discipline (in case of police/security), etc.
Here is the original account I gave in March of last year when I first started street preaching.
(March 30, 2004)
Last night I went up to a pretty populated area known as "Birkdale Village," which is pretty much an outdoor mall with some condo's. I went to a rather busy area in front of the movie theatre, and stood up on a wishing well ledge, and started preaching. In this area there are usually a lot of bored teens who are smoking and carrying on. I went something along the lines of what the apostle Paul once did, noting how our town is very religious, and that there are a great many churches in our town. Then I went from there and noted despite how religious we are, we have many idols. And I named the two prominent America idols, prosperity- the american dream (which God told me is nothing more than a delusion and fantasy), and the idol of entertainment.
At that point a police officer across the street heard me, and came over to me and wanted to talk to me. He informed me that I was being too loud, and reminded me that I was on public property, thus, my "freedom of speech" is restricted to the atmosphere rules of that place. He told me I could continue preaching if I wanted to, but that he would have to give me a ticket for a noise
violation if he could hear my voice over the traffic or if he could hear me from over 50 feet away.
Then some woman who had been listening to me preach came up and interupted the officer and said she could not believe he was stopping me from speaking. She then thanked me for having the courage to get up there and preach.
At this point, a lot of people were watching on, as they thought it was rather entertaining that the police officer was talking to me. I thanked the officer, and told him I would do my best to comply with the laws of that area, and I lowered my voice. At this point though, I had many
people who were desiring to hear what I had to say, especially amongst the older teens. At this point, many of them had taken a few chairs and formed a semi-circle around me as they desired to hear the Word of the Lord.
There were probably about 15-20 teens around me intently listening to what I had to say. So, for a while after this I spent time preaching, and answering questions that they had. The Spirit of God was really upon me, and I could tell that I made quite an impact on a few of them. I was
shocked to learn how many of these kids that went to church, some all their lives, could not even give me the basics of the gospel. Some had a semi-accurate knowledge of the things of God, but many did not. This crowd was rather diverse, some being atheists, wiccans, presbyterian and catholic.
When it was all said and done, many shook my hand and thanked me for sharing the gospel with them afterwards. I was quite shocked at this response, and wondered if that is a good thing, as I have often heard many preachers say if you are truly preaching the gospel, folks will not like you
at all. Some folks were Christians, and encouraged me in what I was doing. I could tell though that some of the people I preached to were truly troubled by what I said, and I am
believing God to harvest those seeds. I think it can be a good thing if people respond in such a manner. Part of me wanted to do an "altar call" right there on the street. But, I have personally never been a big fan of altar calls. They
surely have their place, such as the one Joshua made with the people of Israel.... "choose this day whom you will serve..." However, I'd rather people become miserable over their sins, and get James 4:9 into them, and then have a genuine response to the offered salvation of God.
| 2005/6/16 17:29||Profile|