The effectiveness of street evangelism & street preaching

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by evangelist6589, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    I like to do street evangelism & street preaching. However this is not a popular or practiced method in my church. Having done street evangelism since 2008 I can say that its not exactly the most effective method. I do not think results are up to me, as they are up to God. But then again living in the Bible Belt where there is a church on every corner, I wonder if its possible that many of my gospel tracts, gospel of John's, books, and such that I have given out to so many have been wasted and such resources may be better off in another context. My church has something called Coffee and cars which is a more of a friendship/relationship evangelism event. I will be attending and helping out today. My church I think uses the tools and tips used in the book Share Jesus without Fear which I read once, but forgot because I have been far bigger at promoting the techniques of other evangelist methodology. What do you say about all this? Is Share Jesus without fear a friendship evangelist approach?


    Thanks,


    John
     
  2. Jim1999

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    Times they are a changing.......

    At one time, door-to-door was effective. To-day, there is so much shift work, we are just disturbing the poor night-worker from getting their needed sleep.

    We need to adjust with the times. I am old fuddy-duddy, and my way of conducting Sunday service is a way of the past and even I must adjust to this.

    I don't have an answer about street preaching to-day, except one may be more effective to stand with a phone attached to the ear and text message the passing phone users with phones attached to their heads!

    Cheers, and all the best with your ministry.

    Jim
     
  3. Salty

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    You could stand holding a sign with your phone # inviting folks to call you.... :wavey:
     
  4. Havensdad

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    Listen being "effective" is not our goal in evangelism. Being Biblical is...and the primary method of evangelism in the Bible is the public proclamation of the gospel (street preaching), and cold call confrontational 1 on 1. Do not buy into the "we have a different society" nonsense. Historically speaking, the Ancient Greco-Roman society of the 1st century was probably the CLOSEST you could get to our post modern society. They were pluralistic, reletavistic/post modern, etc. (remember Pilate's comment about the truth? "What is truth?" he said...sounds like a liberal arts professor!)

    Paul, also, dealt with the same issues in his day, regarding slick evangelistic techniques which appeared to be superior...these "super apostles" were condemned strongly by Paul, even though they appeared to be highly succesful. Note what he said of their "methods," and their apparently superior success...

    2Co 4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.
    2Co 4:2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.
    2Co 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.

    See those words "practice cunning"? They just mean to work skillfully at something, or to be adroit. I.E. "Using slick methods that seem to work."

    Instead, what does he say? He engages in the OPEN proclamation of the truth...and look what he says next. It is almost like it is tailor made for people who would say "But that is not as effective!" If people don't understand, if they don't come to Christ, if it does not appear to be effective...it is because those people were perishing.

    I can go out right now, and get 10 decisions for Christ a day, using modern slick techniques. But has anyone been saved?

    Stick with Biblical methods, and leave the "effectiveness" to God.
     
  5. evangelist6589

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    You have spoken the truth wisely my friend. Its very easy to let peer pressure get to you and fall back. I hate going out alone but its my only option. I am in a Fundamentalist Church (Liberty University is not Fundamentalist) and IFB often reject The Way of the Master, so I am alone. Oh well I hate being alone, but it appears I stand all by myself. Its either I compromise separation and go to one of these other churches, or I stick to the Bible. I have chosen to stick with the Bible, but at the cost of no fellowship in street evangelism efforts.
     
  6. Mexdeaf

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    All very true.

    (signed)

    Another 'old fuddy-duddy'
     
  7. StefanM

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    It's not a matter of differences in worldview; it's a matter of differences in culture. In the NT era, public speeches were much more commonplace, and it was culturally acceptable to make appeals in that context. Now, streets are not generally considered places for public speech. We have ample justification from the NT that Paul (among others) his methods due to cultural expectations (Jew vs. Greek), all the while preserving the integrity of the gospel message.
     
