This is a method used by open air preachers, which is essentially when a preacher starts off his or her open-air message with statements that are purposely designed to cause people to become offended and/or angry. The preacher can also purposely use signs such as “God hates fags” or scriptures used out of context to purposely cause people to be angry and thereby giving the preacher their attention, although negatively. The intention of these offensive and often abrasive statements are to provoke the unbelievers to heckle the preacher, which in turn draws a crowd. This is not just preaching against sin or preaching about Judgment Day and Hell. It is purposely saying hurtful, angry, overly controversial, or wild statements in order to stop people, because they are genuinely offended at what they are hearing. Proponents of Shock and Awe preaching say that it will cause people to listen to the gospel. However, this is an inappropriate way to gain a large crowd to hear the gospel, because it purposely offends the listeners and hardens their heart towards the preacher, and in turn, the message. Also, it “provokes people to wrath” Eph. 6:4, which is to provoke someone to sin. A Christian should not be guilty of this. This type of preaching causes the crowd to not want to hear the message due to their dislike of the preacher himself, not because of the controversial nature of the gospel message. Persecution is good, if it is a result of the biblical gospel being preached, but not if it is because we, ourselves, have offended people. “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” 1 Pet. 3:17 Preaching should be done in biblical truth and filled with compassion.
Why I Preach
1 Cor. 9:16-17 As children of God I desire my motives to be pure. Because of our fallen nature, self analysis and examination is skewed as we are contaminated with sin. Our conscious must be clear but even this is not one hundred percent accurate 1 Cor 4:3-5 Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we check ourselves, therefore I preach primarily because it glorifies God 2 Cor. 3:7-13, out of my love for God John 14:21, and to be obedient to the call Mark 16:15, out of sincerity Phil. 1:12-18. Secondly, to see souls saved. Prov. 11:30 Acts 13:48 1 Tim. 2:4 2 Peter 3:9
What I Preach
Overview John 4:37 The speaker’s presentation on the street is to be different than that of preaching to an assembled audience such as a church, tent, stadium, etc. First of all, the street preacher is not invited to speak to his audience and they may be hostile. In most cases the people move by at a rapid rate. They may hear only between 10 – 30 seconds unless they stop and listen. I concentrate on telling people why we need salvation and how to be saved. My street style is primarily proclamation which is “planting seeds”. I do not have the luxury of getting long winded on subjects, however important, that are not pertinent to the Gospel message. I look for guidance from the Holy Spirit when sharing personal testimonies, analogies & object lessons. I stay away from politics, personalities, pet peeves, where did dinosaurs come from? Etc.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ Col 1:18. The person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the centrality of eternal life and the Christian faith. Therefore I preach about Him using the following topics; creation, the fall of man, separation from God, the nature and character of God, purpose of the law, eternal punishment, virgin birth, the death, burial, and the bodily resurrection of Christ, repentance and faith toward God, what saving faith is, salvation by grace, hope for the believer, and alike.
Christ Crucified 1 Cor 2:2 Therefore I preach to glorify Jesus Christ by preaching on the cross often – the arrest, trial, condemnation, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Since the law and the prophets were until John the Baptist Luke 16:16 I aim to preach within the new covenant, using Jesus, Philip the Evangelist, and the apostles as my examples. Although the Old Testament is the inspired Word of God, I do not emulate the Old Testament prophets. For example; Isaiah walked around naked Isaiah 20:2-4 I don’t do that. Even though we must preach and teach on the sinfulness of man, judgment and hell, I concentrate on God’s grace and forgiveness as we preach the gospel of grace Acts 20:24.
The Message of the Kingdom Acts 8:12 My preaching will also cover the following; You must be born again to enter the kingdom of God John 3:1-7, you must receive and be converted as little children Matt 18:3, the kingdom of God is within you Luke 17:21, The literal kingdom at Christ’s second coming Isaiah 9:6-7 Daniel 2:44 Matt 25:31-46 Luke 1:32 Rev 20:4-6.
The Word of God Romans 10:17 and Psalm 138:2. Therefore I speak the Word of God either by verse memorization or by reading from the Holy Scriptures themselves. Whenever possible I preach expository from a text that would be fitting for salvation.
How I Preach
Ambassadors for Christ 2 Cor. 5:20 As ambassadors we have the ministry of reconciliation and we represent the King by our lifestyle as well. I am committed to personal holiness and discipleship through the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work. I believe in optimizing my effectiveness by preparation through prayer and fasting and also being consumed by God’s Word. Jesus Christ should affect the way we carry ourselves out on the street by our humility, demeanor, body language, remembering to have a good countenance. This can only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit. I dress appropriate, not drawing attention to myself. Patience and self control are very useful out in the streets.
Methodology 1 Cor. 1:21. I do not believe in the modern method of music, secular entertainment, or gimmicks to bring forth the message of the Gospel. Scripture points us to the spoken word. The Lord Himself, and the apostles, proclaimed the Gospel both in public and personal witness using spoken, forthright, factual communication. I believe and therefore are committed to trusting the Lord for people’s salvation as the Holy Spirit works through God’s chosen method of preaching for getting out His message. Mark 16:20 Acts 8:4 2 Tim. 2:4 Titus 1:3 1 Pet. 1:25
Tactical Strategy Mark 1:38 I want to be consistent but flexible as to where I go; what city, what section of that city, what corner. Street preaching is best suited for large downtown metropolitan areas. Whenever possible I use electronic amplification to project my voice. When it is not possible, I lift my voice loud enough for people to hear the message.
I Cor.12:4-6. I realize that not everyone agrees with this type of ministry or with my ideas about evangelism. The evangelist is a gift from Christ Eph 4:11 and street preaching is a calling from God, so I can’t really teach it. I wrote this paper so that you may see what is distinct about my particular ministry that God has called me to.