Basic Battle Training
Chapter 8: Principals of Battle
Biblical, outdoor, public preaching is a battle for the supremacy of Christ and the Gospel. It is also a warfare directly confronting specific events or groups targeted because of their sin and evil nature. Finally, it is often the only way to directly influence the culture of God’s people: The Church
A number of years ago we were encouraged when 25,000 believers marched in protest on Universal Studios when "The Last Temptation of Christ" was released. Visualize the same response of believers showing up to protest the sin and evil at the annual Academy Awards, or at the Emmys (TV), or the yearly Sodomite Parades that dot our land or, as they once did, in active protest of the continued crime of abortion.
In western culture public proclamation of God’s Word and mind can be done in virtually any circumstance: Sporting events, Conventions, Parades, Festivals, Holliday events, etc., etc. For young people, College free speech areas offer a great "Mars Hill" environment in which to influence the minds of the next generation.
So then open air preaching is:
- The ideal vehicle with which to reach those who have never heard The Gospel (2 Cor. 10:16),
- The most obvious way to present the Kingdom of God in open rebuke of sin (Eph. 5:11; Prov. 28:4),
- The most Biblical way to "exhort the brethren " (Jer. 7:2; John 7:37; Matt. 23).
So what exactly are you getting into with this type of ministry? Biblical preaching is the truest form of "front line work" that a follower of Jesus Christ can engage in. An open-air preacher is the point man representing God's mind to all things of the world. As such open-air preachers can be attacked, beaten or jailed. This is not a pastime for those seeking popularity.
In this ministry, there will probably be little or no earthly recognition or reward for your work. A Biblical open-air preacher can also see little fruit as a result of his labor in spreading the seed. In this he is in good company: Noah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and other Biblical preachers proclaimed their message for years (in Noah’s case 120!!) without one convert! This ministry will probably also receive little or no tangible support. A faithful street preacher will typically be both spiritually and financially self-supporting (Phil. 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:16)
Open air preaching requires faith and fortitude most lack, not all are suited for this work. Also, due to the time and effort required, a single man is more advantaged in street preaching than one who is married (Matt. 19:12; 1 Cor. 7:32-33). But it is not necessary for one to be "noble, mighty or wise"... in fact God delights in developing those least obvious for this work (See: 1 Cor. 1:26; 1 Sam. 22:1-2).
Any who would undertake this mission must possess much faith and attachment to Biblical truth. He must also be willing to devote his life to a mission that many will severely criticize. He must have conviction that what he is doing is right, Biblical, and the best Biblical way. Only this will sustain him when he is opposed by his brethren, his pastor, the one who led him to the Lord, or even those who would label him as a "cult" or "divisive".
The open-air preacher must have a workmanlike knowledge of the Bible, the Kingdom of God and God's character (Deut. 28:63; Psalm 7:11). Public, confrontational, open air, Biblical street preaching requires men with a certain type of attitude, zeal and commitment. The street preacher must be courageous and bold, as he is often faced with opposition, sin and evil.
As you can see this type of ministry has a full description and some tough qualifications. As such, we realize that few will want to fulfill it.
The knowledge and faith required to do this work are only built by means of diligent personal Bible study. Reading books about the Bible will not do it. You need something that you personally have researched and will stand up under criticism. There are many doctrines that an open-air preacher will need to know to face this criticism. Christianity, like the Jews of Christ’s time, is heavily influenced by tradition and overt error. You will need Biblical sections on:
- STREET PREACHING
- REBUKING AND REPROVING
- RESPONSES TO YOUR METHOD (USUALLY BAD)
- REAL FRUIT
- HELL AND JUDGMENT
- THE WRATH OF GOD
- JUDGMENT DAY
- GOD HATING OF SINNERS AND THE SIN (Psalm 5:5, etc.)
- SINGLE FOR GOD
There are also many subjects in the Bible that come up while preaching on social and political issues.
- CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
- POLITICAL MOVEMENTS
- RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
- STRONG MILITARY
Along with these, you will need verses and information to use with such issues as:
- HARE KRISHNA'S
- JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Note: It is possible to research and learn all this without the aid and encouragement of other brothers, but it is much more difficult. The best situation is to associate with those who have the knowledge, experience and a track record of faithfulness. These brothers are few and far between, but God is able to fulfill this requirement as you seek Him.
Open air preaching is a tremendous opportunity and service. It is a great source of blessing for those who have what it takes to prepare for, commit and stick to it through opposition and even persecution. As we have pointed out, this ministry is not for those who seek acceptance and popularity on earth, but it is for those who know the promise of His reward, and eternal wisdom of “laying up treasure in Heaven (Matthew 6: 19-20).
For more information and connection with others in this ministry the Internet has become an extremely valuable tool.
Note: To send this chapter to a friend click "File" and select "Send link by e-mail".
Return to Table of Contents