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The Church I go to use street preaching and many have been brought to Christ. I can tell you its effective and it works. Its not because of effective people doing it but because God will use anyone willing, to reach out to the lost.
God calls us in many different ways. I am an attorney, but was undeniably called by God to go out on the streets to proclaim Jesus to the lost. I have been ridiculed by friends and colleagues, but I have been blessed to see people from my church who have enormous fear of public speaking give their testimony on street corners. God calls us to street preaching. It is not an invention of mankind; it is a directive of God. On occasions, we have a discourse with a person and feel that perhaps God spoke through us to reach that person; sometimes we feel like we just preached to the air. But we never know what is in another person's heart. If God calls us to do it, who are we to question? It matters not that WE see or feel results. We need to have faith and do what God directs: proclaim the good news of Jesus. Then we step aside and wait for God to work in their hearts. Street preaching is also an expression of our faith. Maybe my faith and my willingness to follow God will impact someone to at least consider looking into God's word and investigate what Jesus did for us all in His life and on the cross. Yes, we frequently offend people, but we are not here to put forth pleasantries; we are here to speak God's truth in whatever manner He directs. Jesus said. "He who has an ear, let him hear!" Street preaching is truly a blessing to those who tell and to those who hear.
First, what the question is not: the question isn't whether "street preaching" should be abandoned. Is it worth the effort, is what the query is. If I had to make a decision on where to concentrate my attention for evangelism street preaching wouldn't make the cut. I don't see much of it in my area of town, and the little I witness is not what I would call gospel preaching. It's mostly spiritual grandstanding, in my opinion. Four or five guys all dressed in black, standing across the street from a liquor store with a microphone, causing passersby to put their windows up at the stop light where they set up. They probably mean well, but it doesn't get good reviews. I've never heard "the gospel of Jesus Christ" preached on the street. All I've ever heard are warnings about the worldly lifestyles people live leading to eternal suffering. God's love for the people who live worldly lives is stated in the scriptures but is often omitted in the street sermon. God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (Jn 3:16). That's the gospel (good news). When this love is explained and understood in context it is very effective in drawing a lost soul to Christ. God hates sin and punishes the unrepentant is true but not good news. That's a favorite theme of many street preachers. It's fear mongering, simple and plain. Another approach is the "do you know where you will spend eternity" gimmick. Yes, gimmick, a stratagem, or scheme used to increase appeal. I've actually heard a relationship with God through faith in Jesus called "fire insurance." These things ought not be. Nowhere in the scriptures do we see where anyone was "scared straight" and came to Christ. Zacchaeus was an awful man who climbed a tree to get a look at the Savior passing by (Luke 19). He confessed his sin when Jesus went home with him. A woman caught in adultery and brought to Jesus (to be judged) by a gang of men was told He (Jesus) didn't condemn her (Jn 8:11). Matthew left his crooked tax collecting job just because Jesus asked him to. A simple "follow me" was all it took. No threats of destruction. You can't scare people into a relationship with Jesus or into receiving God's love. Someone said 'If only one person comes to Christ through street preaching then it was worth it.' I agree. I also don't think street preaching can scare a potential convert away from coming to Christ. God's arm is not shortened (Num 11:23). The Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save (Isa 59:1). The question is whether street preaching is effective or not. I don't see much of it so evidently the church doesn't put much faith in it. The architects of the church were told to take the gospel to the nations and to the whole world. That has been done and is ever increasing on a daily basis. What they weren't told was to "go and beat the world over the head with the Christian religion." Too many times that's what street preachers do.
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