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Gospel Street Preaching Denton Church Pecan Creek

Evangelism Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! Part 3, Street Preaching Examples

Gospel Street Preaching Denton Church Pecan Creek

Evangelism
Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! Part 3
Street Preaching Examples

Virtually every Saturday evening you can find me and others on the Denton Square openly proclaiming the gospel. Without fail, every week we have people come up to us who are shocked that we are in the public square speaking about Jesus. Sadly, this astonishment is not just from those professing to be atheists and agnostics, but even Christians. As we engage in conversation with any and all naysayers, it seems that they all have the same argument, “You should be doing this in a church, not out here for the general public to hear.”

Hmm. Are they right? Are we right? Should evangelism be reserved only for buildings with the word “Church” on them? Well, even though “open-air” or “street preaching” has become rare, it is nothing new. In fact, it has been around for thousands of years.

We see many examples of it in both the Old and New Testament Scriptures. It has been prevalent throughout church history, and it is through the open-air proclamation of the gospel that great awakenings and revivals have occurred.

Although this is not an exhaustive list, here are some excellent examples of street preaching in both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures.

Examples from the Old Testament

  • Peter calls Noah a “herald of righteousness” referring to his call for people to repent before the flood of Genesis (2 Peter 2:5).
  • Solomon “with a loud voice” addressed the entire nation of Israel (1 Kings 8:54-56).
  • In the “open square” Ezra called the people of Israel to repentance (Ezra 10:9-14).
  • While standing before the people of Israel, Ezra openly read and explained the law of God (Nehemiah 8:1-8).
  • Jeremiah stood at the gate of the Lord’s House and “proclaimed” the words of God (Jeremiah 7:1-3).
  • Jonah openly preached repentance to the Ninevites (Jonah 3:1-5).
  • The Old Testament prophets heralded the word of God at the city gates (Isaiah 5:29; Amos 5:10).

Examples from the New Testament

  • John the Baptist was the first street preacher to herald the good news in the open-air (Matt. 3:1-2; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3).
  • Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount in the open-air (Matt. 5-7).
  • Jesus’s disciples went about preaching on the streets in many villages (Luke 9:5-7).
  • Peter preached to all the Jews who were gathered in Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-40).
  • After healing the lame beggar, Peter preached in the open-air at Solomon’s Portico (Acts 3:11-26).
  • Philip openly preached the gospel to large crowds in the city of Samaria (Acts 8:6-8).
  • Peter and John preached the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans on their way back to Jerusalem (Acts 8:25)
  • Paul openly preached the gospel to the entire city of Antioch (Acts 13:44-52).
  • Paul stood atop Mars Hill and preached to the men of Athens in the open-air (Acts 17:22-34).
  • Apollos publicly proclaimed Christ Jesus and boldly refuted the Jews in Achaia (Acts 18:27-28).

Examples in Church history

Many revivals and spiritual awakenings throughout church history were spurred on by street preaching. Some more well-known open-air preachers, since the Reformation, were John Bunyan, John Knox (founder of the Presbyterian Church), John Wesley, George Whitefield, and Charles Spurgeon. Other famous ministers such as A. W. Tozer and Billy Sunday were also brought to Christ by the means of street preaching.
 
Spurgeon not only engaged in street preaching but aggressively defended it, as you can see from his following statements:

“It would be very easy to prove that revivals of religion have usually been accompanied, if not caused, by a considerable amount of preaching out of doors, or in unusual places.”

“No sort of defense is needed for preaching out of doors, but it would need very potent arguments to prove that a man had done his duty who has never preached beyond the walls of his meeting-house. A defense is required for services within buildings than for worship outside of them.”

In summary, although preaching in the open air has become quite rare, it is thoroughly biblical and Christian. It is a means by which God calls lost sinners to Himself and a vehicle that has produced spiritual awakenings and revivals throughout history at many times and in many places. What about you, have you ever thought about street preaching on your city streets? Why, or why not? I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at findoutmore@thechurchatpecancreek.com.
 
