Unreached People in Your City

You don’t have to go halfway around the world to find “unreached people groups”; they are right in your city. The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most spiritually needy, neglected mission fields in America. This is not exactly the place where many American missionaries and evangelists want to come though. My prayer is that God would raise up more laborers from His church that already resides here among the 7.4 million people. Here are a few urban “unreached people groups” that the Lord has put on my heart. How many more do you see in your city?

-High school students. Most have been raised by secular parents in our pagan culture and in the Humanistic-Relativistic-Nihilistic-New Age government school system. They have never heard any Truth from God’s Word much less the Gospel. I also must include here, churched kids who attend ‘fun and entertainment’ oriented modern Evangelical churches or ecumenical Liberal churches that do not believe or teach the Bible. These kids go to church but they have not heard the Gospel.

-The hidden, forgotten and “unwanted” ones: the homeless people who live out of shopping carts, in cardboard boxes, and under the freeways and city streets. They suffer from a myriad of spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, medical and economic problems. They need our love and care. But more than clothes, food and health care, they need Jesus the Deliverer.

-Runaway street teens who have left home, school and parents to wander the urban jungle.

-People from all the nations; for the world has come to us. America’s cities are some of the world’s most strategic mission fields in the world since they are destinations for people from all over the globe, including the world’s most closed and dangerous countries. It is so exciting to meet a businessperson, professional or university student who has come from some closed nation on the other side of the earth. Every day I see dozens of new people from Mexico, Central America, India, China, North Africa and the Middle East. No airplane ticket or visa necessary to go to them! You can bring the Gospel to the unreached Internationals in your city.

The Action is on the Front Lines

Here is a mini- report from our week long street evangelism outreach here in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was an action packed week as about 30 believers worked together for 9 days to publicly preach the Gospel, read the Bible out loud in public, distribute Gospel literature and speak to people one on one about the Good News.

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As Barry proclaimed the Word of God out loud, Jessi and I prayed and listened for who was responding. This man made a comment as we passed by. Soon we were engaged in a conversation with this man who was steeped in New Age doctrine, yet open to hearing the Truth of the Bible. The Word of God came against the spiritual strongholds as Hope and Truth were poured out to him.

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This was the scene seconds before a big angry man came and shut us down. Frank was humbly, lovingly and boldly preaching the Gospel when a man reacted spiritually to the Word of God and flew into a rage of hate against the Lord and His people. God let us experience, live and in color, Matt.10:16 & 22 as the man screamed out every curse he could think of against us. I was encouraged by Frank’s loving and humble response. This event was a gift from the Lord; He was teaching us to be sheep before the shearers and lambs among wolves, as He poured out strength and courage to us by His Spirit.

DSC01539Elieso said he had never read the Bible or heard the Gospel. When we handed him this Bible, he stood there reading it for half an hour while the preaching continued.

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Denis was visiting from Brazil. Though his first language is Portuguese, we were able to have a good conversation in English. He was drawn to come over when he heard the band play a worship song he recognized. He had a “church tradition” background, but never heard the Gospel. He very much desired to hear the entire Gospel and said he would read the Bible in his language when he got home.

Lindsay was doing a video interview for her high school Art class when I met her in Berkeley. In God’s providence, all herDSC01564 interview questions about “Art” could be answered with testimony about God the Creator, Who created everything that humans portray when we make our own “art”. She asked me what my favorite kind of art is and I answered poetry because I like creatively arranged words. So I was able to share the Gospel with her (and her class) right on videotape concerning the Word Who became flesh and dwelt among us. I spoke of how God revealed Himself to us through Creation, through the Scriptures, and in Jesus. I gave her a copy of the Gospel in poetry form. A few days later I bumped into her again and was able to get this picture with her.

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Witnessing on the bus! We began our conversation at the bus stop and continued on the long bus ride. She went home from work with the Gospel in her backpack.

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These sweet girls were out witnessing with their church! Jessi and I let them practice on us, then we had a mini discipleship session while helping them discern and know the difference between the
true Gospel message, and the clichés that are commonly used in modern evangelism.

Sky preached and witnessed to many people.
Sky preached and witnessed to many people.

At the park, there was a dozen guys from several Central and South American countries sitting on the grass. I sat down with them and just started a conversation, at first in my limited Spanish. Finding out there were at least half of them who understood English, I just started talking with them about God, my testimony, and the Gospel. The amazing thing is that there were about two of them who were really listening intently and asking questions. They received Gospel tracts and Bibles in their language. Right when I was finished speaking of Christ to them, another group of men came and invited them to a game of soccer. One stayed behind to read his Spanish Gospel tract.

