Monday, June 25, 2012

Is Open-Air Preaching Effective? Ask Azusa

Pictured above is Richard Peskett, talking to a young man named Azusa. Richard and his wife, Telda, are from the United Kingdom. They are in the United States while Richard attends The Master's Seminary.

Richard and Telda joined us, for the first time, at the North Hollywood Metro Station, on Saturday. They proved to be a wonderful addition to the team. I'm hard-pressed to think of another couple with whom I've served on the streets who engaged more people in conversation, in a three-hour period of time, than Richard and Telda. It was so encouraging to periodically scan the area and, in almost every instance, see Richard and Telda talking to someone.

Richard also open-air preached. Needless to say the distinctive British accent was an attention-getter. That aside, Richard preached with a combination of passion and compassion, firmness and gentleness that made me want to listen. And his presentation of the law and the gospel was spot on.

There were four of us who open-air preached, Saturday morning. And, between the four of us, we preached for more than two hours.

When we weren't open-air preaching we engaged people in conversation and distributed tracts, along with the rest of the team. One of Richard's conversations was with Azusa (pictured above). Richard talked to Azusa for some time, until Azusa had to catch a bus.

Azusa's initial opposition to the message was quickly and decisively overcome by the truth of God's Word. In Richard's estimation, Azusa seemed deeply convicted by the law and understood the gospel of God's amazing grace.

Open-air preaching is one of the best springboards into conversations with strangers. A simple question like, "What do you think about what the preacher is saying?" and you are in an unforced, natural conversation. The fact that open-air preaching is taking place in the area makes conversations with strangers very reasonable to the stranger.

Is open-air preaching effective? Ask Azusa.