  8. Havensdad

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    Not so. Speaking publicly in the first century, was only done in certain places, and by certain people. Standing up on the street corner and preaching the gospel, was JUST as anti-cultural and offensive as it is today...in fact, moreso. Everyone that did it, back then, were frequently accosted, attacked, and even killed. They were arrested (it was illegal in much of the area, unlike in the U.S.). And yet Paul and the rest STILL did it, even though the reception was extremely antagonistic and unfriendly.

    Paul NEVER altered his methods. He ALWAYS, even according to him, engaged in the "open proclamation" of the gospel. He said plainly in 1 Corinthians that it is by the "foolishness" of preaching (not new trendy, silly approaches) that God saves.

    He changed the "trappings"...wore the appropriate clothes, abided by certain customs, etc. But it was always through street preaching, even when he was forbidden, and even arrested for it.
     
  9. StefanM

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    They were persecuted because of the content of the message, not the act of speaking publicly. You will also note that Paul throughout Acts generally speaks in locations where other people tended to speak (synagogues, lecture halls, etc.).

    Notably, in Acts 17 in Athens, he spoke in the synagogue and in the marketplace and "A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him" (v. 18, NIV). In verse 21, "All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas." This definitely does not sound like a modern marketplace or street.

    In Acts 19:9 in Ephesus, "...He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus." In Ephesus the riot against Paul erupted for economic reasons.

    Those are just two examples. What you will find is that Paul spoke in culturally-acceptable locations, but his message often stirred up anger. The Jews in particular did not like his message for obvious reasons, and they often were behind his persecutions. Gentiles didn't seem to care as much until the message started having effect. It was about the message--not his manner of preaching.
     
    #9 StefanM, Jun 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2011
  10. Havensdad

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    Again, that is simply not the case. Paul and the rest of the apostles, throughout the book of Acts, stood up and preached the gospel publicly whenever and wherever they were. Acts 10:42 says that Jesus COMMANDED the apostles and others gathered to "preach" the gospel to "all the peoples." Not to sit down and dialogue with them, not to hang out at the coffee shop. To preach. The word "kerusso" means to herald, and is used of town "criers."

    The authorities even TOLD them not to preach, and they did it anyway. They could have said "Well, we should obey the law. We will just show Jesus through "service"... but they didn't. Paul said plainly to eschew clever plans and methods, instead "openly proclaiming" the gospel. That is pretty darn clear.

    Again, we are COMMANDED to preach the gospel, openly. The results, are up to God.
     
  11. StefanM

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    Do you have biblical references to justify your statements? I have provided explicit biblical examples which you have failed to address.

    Your point regarding kerusso doesn't justify your point like you want it to do. You can easily "preach" in a public forum, as I mentioned. That doesn't mean that Paul did it in an unexpected manner. You can easily preach in synagogues, marketplaces, and lecture halls. My references above clearly substantiate that it was not out of the ordinary to do so.

    All of your references are proving my point--that Paul "got in trouble" for the message, not for the method. Had he been speaking publicly about some non-controversial element of Jewish teaching or Stoic philosophy, he likely would not have been persecuted. He was not a lightning rod for criticism for preaching in a public forum. He was a lightning rod for criticism because of the content of his preaching.
     
  12. Havensdad

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    Easy. You referenced Acts 17...this was NOT a normal place for proclamation, yet that is what Paul did...he preached.

    Some of the he preached their to Epicureans, Stoics, Jews, and others. The The Philosophers then TOOK him to the Areopagus...but only because he was preaching in public first, and aroused their interest.

    Act 17:19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?

    Also...

    Act 5:42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

    Act 8:4 Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.
    Act 8:5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.

    Act 8:40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

    Tell me, what do you think this means?

    2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

    That word "ephistami" means to "stand up" by the way...it has nothing to with being "instant" or "ready"..."stand up" in season, and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort...

    We are commanded to preach, whenever, and wherever we have opportunity. Tell me, WHY WOULDN'T you? Lets look at some reasons...

