“No. The truth is, preaching anywhere is not an easy task. But, even though it’s difficult, the rewards are incredible.”
“When you find a public place, I would say that just about any city in Europe, you have freedom of speech, but every country is going to have to find out wether or not in their city public expression is legal; in all of Spain, in every public area, we can do open-air preaching and it’s legal.”
“A bad night of evangelism, I don’t think exists. Now, it depends on how you look at it. Because if you look at it with your physical eyes, you say “not that many people stopped” or “I didn’t have many good conversations” and then you go home saying “that was a bad night”. But if you look at it through the eyes of God, there is no such thing as a bad night, because just going out makes it a successful night. Just preaching the gospel makes it a successful night. Just being able to get the seed out into anybody’s heart, you don’t have a clue with what God’s going to do with that, so that makes it successful. So, we’ve changed our vocabulary. We never say that we’ve had a bad night of evangelism.”
“It’s incredible! You can talk about God and people stand around and listen. As soon as you start talking about Jesus, you know, people get all worked up, and yes, people flee, they run away. And I kind of, when I see that happen, in my heart I go “I wish they wouldn’t do that” because I want them to be saved. But on the other hand, it kind of filters out the audience, so that the people that are left, are the people that have good ground, and they are much easier to talk to afterwards. Otherwise, these people that get angry with Jesus, you end up just arguing with them.”
“We made a commitment several years ago that, no matter what the weather, we’re making a commitment to God, and to our team that we’re going to go out. If it’s raining we bring umbrellas, if it’s cold, we dress up warm. As long as there is going to be people on the street, we’re going to be there to meet them.”
Open air evangelism is a group of christians that are dedicated to fulfil the Great Commission, going out in to all the world and preaching the gospel, go out and evangelise open air, on the streets and in the parks.
Yes,they really do stop and listen. It’s really the oldest form of evangelism that there is. If you look at the Bible, you know, Jonah, Ezequiel, Isaiah, Jesus, the apostles. Almost all of the evangelism was done open air. And if you do it today, I’ve done it in several places here in Europe, people stop and listen.
First of all, we need to prepare ourselves spiritually, so we have a prayer house, a place where we pray, and for a couple of hours before we go to the streets, we pray, we pray the word, we sing the word, we intercede, we pray for God’s anointing on our lives. And secondly, when we get down to the street we have people that are prepared to do open air messages using objects, or to give their testimony, we train people to do one-on-one evangelism… and the preparation is basically simple: we pray and we have our message and then it’s just being faithful and going out on the streets.
Prayer and evangelism, they go together. You can’t do one without the other. And so, prayer is definitely one of the pillars, and especially when we are out on the street. We pray two hours be-fore we go on the street. But then we we are on the street, people take turns and they continue to intercede while we are there, for the people that are preaching, for the people that are doing their testimonies. We always have somebody in the background praying for them.
It doesn’t have to be a red box, but getting up higher than other people is a real advantage when you are doing evangelism in the open air. We use a box because, for one, on the inside we can store our tracts and our Bibles but also, when we stand up on top of it, it gets us head and shoulders above everybody else so they can see us better. Because we don’t use microphones when we preach, then our voice projects easier when we are up above their heads. And so just getting a little bit higher, is a greater advantage.
We started out with a beer crate. It doesn’t have to be red, but red is a color that’s very striking and when you say “Hey, those people are evangelising over there in the town square and they’re on the red box” You know, it’s just, it’s something that’s really kind of an exciting thing.
We’ve tried different areas for evangelism, not every place is ideal for open air evangelism. But first of all, if you find a place where there is a lot of people that are going by, like a pedestrian street. Second, if you can find a place where there is not a lot of cars, and a lot of construction noise, because we’re not using microphones and we want our voice to be able to be heard well. And thirdly, if you can find a place that’s acoustically acceptable for open air preaching, like if you have a building right in front of you, your voice goes out, comes back, and you don’t have to strain your voice when you preach.
We’re both preaching. But here is how it works: We, at least in Madrid, we find that in the square where we are doing evangelism, there’s a lot of truism tat goes through, a lot of people that don’t speak Spanish, and most of them do speak english, so that’s my translator. So the person on top of the box is preaching in Spanish and the person next to him is preaching in english. That way we can reach not only the parish speaking, but the english speaking. And we also noticed that more people stop and listen to us when we translate. We’ve done this in Sweden, and in the Check Republic, and Germany, and it’s just a good practice to do.
My goal is that the Holy Spirit would come down, on the street, and convict people of their sin. So it’s, communicate a pure gospel message that would allow people to have conviction of sin, that conviction leads them to repentance, that repentance can lead them to a genuine conversion. And that doesn’t happen every night, because you know, I can’t convert anybody, that’s the work of the Holy Spirit. But what I can do is challenge the people from where they are at and bring them one step closer to the cross and that’s my goal every night.
