Open Air Preaching

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Pastor David, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Pastor David

    Pastor David
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    I was wanting to see if any on here has ever conducted an open air public service, and what if any conclusions you've drawn from it? Did it minister to people? Did anyone recieve Christ? Do you think we need more/less of it? Did it draw interest in your own church? Etc.
     
  2. abcgrad94

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    Our former church used to conduct summer tent revivals. Having services outside was too distracting for most of us, and people quit coming. The heat, bugs flying around, noise from cars, passers-by, and even animals made listening and participating very difficult.
     
  3. dcorbett

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    go look at thewayofthemaster.com

    My son went open-air preaching with Ray Comfort.
     
  4. Jim1999

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    Back in the 50's, we used open air preaching to reach the unreached, and not for regular services. We preached in parks known as hang outs. Maybe we, as students, were practicing preaching!

    I don't see much use for it to-day. Things are so different in our modern societies. We also have rescue missions for regular preaching.

    Handing out tracts requires two people; one to hand them out, the other to pick up the trash as they get discarded on the pavement.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. LeBuick

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    Every summer we hold Church in the park. We have our regular 11AM worship service in a park down the street from the Church. We get a lot of people who drop in on the service, a few came to Christ but I don't recall any showing up at the Church. There may have been one or two but I don't recall any...
     
  6. JohnDeereFan

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    Never done a service open air, but I've gone to preach the Gospel open air many times.
     
  7. Havensdad

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    This is simply not true. I preach open air, and hand out gospel tracts. I have watched people sit in a car and read through a six page gospel tract with my own eyes. RARELY do my tracts end up on the ground.

    The only way to reach the lost, is to go where they are.
     
  8. TomVols

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    Jim's experience is similar to what I've seen and heard from colleagues. You have some who will discard them right in front of your eyes but most will go around the corner and trash them. If you can get more than a handful to actually read the matl, then you've done well.

    That said, that's simply experience. Maybe some have other experiences, but let's not call someones experience untrue without evidence. Let's also not say that we shouldn't do something because one person had a bad experience.

    The Bible College I attended used to require students to go and preach on a street corner in the little town on a Sat evening. That ended as that town is a ghost town on Sat evenings now. Nothing down there to attract anyone.

    Open air preaching, tract distribution...let's not make hard and fast rules for this. All ministry is done in context.
     
  9. TomVols

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    Thinking more about this, it seems as though Lloyd Jones or someone of that ilk made the argument against open air preaching as ineffective because passers-by would only catch a snip of a sermon and not get the "message". I would think it would be much more effective if you could gather a crowd and then preach to the crowd, the way WOTM does, Will Metzger, et.al.
     
  10. Jim1999

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    Street preaching is pretty much a thing of the past. At one time, Hyde Park in London, England, had a space given to open-air preaching by all philosophical thoughts. Great crowds would gather, including the regular critics. It virtually became a club and the critics never missed a moment. Society to-day is in too much of a hurry to go nowhere and they don't assemble long enough to hear a message.

    Tracts are very useful one-on-one, but, for the most part, randomly passed out tracts do end up as trash. There are always exceptions to everything.

    I do appreciate that we are not getting the people out to church services, and I wonder if this is because we have tardy members. There are so many "ministers" in each church to-day that the people feel that the "clergy" are paid to do this job.

    Let's take commercialism out of the churches and restore the work of ministry to one and all, with the pastor as a guide.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. Pastor David

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    Jim,

    That is a great suggestion. I happend to be in the downtown area of a large metropolitian city on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, and I had the opportunity to hear a man giving an open-air message in a city park. He was using some kind of amplification device, so his voice was really getting out.

    What was interesting though, was that although he only had a small crowd gathered in front of him, I knew people all over that city block could hear his words. That made me wonder about those, who, though they may never be noticed by this preacher, still heard the Word, and still may have had their life impacted that day by his efforts? I'm bearing in mind God's Word does not return void. Thoughts?
     
  12. Havensdad

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    Amen.

    I have seen street preachers gather hundreds of people into a crowd, on a busy beach, or in a downtown park area at lunch time.

    Saying "It doesn't work", simply won't cut it. We're commanded to do it, whether it works or not.
     
  13. matt wade

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    :thumbs:

    "So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."
     
  14. swaimj

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    Here are several ideas for street preaching that I have seen used to good effect.

    One, I went with a group in Manhattan. We had a lightweight wooden "booth" that had four sides. Hanging from the sides were gospel tracts. A large sign on all four sides said "Pray Here". About 10 of us were along for the street evangelism. We would approach people as they neared the booth and ask "Do you have a need I can pray with you about?" Many ignored us. However, many people would stop and begin to relate some problem in their life and they would pause to pray about it. After the prayer, we had an opportunity to engage in conversation and witness. I have not seen this tried in a small town or even in another city. Manhattan's culture is rather unique. However, this is an idea that may be effective in another locale.

    This same group also did some street drama in city parks to attract a crowd. While the drama was going on...a three to five minute gospel presentation...others would "work" the perimeter of the crowd passing out literature and witnessing.

    "Way of the Master" also has some interesting ideas for doing evangelism in a crowd such as playing the "Are you a good person" game. Check this out on their website.

    I think these methods may be more effective in a culture that is post-Christian than the old "stand-up-in-the-square-and-yell-at-everybody" that I saw as a kid in the south.
     
  15. TomVols

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    Let's draw a very critical distinction. we're commanded to "Gospel." Street preaching (what about rural open-air preaching?) is just one method. Methods come and go. The message makes us go. How we go varies from context to context. We err when we make our methods God's mandate.
     
  16. Havensdad

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    We are commanded to "Go" and preach the Gospel. Not "bring them" to preach the gospel. As long as we are "going" into the public, and telling people about Christ (as opposed to just doing mission work, and good deeds), no problem.

    In other words, in some way, we are commanded to "go out" and preach the gospel. This can be through signs, tracts, one to one witnessing, street preaching, etc.

    Tricking pagans to come to church doesn't count. Nor does trying to attain some "angelic glow" so that people will come to you...
     
  17. TomVols

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    You won't hear one argument from me about "going" (or literally, as you go, as has been pointed out). And I won't quibble one iota about the whole "go to church/invite to church" mentality. However, let's not rule that out. Our churches have gone overboard being seeker-sensitive. Yet some churches are "outsider hostile." Both are unChristian extremes.

    Let's just not fall into the trap of making human methods God's mandate. The mandate is to go. How we go can and should be varied.

    I disagree with your assertion that Christians should not be winsome and attractive. The word of God plainly says to "let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matt 5:16 ESV). One of the reasons that the lost refuse the message could be that the messengers have no light or salt.
     
  18. gb93433

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    I have done open air preaching twice and about 1000 listened each time. While it was great to see so many there, the results were much less than if I had knocked on a few doors.
     
  19. gb93433

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    That is the God the messengers know.
     
  20. Havensdad

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    Hey, that great! But don't judge a book by it's cover: you won't know the results till we get to glory.

    A LOT of people respond to the message they heard "later". The guy that witnessed to me, never found out that I gave my life to Christ a short time later, in my bathtub at home. He planted a seed, though...

    And one day, he'll find out! Theres no telling how many of those people might have responded "later"...
     

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