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If you are preaching the Gospel, witnessing, distributing the Word of God, teaching others the Bible, discipling others to follow Jesus or training believers to do any of these things, you are on the front lines. This is where the action is. This is where things are happening in the supernatural realm. This is where God is working in the lives of people, through His Word, by His Spirit. Don’t just hang back in the pews; get in on the action!

Encouragement for Evangelism

“We wouldn’t want to go out on the streets or knock on doors or anything! Nooooooo! Hahaha!”

Hundreds of people laughed nervously back in response to this, and in apparent agreement to what was just said. The announcement man continued, “We want to grow to 5000, as part of our ‘Vision 2010’. We want you bring in as many people as possible. Even through the back door if necessary.”

Sitting there, with everyone laughing at the unacceptable behavior witnessing “out on the street”, I felt so embarrassed and ashamed. I felt like a freak. Witnessing publicly to family, neighbors, and people I met in the community was a normal part of my life. Not just a habit. A longing, a desire, a burden. Now this church leader was shaming such “embarrassing” behavior, in favor of the marketing formula for church growth success.

Going out into all the world with the gospel is how the church has grown for 2000 years. That’s what Jesus had His disciples do. That’s what the church did in the book of Acts. And that’s what missions is all about.

When the announcement for Vision 2010 was first given, it was declared that part of the plan would be that by 2010, our church would start a new church somewhere on the Peninsula. I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to participate! That meant that the people would be trained in evangelism, we would pray to the Lord of the Harvest to fill us with His Spirit and give us boldness and compassion for the lost, and we would all be sent out into our community to bring the gospel to those who have not heard it….. right? And then we would gather the new believers into a new body, appoint pastor and elders, then disciple and teach the new believers everything that God has commanded in His Word….. right? Wrong.

When it came time to start the new church, the church leaders would go to a “how to start a church” seminar where they would learn how to start a church via experts in the church growth movement. They would be implementing corporate/business marketing and management methods. So the plan was to build the church themselves, by the wisdom and power of man. I kept thinking, “But Jesus said, ‘I will build My church.'”

This ordinary laborer was very discouraged by all this. Was I a freak? Was I alone? Was I completely un-hip to modern Evangelical trends? (No, no, and yes.) What about all those Bible verses about us going with the gospel to the lost and dying world? The Lord kindly provided a handful of dear saints for encouragement. Over time, I’ve met many evangelists and gospel laborers in who have a biblical view of the command to go out into the world with the gospel.

I’d like to feature here a few other evangelism sites which have witnessing stories, biblical training, encouragement and fellowship. This is just a sampling of the many brothers and sisters who want to encourage you in witnessing out in your world. Know that you are not a freak, you are not alone, and that biblical evangelism is nothing to be ashamed of.

SOS Ministries. Larry, Eric, Loi, May and Big Larry, along with other Christians from around the Bay, go out almost every Friday night and Saturday to San Francisco and Berkeley to openly share the gospel using literature distribution, music, one on one conversations, testimonies, and open air preaching. Each summer they host a week long outreach to the people of San Francisco, especially tourists. You are invited to join them!

Way of the Master Radio. Ray, Todd and Kirk, along with many friends and staff members, go out on the streets of SoCal to open air and have one on one conversations. Many of these conversations are live on the air via phone and broadcast on the WOTM Radio show program. Learn by listening. Check them out!

The Word on the Streets. Richard teaches about evangelism and posts his witnessing stories where he brings the gospel to people out on the streets in Oregon. Read his accounts for encouragement!

Street Fishing. Robert lives in Arizona and wants to equip and encourage you for reaching those around you, effectively and biblically. He’s got witnessing stories, photos, video, and audios. “Adventures in urban evangelism”. Check him out!

Lighting the Way. Dwayna and friends are full time ministering down in SoCal (and New York) focusing on reaching everyone possible, especially those involved in the New Age/occult. They provide the gospel and apologetic answers through books and conversations. Get ideas!

Evangelism Action. Daniel in Australia wants to train and inspire you to be a laborer in the harvest, sharing the biblical gospel. Get it out there!

Fish with Trish. I just found this one recently. Trish works with Way of the Master and spends time out on the streets, presenting the gospel to just about anyone!

The Reformed Evangelist. Paul and Jeff have a fantastic site where they post theological articles, witnessing encounters, and matters of practical evangelism. They blog to attest that those with the Reformed view of salvation not only do evangelism, but make good evangelists. They have a new BlogTalkRadio podcast, with seven episodes so far. Highly recommended! Great stuff, check them out!