I understand that some open air preachers do have a bad reputation. And it’s usually their methodology or maybe they have a lack of compassion. I know what it takes to go out into the open-air and preach the gospel and it’s no small thing. So on one side, I say congratulations, at least you’re out, on the street and you’re communicating the gospel, though you may be able to improve your methods, I’m glad that they’re out there doing that.
I do. I think that God needs us, it’s a two way thing. God needs us and we need Him. The Bible says, “we are co labourers with Christ and how can they hear without a preacher?” And so, God just set it up that way, in other words, I believe that my part is small, but God’s not going to do it without my part. So my part, is just to go out there and present the gospel.
If you are going to have a good street message, on top of the red box, you have to have an evangelist that is full of God. But as far as the message is concerned, when I preach, and get on top of the red box, I start with an object that I’m going to use to illustrate my message and then I start with a story, and the story just kind of brings in the people. As I develop the story and I make the transition into spiritual things, I start developing what is the spiritual message, which is using the law of God, the ten commandments, so that people start feeling conviction for their sins. And once they start feeling conviction, I bring them through my story to the judgement of God and in that judgement, they become to feel desperate and “what am I going to do here, I am guilty” and they start looking for a Savior. And so then I present to them Jesus, and I present to them God’s love and his mercy and how he wants to forgive them. And if they would just repent of their sins, and turn to God, and place their faith in him, then He’ll be able to rescue them.
We love using objects! We have at least 80 objects that we use in our ministry and more objects come every month. For example, one of them I like is when I preach about the book, and this book is from 1812, I found it in Sweden, and I talk about how like everything we do, everything we say, everything we think, is written down in a book. And one day, God is going to open up our books, and he’s going to have to judge us according to what we have done and that Jesus is capable of erasing all of the sin that’s in there. People love this message. I like the one about the rattle snake. The rattle snake is about a guy who (it’s a true story) I tell a true story about a guy who caught a rattle snake and would kiss it. And one day he got bit, and his head swelled up and swelled up, and a lot of times we as people we’re dumb like that. We hang on to our sins and it’s just like playing with a rattle snake, and we get that poison of sin in our lives and it will end up killing us. So we use these objects so illustrate something about the gospel message.
Oh yes, she’s a great preacher, well, she’s not a great preacher, she helps us preach. The mannequin, one of the characteristics of this manikin is that she’s plastic on the outside, and she’s empty on the inside. And I say, that’s just like a lot of our lives, we’re plastic on the outside, we’re empty on the inside. And I say, wouldn’t it be wonderful if God could come down and fill up our emptiness, take away our falseness that’s on the outside, and give us spiritual life. And people love this, because she’s pretty and it’s really different, why do you have a manikin on the street?
When we do our school of evangelism, we have a big table, we put a bunch of objects on top it, and we’ll pull it out and we’ll say: “How do you think you can use this “ruler” in an evangelistic message?” And everyone will sit there and look at me and then, all of a sudden ideas start to flow. Sometimes God gives you inspiration in a moment. One time a saw a cigarette packet, it said “smoking kills”. And right then, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me and said, “You know, just like people don’t pay any attention to that warning, they don’t pay attention to my warnings either”. And I said “Oh, that was good”, and so I took it and I got a great big box of cigarettes and then I was ready to preach.
Probably “The Yoke”. The yoke message is about, this old ox yoke that I found in Southern Spain, and I get two volunteers, one plays this ox, and the other plays this one and talks about how always a stronger ox is put with a weaker ox. In our lives it’s like we’re yoked to things that are stronger than us, and we can’t break it, and to be free we need somebody stronger to come in and break the yoke. Of course that person is Jesus. So we love this one because a lot of people will stop, and it explains really well what the gospel message is.
Our voice is the instrument that God gave us in order to be able to preach the gospel. We have to be like a good singer. Taking voice lessons would really help, seriously, because what you need is to use the diaphragm, to project the voice without killing your vocal cords, and so, we take care of our voices, drink water, I try not to scream, because that make the throat burn.
I do, I do. I remember years ago, I would get sick, Physically sick, I’d get so nervous, that even though God’s called me to this, it can be scary stuff. Even though there are many rewards, I still get nervous. There are some things that I can do to kind of keep me from being nervous. And that is if I spend time in prayer and if I prepare my message well. That’ll help take away some of the nervousness. And really, nervousness isn’t so bad. Nervousness just shows me that I’m not trusting in myself, that I really have to trust in God.
I would just say, “get alone with God, get a word from God, and then go out to the street, get prayed up, get your object and just say: “you know what? I’m going to do this for Jesus.” Stand up, and proclaim that message. God will come and He’ll help you. Then you will feel as though God used you and perhaps you can talk to somebody afterwards. Then you will say: “this is worth it.”