Open-air preaching is
the most used method for Biblical Evangelism. Jesus was an open-air
preacher (Sermon on the Mount), John the Baptist was an open-air
preacher (he preached in the wilderness), Paul was an open-air
preacher (Mars Hill), Stephen (Acts 7), and many more such as
Peter, Jeremiah, Amos, Jotham, Jonah, Isaiah, etc.
We believe that the Gospel is a
call to forsake all known sin, and a
committing of the soul and the whole being to Jesus Christ. The
message that one can continue in sin while in a relationship with God
pervades our culture, specially in the Bible Belt. However, this belief
will send many to an eternity in Hell.
Usually beginning at around noon, with no
amplification, Ellen and I approach the free speech area in the secular
universities and lift up our voices as the Bible says to do in Isaiah (Is 58:1).
We do not engage in inflammatory speech (for example, randomly singling
out individuals and calling them names) and the content of our open-air
sermons is mostly quoting from the Bible with personal applications. We do
not claim to be the best at what we do, but we are willing to go and there
is always room for improvement. We also give students an opportunity
to receive prayer for salvation or physical healing as we have seen many
instantaneous miracles happening in the streets
(See article on the "Show and Tell
our modern methods only reach those that want to hear it, read it
or tune in. Open-air preaching reaches those who would not come to a
traditional evangelistic meeting otherwise.
I have tried and still practice other outreach
methods. Pizza suppers, musical
outreaches, door-to-door witnessing, literature distribution, book tables, one-on-one
witnessing... All these have been effective in reaching different segments
of the unsaved population, but open-air
preaching is by far the most effective (as well as the most
controversial) in reaching the casual passer-byer who just has not
thought about God in a long time. This individual can be called the
"careless sinner." He will shake his head at your book table, roll his
eyes at Christian TV, slam the door on your face, and throw away your
tract in the next trash can. BUT he will stop and listen to the
open-air preacher sometimes for 4 to 5 hours a day.
Because of the controversial nature of open-air
preaching, we have posted a defense of this method to show that it's not
only found in both the Old Testament and New Testament, but has been
proven an effective method to bring revival throughout church history.
Open-Air Preaching: Is It Biblical?