    A person is ashamed of Christ

    They think God will refuse to use that method

    Uh...that is all I can come up with. I started to put "people think its inappropriate", but everyone that I have met that has said such a thing, would also say that tracting is inappropriate, "bugging" a dying man with religion is downright evil, "bugging" people with religious matters at coffee shops is inappropriate, other public discussion of religious matters is inappropriate, etc. So I guess if we are worried about offending people with our methods (even though we are commanded to do it), we should just sit at home and do NOTHING.

    Tell you what; I will obey scripture, and preach publicly. You sit at home on your hands.
     
  13. StefanM

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    The Areopagus was a prestigious place to discuss issues. It was being "called up to the big leagues," to use an analogy. Philosophies were discussed publicly in many other places in Athens. Because Paul was confronted by a group of philosophers, we can infer that the philosophers were congregating in the marketplace for some reason. It is not as if, however, the Areopagus was the only acceptable place for public discussion.

    The temple was a place of religious worship. Much like the synagogues, preaching in a religious assembly or location was culturally acceptable and even expected. House to house...this isn't really a public place, so I will not say anything further.

    These are clear examples of public proclamation of the gospel, but that is not the issue. I contend that public proclamations were not out of the ordinary. You contended otherwise but have not provided evidence to substantiate this.


    I disagree with your interpretation. It is far too simplistic. The word has a range of meanings, one of which is to be prepared.

    You are missing my point entirely. My point is that Paul's public speaking was not atypical in terms of locale. He certainly did not use the rhetorical methods of the day, and the fundamental aspect of his preaching that led to discord with the public was the content of the gospel.

    Street preaching is one method, not the only method.

    Ok. Do you feel better now that you have said that?
     
  14. Havensdad

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    Absolutely not. It says clearly that it was not only philosophers, but Jewish men who were in the marketplace. We certainly cannot "infer" anything of the sort, and in fact, we know it was NOT a gathering place...no self respecting Jew would be gathering with a bunch of pagans.

    This was a marketplace. The philosophers were shopping. According to them, Paul was preaching. They were intrigued, so they took him back to the Areopagus. End of story.

    House to house is absolutely a public place.

    The fact that they were beat up and killed is evidence enough. The pagans taught all kinds of things offensive to the jews...yet they were not killed.

    The text CLEARLY shows that they preached anytime, anywhere, without reservation.


    That is not the common use of the word. It is not "simplistic." It is simply what the word means. It can infer readiness, but the word MEANS to stand up.

    Wrong. The content of the message was only offensive because of his method. People were confronted, in a very "in your face" way with the truth of Christ. The preaching was not something normally done, and even the Philosophers were perplexed at where and what he was preaching.

    The primary method of gospel deliverance, according to Paul (not me) is the public proclamation of the gospel. We are told to eschew worldly methods and clever plans, but instead to proclaim the gospel plainly and openly.
    No. I won't be happy until excuse making Christians, quit trying to justify laziness and avoidance of the shame that is inherent in being a Christian. Inventing new methods in order to make us feel more comfortable, and avoiding the commands of Christ, is a shameful activity.

    We are commanded to preach the gospel, anytime, anywhere. Paul, Peter, Stephen, and even Jesus himself, were mocked to scorn, laughed at, and even killed for standing up and declaring the truth...not for hanging out with the lost and making sandwiches for homeless people.
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Hear Hear:jesus:
     
  16. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Now.....how many churches you know that honestly do that? :laugh:
     
  17. StefanM

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    They were shopping as a group? Sure, this is possible, but the Greek "agora" was more than a shopping mall. It was a gathering place. In fact, it's role as a political and civic center preceded its additional role as a place for commerce.

    Simply asserting to the contrary does not make it true.

    Furthermore, just because something also functioned as gathering place does not mean that all the groups who gathered there associated with one another. Jews and Greeks could both be gathering in the same general area without gathering with each other.


    I'm not sure what to say other than I disagree. A house is a private place.



