Go For It: Open Air Preaching

You have been desiring and longing to open air preach for years- but have yet to “break the sound barrier”. Here’s some ideas for your encouragement.

Find a friend or two you can work with; someone who can pray for you and encourage you.

Spend time in prayer beforehand. It is not you, it is the Holy Spirit in you, Who is the witness.

Consider how Jesus witnessed: He helped proud, self-righteous people see their need for a savior, by helping them see that they had sinned before a holy and just God. To humble people who were already convicted of their sin, He revealed Himself as the source of grace, mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation to God. In other words, He gave the Law of God, which reveals our sinfulness, to the proud, and He gave Grace (the message of the cross and God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus) to the humble. You can use this “Law and Grace” idea as your basic outline, as you prepare your gospel message.

Write down your message as an outline, or even write it all out completely. You can read it word for word from the paper. Can’t think of a message to write? You can read a tract aloud, or read a passage from the Bible.

Humble yourself, because it does not matter how old you are, what you sound like, or how well you can speak. Trust God; He wants to use you to bring His message to those who need to hear.

Here is a wonderful story from The Lawman Chronicles, of one person’s first time open air. Tony Miano writes:

The important thing is not how polished the preacher looks or sounds. The power of the message is in the message itself; and the most important thing the preacher brings to the message is faith and obedience–not humor, an extensive vocabulary, or eloquence.

1 Year

Hey it’s the one year anniversary of Witnessing Encouragement! To celebrate, I’d like to review some resources, teaching and ideas featured on this site to help you become equipped to biblically share your faith. Get trained, and then teach others!

And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. 2Tim.2:2.

Read The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, by Mark Dever.

Read The Way of the Master, by Ray Comfort.

Read One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven, by Mark Cahill

Learn about how the Law and Grace work together in Biblical evangelism.

Study to learn what the Biblical gospel is, in order to communicate it.

More on knowing what the gospel is, so we can witness.

Understand the difference between modern evangelism and Biblical evangelism.

Understand that Biblical evangelism always uses words. 

Understand the issue of Postmodernism and the gospel.

Understand the issue of the Emergent/Emerging church and the gospel.

Learn why we must be “direct” when witnessing, as well as “relational”.

Consider the many different ways to witness.

Check out Way of the Master ministries, which trains and equips believers in how to share your faith. They have audios and videos online to get you started.

Here’s one example of a basic gospel message:
Audio: THE GOSPEL, or Click here or here for high quality audios of this message for burning your own “audio gospel tracts” to give out.

The Gospel & Personal Evangelism

by Mark Dever. I enjoyed this straightforward basic overview of an often misunderstood topic. We need a proper understanding of, as well as much encouragement in this most important task of the church. Dever’s book delivers. Biblical, practical, helpful, encouraging, honest and short, Dever addresses questions such as,

-Why don’t we evangelize?
-Who should evangelize?
-How should we evangelize?
-Why should we evangelize?
-What should we do after we evangelize?
-And of course, What is the gospel?

Dever concludes with sharing why we do not need to be concerned with “closing the sale”.

The chapter, What Isn’t Evangelism, mentions several things that are not evangelism at all:

-‘Imposition’ on others
-Personal testimony
-Social action and community involvement (“To be evangelism, the gospel must be clearly communicated, whether in written or oral form.” p.75)
-Apologetics, and
-The results of evangelism.

For this last point, Dever contrasts evangelism, which is simply the telling of the gospel message, with the fruit (or results) of evangelism, which is the conversion of unbelievers. In other words, evangelism is not counting numbers (or ‘decisions’) of those we think have converted, but, to quote John Stott, “simply to announce the good news, irrespective of the results.” Dever states, “…evangelism is not defined in terms of results but only in terms of faithfulness to the message preached.”p. 79, and “Understanding this increases evangelism as it moves from being a guilt-driven burden to a joyful privilege.” p. 82.

In the chapter, “What is the gospel?” Dever uses several popular messages (God is love, Jesus wants to be our friend, we should live right) that are not the gospel, to provide the framework for explaining the true gospel message. I think there could have been a bit more on using the Law for an awareness of the holiness of God and of personal sin against God, for the convicting of the conscience, which can lead to repentance. (This is the part that is communicated before the “good news” message of the gospel.)

In all, this is a quick and easy book to read if you would like a concise introduction to basic information on personal evangelism, if you need a refresher or just some long overdue encouragement to continue on in the harvest field, ministering the gospel. Dever says his prayer is that “because of the time spent reading this book, more people will hear the good news of Jesus Christ.” p.16.

The Gospel & Personal Evangelism, by Mark Dever

For more in depth teaching and training in biblical evangelism, I highly recommend

The Way of the Master, by Ray Comfort