We are called to win souls. Street evangelism is one of the methods of evangelism that has been in existence for as long as the gospel has existed.
Jesus did what we refer to today as street preaching when He was on earth. He walked from town to town proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.
When He ascended to heaven, His disciples took over the street evangelism ministry. The early apostles walked from city to city proclaiming the good news.
The gospel grew through street evangelism.
To this day, street evangelism remains to be one of the most effective ways of winning souls.
The Aim of Street Evangelism
A number of people argue that street evangelism is not effective. But that is not true. Street evangelism plays a key role in growing the church.
Unlike the preaching done in churches, street evangelism is aimed at creating awareness. Street preaching is aimed at people who don’t go to church and don’t care about the gospel.
When preaching in the street, the goal is to let unbelievers know that there is something called salvation. They may have heard about it before but you go there to emphasize the message.
A street evangelism mission is successful if people hear the message. Majority of them may not respond right there and then but provided they have heard the message, the mission is successful.
John the Baptist went around proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea ‘repent for the kingdom of God is at hand’. The repentance was to warm up the people for the arrival of Jesus.
John was more concerned about drawing the attention of people to the coming messiah than transforming their lives. Jesus was coming to do the transformation of their lives.
Street evangelism warms up those who hear the message in preparation for the real transformation of their lives.
Street preaching can also transform lives if the person hearing the message opens up. This is more likely to happen if the street preaching is backed up with miracles, signs and wonders.
Non-believers will be more willing to buy into the message of salvation if they see miracles. Street evangelism must be enticing to non-believers.
For you to be effective in street evangelism, pray that God gives you the gift of performing miracles. Miracles are meant for the streets.
Advantages of Street Preaching
Street preaching reaches a large number of people with little resources. The number of people who end up hearing a street preacher in a single session is huge.
The street preacher may be alone but the message reaches masses.
Street evangelism passes the message of salvation to people who may never have heard about it elsewhere. A good number of people on the street never go to church.
Some of them are preoccupied with making money; they don’t spare time to listen to God. Through street evangelism, such people can be reached.
Others are believers but they are lukewarm. Street preaching will help convict them to commit themselves fully to God.
It is hard to track the effectiveness of street preaching but it transforms many lives than you would imagine.
Street preaching can be done on any day. The flexibility means that you can share the gospel around the week. With such a high frequency of preaching, you can be sure many people will get to hear the message.
In the Bible, we are told of Paul who used to go to the synagogue to reason with town residents on a daily basis. The consistency made it easier to get converts.
Challenges of Street Preaching
Street evangelism can be discouraging especially when no one seems to be paying attention to what you are saying. Waking up another day to go to the street to share the gospel is not easy if no one listened to you the day before.
But as I mentioned before, there are people who will benefit from the message you share on the street but they will not make it obvious.
God convicts people while you are preaching on the street and they go to repent in secret. God will reward you for such souls who are transformed at your preaching even without your knowledge.
Pray that God gives you faith to believe that multitudes are benefiting from your preaching even if you can’t see them with your eyes.
Getting supplies is another challenge that you will come across as a street preacher. In normal church setting, after you share the gospel, those who listen will give an offering for you to get your provisions.
With street preaching, chances of people giving you an offering for the work you are doing are low. Unless you have a passive source of income, street preaching can quickly land you in poverty.
You must plan your financial life when you are into street evangelism.
Street Evangelism Tips for effective Ministry
Preach Short Messages
When it comes to street preaching, the shorter the message, the greater the impact. Majority of the people you intend to reach with your preaching only have a few seconds to listen. You must pass the message to them within the few seconds they will listen to you.
From the Bible, we are told that Jesus went around proclaiming ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’. John the Baptist had also preached a similar message; ‘Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand’.
These are short catchy phrases that can be shared in a few seconds. You can spend the rest of the time elaborating the statements.
Jesus was proclaiming the Kingdom of heaven having come and to demonstrate it, He performed miracles; He healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind and cast out devils.
When passersby see such miracles and ask what is going on, they are told ‘the kingdom of God has come’. The next logical thing for them to do is find out more about that kingdom.
You can go with messages such as Love your neighbor as yourself, be holy as your Father in heaven is holy, pray without ceasing etc
Dress as a Disciple of Christ
Your dressing is a form of communication when you go for street preaching. The message you are going to deliver begins with your clothing.
Having a dress code that matches your message will make your preaching session a lot easier. It is good if people can tell you are a disciple of Christ from your dressing even before you utter a word.
That way, you will get attention from the right people.
If you put on official clothing, people will treat your preaching as an official session. You will draw the attention of people who listen to official communication.
You can put on a T-Shirt with a Bible verse printed on it. With such a T-Shirt, you will automatically standout as someone who loves the Bible.
People who love the Bible will pay attention to you. It also will make it easy for the people on the street to know what you stand for.
Different dress codes communicate different messages. When you go for street evangelism, it is important to pay attention to your dressing.
However, the most important goal of your dressing should be to make you comfortable. Put on clothes that represent you.
Each one of us has been given a unique voice by God and the uniqueness shows even in our dressing.
Get a Street Evangelism Tools
Even if your voice is as loud as a public address system, get one if you want to be effective in street evangelism.
The only time you can go for street evangelism without a public address system is if you are going to speak to one person at a time.
There are different types of public address systems; pick one that fits your budget and your portability needs.
If you will be carrying your public address system and you don’t have a car, get one that is light enough to carry around.
If you have a car, you can buy a heavier public address system or get one that can be mounted on the car. You can browse through an array of public address systems here.
Have a Backup Team
It is dangerous to go for street evangelism alone. The scope of things that can go wrong is wide. Though you may be able to handle most of the challenges, it is wise to have someone or a small group of people on your side.
You can get people on the street to back you up as you do the preaching. You may come across a violent person. In such a case, you will need people to help you contain such a threat.
You may also need to pray for people of the opposite gender. It is wise if you have one or two ushers to help you out.
Having a team to help you on the street will enable you do much more than if you are alone. You may not do much if you are a man and a lady comes to you with a feminine problem. But if you have a lady minister with you, she can handle such issues while you focus on others.
Not only is having a backup team during street evangelism good for your safety but also it makes your ministration more effective.
When Jesus was sending out the disciples, He sent them two by two. Jesus Himself had disciples to help Him manage crowds and other issues that would arise in the course of the preaching.
Get a Permit from Local Authorities
All authority is given by God. The local administration has been given power by God to manage the streets. This is why it is important to have approval from them.
However, always know that God’s approval is greater than the approval of any man. The gospel must be preached with or without the approval of men.
Therefore, try to get a permit from the local authorities to allow you preach in public. If they refuse, ask God to protect you and go ahead with your mission.
We are not told whether Jesus got permission from roman authorities to preach but we know that He preached the gospel and brought salvation to many.
Jesus encouraged us to be as gentle as doves but as shrewd as serpents when going out for evangelism. He reminded us that we are like sheep among wolves.
Therefore, when you go to the street, be on the lookout for the authorities. You can easily land in trouble with the authorities for preaching on the street especially if your message is backed up with miracles, signs and wonders.
Uproars in towns were not a strange occurrence when Paul was spreading the gospel. On several occasions he found himself before city officials and got punished.
But don’t let the threats deter you. Despite the persecution you may face, your reward in heaven is not worth comparing to the present suffering.
May God go before you!