2. Provides for the church, gospel, and Jesus Christ to have a real public presence. It seems today you can pretty much find everything on the streets today minus the Gospel. You can sadly find: drugs, sex, violence, etc. but you would be hard-pressed to find any gospel witness there. This is a sad reality when you consider that Jesus’ Lordship was never to be contained within the four walls of a church facility. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Jesus).” (Matthew 28:18)
3. Provides teaching opportunities for the family. I recently took the gospel to the streets. In the process, both my 5 (boy) and 3 (girl) year old were filled with curiosity and questions concerning what exactly I was doing and hoping to accomplish. When I explained to them I could tell my eldest was filled a new profound respect and admiration for his “brave” dad. And my daughter learned more about what kind of man she wants to marry. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk with them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deut. 6:7)
4. It is consistent with the practice of the historical and early church. Many today think that the early church did street preaching and only because it was the common practice to run around the streets and teach religion. This is an exaggeration and too broad a stroke to understand the ancient world of Rome. The reality is that it was a strange thing for common people not sent by a known and recognized ruler to preach and teach a new religion. Also, street preaching was not unique to the early church. Street preaching has been the practice in the midst of every known revival in church history from the reformation, great awakening, etc. “Go (or, as you are going) therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
5. It is sanctifying for those who participate. Every opportunity I have to truly speak the gospel out of my mouth to an unbeliever is a tremendously powerful event to my faith and always an encouragement to the heart. If you haven’t tried it, it is hard to understand this, I’m sure. But whenever I tell someone the gospel it seems more shocking. The fact that I believe there was a Jewish man who was and is truly God and that He was born of a virgin Mary, never sinned once and yet died for sins according to the Scriptures. That this crucified Jesus actually rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and took His seat upon His heavenly throne. And lastly, that this Jesus is bodily and visibly coming back from heaven to earth to raise His blood bought people with incorruptible sinless bodies and to judge everyone who rejects this message in an eternal lake of fire, is truly a remarkable truth that somehow loses its awe factor when stifled to remain only in the church and if your lucky the home. “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.” (Philemon 6)
6. Protects the church from spiritual decline. When evangelism on the streets is neglected it either gets dropped altogether or replaces the worship time intended for the assembly of God’s people. In either case the church is in a spiritual decline. You either neglect a clear charge from our Savior and are therefore in sin or you end up unchurching the church in hopes of appealing to a lost crowd. It is a known fact that across all denominations doctrine and catechizing is on a decline within the body of believers. What do all denominations share in common, a neglected street preaching ministry.
7. Provides real life experiences to affirm Scriptures that seem distant to American Christianity. When Paul tells Timothy that “all who desire a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12) many have a hard time understanding how that may be true in their life. When Jesus tells His disciples that the world will hate them for His name sake and that his followers will suffer for the gospel, many struggle with whether this is only true in other countries. You know, those entrenched Muslim ones. But the qualifications of “all” and “the world” remove those barriers used to excuse the apparent non-existent suffering of many in American Christians. Secondly, it reveals the true animosity that is present between the seed of woman and the seed of the serpent. (Genesis 3:15)
8. Provides clarity to where our confidence is. When “foolish” (1 Cor. 1:17-18) means are employed it exposes all the things we have been putting our trust in. Do we believe that “Salvation belongs to the LORD”(Jonah 2:9) or that salvation belongs to programs, great music, facilities, engaging speakers, etc.? “The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in His steadfast love.” (Psalm 33:16-18; see also 147:10-11)
9. Gives opportunity for training and equipping aspiring elders. There are few training grounds more effective in my mind for equipping future elders than evangelism in the streets. Our churches in America are starving for brave, strong, courageous, men leading. Our culture has largely feminized manhood and that has transferred over into the office of the pastorate. It is a shame. Where are the; Luthers, Zwinglis, Calvins, Athanasius, Whitefields, Wesleys who are willing to do what God’s word says and not needing man’s praise to move forward in obedience? Having men meet confrontation in the face with boldness is a great training camp for refining future elders to lead Christ’ church into holiness. “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
10. Church growth. Believe it or not but people get saved. I have met people in my life who have told me that they were saved through someone preaching the gospel in the streets. In an age where most churches experience church growth in numbers largely through the transfer of already existent sheep leaving one local church for another, when are people who were previously not going to church getting saved? This is real church growth isn’t it? When people who were formerly not part of the Church are now saved and have therefore joined a local church. I ask you, where are the people who don’t go to church at? That’s right, they are out and about on the streets. So where should we go with the gospel? Does it not make plain and simple sense that in order to proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all creation we should be proclaiming His gospel in and outside the church? “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold, I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice so there will be one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:16)
May God grant and raise up a hundred fold more men to proclaim His great message through His church for every generation!