Attention Church: Open-Air preaching is a Biblical calling! Articles & video included here!
by Bill Rhetts
One of the biggest obstacles that open-air preachers face, are those that profess to be Christian. They seemingly have the spirits gift of telling us, that we should not preach out in public places.
I say this with much love, but if that’s you. If you’re a doubter, a discourager, or a naysayer; then perhaps you need to either ~
A) Grow in your faith (as we all need to do)
B) Repent, and believe in the Gospel (Mark 1:15)
C) Become saved, or
D) All of the above.
Most of these naysayers are doing nothing more than making the non-saved persons feel comfortable on their way to hell. That’s not a Biblical love, that’s unholy hatred.
Sadly, even many pastors oppose open-air preaching. It’s one thing to comb your hair all pretty, starch your shirt, and give a pre-scripted sermon from behind your own pulpit. That’s in a safe, predictable, controlled environment. Nevertheless, where the rubber truly meets the road, is when a man puts his ‘boots to the ground,’ and boldly preaches the Gospel in an unsafe, unpredictable, dangerous, uncontrolled environment.
Please understand this. The Christians are the actual church. The word “church” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word ‘ekklesia,’ which is translated to “an assembly,” and “to call out,” or the “called out ones.” Therefore, it is the Biblical duty and calling of Christians (the church) to go out into the world. To be salt of the earth, and light of the world.
It’s a labor of love for the lost. Most of us will never know the results of our labor. But the Lord does, and that’s all that matters. Remember Christians, that the body of Christ must appreciate the Holy Spirits gifts, that are distributed throughout the church (1 Cor 12, Roms 12:4-6, 1 Pet 4:10, Eph 4:7-16.)
Paul told the church in 1st Timothy 4:11-13, “These things command and teach. Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”
Let’s zoom-in on verse 13, “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” Take note of those three commands, ‘reading, exhortation, and to doctrine.’ The word ‘reading’ comes from the Greek word ‘anagnōsis’ (ἀνάγνωσις), which also means the act of the public reading of Scripture.
This word reading is used three times in the N.T. Here in 1st Tim 4:13, in Acts 13:15, and in 2nd Cor. 3:14. Therefore open-air preachers play a significant role in verse 13b -the public reading of the Scriptures. A local church that does not obey all three commands, is not a Biblical church.
Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Have you forsaken your own hometown – your Jerusalem?
“Do you want to go to heaven alone? I fear you will never go there. Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.” Charles Spurgeon
Pray how the Lord will use you in the missions field. “If the Christian is truly obedient to the Great Commission, he will give his life to go down into the well or to hold the rope for those who go down. Either way, the rope will be burned into his hands. The depth of the scars will determine the extent of the obedience. Have you surrendered your life to go to the lost peoples of the world, or have you surrendered your life to support those who go? What has the Great Commission cost you? Where are your scars?” Paul Washer – HeartCry Missionary Society
The Lords ‘Great Commission’ is, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
As Paul said, “and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:19-20
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:14-17
“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~ President Theodore Roosevelt
“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 meetinghouse.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon
Below are some great articles that give a Biblical explanation and application, to the Biblical calling of Open-Air preaching.
- A 70-slide, two-hour PowerPoint presentation I gave to my churches evangelism team
- Open-Air Preaching – A sketch of its history and remarks thereon, by Charles H. Spurgeon
- Biblical examples of street preaching, by CARM
- Street Preaching: The Public Proclamation of the Gospel , by Repent America
- Video of “The Last Call,” a MUST SEE prolific open-air preaching video, and how the Gospel change this mans life forever – just before he died
- The fallacy of taking Matthew 12:19 out of context; Jesus never opposed open-air street preaching
- Here is a compilation of some case laws, that are very helpful and applicable to open-air preachers, pro-life sidewalk counselors, as well as handing out tracts / literature, ect
- What is friendship evangelism?, by Got Questions.org
Bill preaching the whole counsel of the Word of God to large high school crowds
Bill preaching a message on Gods goodness, His judgment, His wrath, & the way of salvation @ the SSA office in San Bernardino
Bill open-air preaching a sermon on ‘Just as in the days of Noah,’ in Hollywood