    That is partially because the pagans weren't preaching in the synagogues and partially because pagans were not attempting to work from within the Jewish religious framework. Had a pagan philosopher attempted to speak in a Jewish synagogue, he would have been run out as well.

    Again, my point is not that they did not preach in public places, only that they did so in a different cultural context.


    Etymology can only get us so far in translation. The literal meaning of a term is only one aspect of achieving a good understanding; context is another.


    You are absolutely wrong here. The method was not the reason the message was offensive. "For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles." -1 Cor. 1:23 (HCSB) That's content. Sure, his method of preaching was different, and it struck many people as strange, but that was not why the preaching was offensive.

    I don't necessary disagree on this point, but I do disagree on some of the other details.

    This abrasive attitude won't get you anywhere, though. Social ministries are important (though they are not the most important thing), and public proclamation of the gospel doesn't eliminate the ability to use other methods.
     
  18. Havensdad

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    It was roughly equivalent to a downtown area, in a large city, today. There were people talking, buying and selling, etc. Paul frequented areas where people were gathered together. And he never hesitated to stand up and preach the gospel. That is the only conclusion that you can make here.

    Nor does you asserting that Paul only preached in places meant for public speaking, make it so. I have, in fact, never heard ANY scholar say what you are saying. I have heard some say that the practice was more acceptable, but I have never heard a single New Testament scholar say that Paul only preached the gospel in places where public speaking was culturally normal. This is an absurd statement...anyone reading the book of Acts can see that Paul and the other apostles preached anywhere and everywhere, even when the law commanded them to stop!

    It was just a public shopping place. It was where people were gathered together. It is the same as a modern downtown area.



    Today that may be the case. It was not in the first century. The closely grouped houses, where people often met outside on the "front step" so to speak, rather than inside (where lamps and precious oil had to be burned for light), is very much a public place. Imagine a trailer park where a preacher is preaching outside to a group of people at a barbeque, and you get a close idea of what it would be like.


    When is the last time you went to a Jehovah's Witness hall, or a synagogue, or Mormon Tabernacle, and stood up and said things like "This Jesus, whom you crucified?"

    And this is clearly not the case. I have been all over the country. In every major city I have gone to, in the downtown area, you can find people playing musical instruments, talking, having demonstrations, getting people to sign petitions for various political causes, etc. You have people outside announcing cheap cell phone plans, new store openings, etc. In my part of the country, (South Texas), it is very common to see the Dominoes or Little Caesar's Pizza guy standing outside with a sign yelling "5 dollar pizzas!"

    None of this offends anyone. In fact, its very effective, which is why they do it. A hungry person that hears an announcement about five dollar pizzas, will be highly inclined to buy a pizza.

    However, in this environment of causes, sales, and petitions, when anyone dares to raise their voice to proclaim the gospel, people get offended.


    The context clearly supports what I am saying. "In season, and out of season" clearly denotes a time when it is acceptable, or "a good time" and when it is not. At all times, stand up and preach the gospel.


    Nor is it the method today. Street preaching about pizza, union rights, or "teachers salaries", is perfectly acceptable. So even today, it is not the method.

    Quit making excuses, and preach the gospel.



    Nor does modern ideas eliminate the plain teaching of the New Testament, which emphasizes preaching over all other "methods." Preaching publicly, and confrontational one on one, are the only evangelism methods seen in the New Testament.

    Tell Jesus about the "abrasive attitude." I have never called anyone snakes, or whitewashed tombs. Nor, like Paul, told them they were sons of the devil or enemies of all righteousness.


    God changes hearts, not men. And He does it through his word. Just preach the gospel.
     
    #18 Havensdad, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2011
  19. Havensdad

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    In my area... 2. Fresh Springs Baptist and Brazosport Baptist Temple. We just did it, on Memorial day weekend at the beach.

    http://vimeo.com/24390317

    You can't see it in the videos, but there are about a hundred people gathered at one point by the water, listening to the scripture readings and preaching.
     
  20. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I will bet you got Bass Pro shops too. Is Rick Perry really that good?
     

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