~Jeff Patton


Evangelism: Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2: A Biblical Premise

Evangelism: Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2: A Biblical Premise

Evangelism: Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2: A Biblical Premise

Evangelism:
Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2:
A Biblical Premise

Should Christians evangelize in public places?

In today’s relativistic society, why would anyone dare to speak to a stranger about Jesus Christ being the only way to heaven? Why would anyone in their right mind stand up before a group of strangers and call on them to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ, knowing that there is a high likelihood that some people will become hostile?
 
Because, Jesus is the only Savior, Lord, and King! Apart from the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, people have no hope at all. Whether the people are your friends, family, co-workers, classmates, or strangers, they need to hear the gospel. If we as Christians know it, then why would we NOT want to proclaim it, even to strangers?

Is it Biblical?

Street preaching and evangelism are not only important; they are necessary! These are God’s chosen means by which He has designated to build His kingdom.
 
Many Christians seem to be embarrassed or even ashamed to share the message of salvation with others, but this should not be the case.
 
Jesus says in Mark 8:38 that “whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
 
The point is that those who have been saved by Christ should not be ashamed of the One who has saved them. Nor should they be ashamed to tell others how they can be saved from the wrath of God.
 
Believers alone have been given the Word of Truth and the Holy Spirit. If we don’t get the message out, then who will?
 
Paul tells us in Romans 1:16 that he “is not ashamed of the gospel.” Think about it, Paul had every excuse to be ashamed of the gospel. He had lost everything: his heritage, his high standing among his people, his family and close friends. He suffered through persecution and imprisonment. He received beatings and was nearly stoned to death for preaching this message. And yet, after more than two decades of such rejection and abuse, he reassured the church at Rome that he still was not ashamed of the gospel, and desired to proclaim it even in Rome.1 

The power of God.

Why was Paul not ashamed of the gospel? He tells us “for [the gospel] is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” 2 
 
Jesus Christ had sent Paul to preach a message that He was going to use to bring about salvation among those who heard it. This information was not based on opinion, but the truth of God. It was not mere meaningless babble but a message that was given to Paul by God. This was a message empowered by God, as well.3 

Faith comes by hearing, which means somebody has to do the speaking!

Paul tells us in Romans 10:17 that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” The hearing of the gospel is the means by which God calls His people to Himself; however, these words, the gospel, must be spoken by someone who knows the gospel. This is Paul’s point when he writes,
 
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching?4 
 
The Greek word here for “preaching” is κηρύσσω (kērussō) and it means to preach, to proclaim as a herald, to announce openly and publicly, to noise abroad.
 
The Apostle Paul is clearly exhorting his readers to engage in public evangelism and open-air preaching.

Jesus also commands us to go and to shine.

Jesus says, “GO therefore and make disciples of all nations …”5
 
Making disciples is a command of God. It is what we are called to do. However, in order to make a disciple or student of Christ, words have to be communicated.
 
Who should proclaim such a message?
 
You! People are not saved by simply being around Christians who are gospel mutes. And the unsaved do not become disciples without learning about who Christ is and what He has done to provide salvation.
 
Jesus also tells all believers that, “you are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others…” 6 Don’t hide your Christianity by avoiding talking about it. That is the same thing as putting the light under the basket. Let the light of Christ shine forth. Open your mouth and let the gospel of Jesus Christ be proclaimed.

Final thoughts:

Let us not be ashamed of Jesus Christ! For we have been given a message from God Himself, which is the power of God for salvation to all who believe! Remember, in order to believe, they must first hear. How are they going to hear without someone preaching? They won’t.
 
Therefore, let us obey our Lord and go forth proclaiming the gospel, even to those that we do not know.
 
~ Jeff Patton
 
 

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1811 Shady Oaks Blvd.
Suite 105
Denton, Texas 76205
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