Thursday, September 29, 2005

Street Evangelism

I've been thinking about street evangelism (passing out tracts, talking to people, proclaiming the glorious gospel) and how it fulfills God's plan for salvation in the hearts of men. What is the purpose of these quick, seemingly insignificant "encounters" that we have with total strangers? Is "relational" evangelism (witnessing to those whom we know on a more regular basis) better? More important? More effective?

I have some of my own thoughts on the matter (of course!). However, I want to hear from you. What do you think about this matter? And why???? This part is key, show me Scripture!


Rand said...

The Great Commission:

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

-Preach only to those you know?
-Preach only to total strangers?
-Preach only to those you think will receive the Gospel?

No. No. No. Preach to all.

Is "relational" evangelism (witnessing to those whom we know on a more regular basis) better? More important? More effective?

I really have a problem with those who would answer a quick "yes" to the above questions. Did Peter know the 3000 souls that were saved on Pentecost after his street preaching? (Acts 2)

God will determine when evangelism will be effective. I don't evangelize like a politician trying to win votes; I present to Gospel as an act of obedience to glorify my God, hoping that He will be pleased to save HIS PEOPLE through my endeavour.

If I may, Julianne, I would like to plug a 4-part series on my blog called "A Heart for the Lost" (it can be found in my menu bar). I believe it can be profitable to any Christian soul who is thinking, or even those who are resisting, mass evangelism.

God bless you in your evangelistic effort Julianne... and remember, be safe: the Lord Himself sent them two-by two.


Daniel Mann said...

Relational evangelism better?
Compare and see in sacred srcripture if that be so. Most of the cases I can think of off hand were brief encounters with strangers. Particulary in the book of "ACTS". God over and over again sent out People to complete strangers like Philip, called to go to one man Simon. I don't have time, but i could say much on this topic. By and large it is not an either/or position, but rather both. However, I would dare to say that most who teach ONLY relatioal evangelism, do neither. But use there view for a cover up for shear lazyness. Can you show me a man or woman passionate about the lost who did not go seek out the lost(Who they did not know)?

Matador190 said...

I prefer to sit naked on a bamboo mat on the sidewalk. This gets the attention of passerby, and once they stop I give them a tract.

Julianne said...

You do that, Matador. At least you'd be doing something.

Lenny Tavernelli said...

I linked to your weblog via your post on mine, and so I thought I'd parouse it. You sound like a very passionate woman for the exaltaion of Christ. May God continue to grow your zeal and love for His body.

So in light of this post, the passage of Scripture that came to my mind is Matthew 10.

Jesus tells us, "do not fear [men]... What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops" (Matt. 10:26-27). Now, while Jesus is obviously employing hyperbole, His point is clear: proclaim the gospel, the message for which Christians will be maligned (cf. 10:24-25), openly, without distinction and no matter your relationship to the person--for God is in control of both your life and the result of your preaching (10:28-33).

I'd also like to comment that, if I remember correctly, A.W. Tozer was actually converted upon hearing an open air street preacher. Oh, and Charles Spurgeon urges, or maybe more rightly, demands his students to preach in the open, in his classic Lectures to My Students. And let's not forget the work of the evangelists during the Great Awakening.