"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a
trumpet, and shew my people their transgression ...... Isaiah 58:1
"Men ought always to pray, and not to faint." This
verse was written especially for street preachers, and you'll claim it
when you face the street.
Here is a list of prayer requests to be made prior to your street
for power and filling of the Holy Spirit
for rapport with the people
for exaltation of Jesus and His word
for the fear of God to fall on the area of ministry
for the blood of Jesus to cleanse the area
for decrease of self, crucifixion of the flesh, and
for salvation of souls
for strengthening of weak Christians
for protection from police or physical harm
Have several short verses memorized on the subject you
intend to preach. I do not recommend notes. Make your notes in your head
as much as possible. A street preacher must learn to be "instant in season
and out of season." He must learn to think on his feet and not to be
easily distracted. In actually preparing your message, meditate on the few
memorized verses and on the brief comments that will compliment the
scripture. Three points and a poem just won't do on the street. Most of
the time, you have less than one minute to preach to any person as they
pass from store to store or office to office. Parks and outside lunch
areas or other similar situations might be an exception. Ninety percent of
your street messages will typically be on salvation. There may be times
when a different subject would be in order — such as a demonstration, or
gathering of queers, or anti-capital punishment proponents, or other Bible
issues. Prepare your own heart with confession and praise.
Finding a place to preach is usually not too difficult
if you really want to. Night hours will complicate the problem as well as
extremely small towns. The element most important is people. Find a place
where people gather. Bus stops, parks, flea markets, unemployment lines,
college registration lines, box offices for sports, fairs, carnivals,
parades, fireworks displays, lunch hour traffic, beaches (careful), public
schools (before and after school), miniature golf courses, and college
campuses to name a few good examples. If possible, get a float in the
parade and preach. Do it with some class, though. Decorate and adjust your
message to the theme of the parade.
Search your heart and find out what you want to
project. This will determine your appearance, your message, your attitude,
your rapport, and your result.
After eighteen years of street work, I came to Cleveland, Ohio, for yet
another street meeting. We found a parking space, prayed, and carried
equipment to where it was needed. We sang, preached, passed tracts, dealt
personally with folks, packed up, came back to the car, prayed, and drove
What was wrong with that? No one got saved, but then that happens often.
The real problem was that I really didn't expect anyone to get saved. I
had done this so often that I had become too mechanical. I didn't expect
the fear of God to come down on that area where we were preaching, and it
Don't ever make that mistake. Preach expecting the Lord to move in a
mighty way, so that when He does, you'll not be shocked.
Street preaching is the single most physically
vulnerable ministry that I know of. It is imperative to depend one hundred
percent on the Lord, and yet there are a few rules of protection. Jesus
sent His disciples out two by two, and He certainly knew what He was
doing. One preaches and the other looks for obstacles or distractions
which may hinder that preaching.
Positioning yourself with your back against, or almost against, a building
is beneficial both for protection and as an aid to projection. While
preaching in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, I found a hollowed out little
concave platform made into the side of the Post Office. It was four feet
above the sidewalk and just big enough for me. Best of all, it faced Canal
Street, where thousands of partiers were passing. I nearly preached myself
to death standing there safe and sound, my voice projecting at its
If women and children are part of your army on the street, be sure to
always keep them in view.
I do not advise carrying any weapon or even mace on the street. I wonder,
if Steven would have used mace or a .45, how it would have altered church
Stand straight and tall, drawing yourself up to your
full stature. Cup one hand or hold a Bible to your mouth as a megaphone.
Reach way, way down inside and grab your diaphragm (stomach muscle) and
push inspired air over your vocal chords. Don't allow your voice to be
gravelled or ragged. Quit before that happens. Your vocal chords are
simply a muscle that can either be built up to strength, or torn and
weakened if abused. Much like a body builder works out, the vocal chords
should be built by strong, but not too long, repetitions with appropriate
The preaching should be aimed toward buildings or people at least a block
away. The words should be preached extremely slowly with as low a pitch as
possible. Simulate artillery shells being lobbed at a target three hundred
yards away, as you aim your words down the street.
The ideal situation is to find a location that is to some degree elevated
above the people you are preaching to. If the situation is such that you
must preach extremely close to the hearers, be sure to project your voice
at a forty-five degree angle and not directly into the crowd.
Music is an extremely valuable asset on the street.
Assuming it is the right kind and is done in the right manner, music
builds an instant rapport and sets the hearers up for the message.
An instrument of almost any kind can be used. Some are better than others.
Guitars do not project well and have some bad associations. Trumpets are
difficuit to sing to, but are attention getters. Abrass band would be
great, but not many of us have ready access to them. The best instrument
that I have found is an accordion. Everyone has a good remembrance
associated with an accordion, and it projects well and is good to sing
with. Get as many people singing as you can. Several songs are in order
before the preaching commences. Old familiar songs, such as "Power in the
Blood," "Saved, Saved," "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder," and other
songs that project well are the best. You'll notice people as they
subconsciously mouth the words to those familiar songs which they learned
in Sunday School twenty years ago — even if they have never been back to
Every street meeting should begin and end with prayer.
Pray, thanking the Lord for the following:
the privilege to preach His word
the power of the Holy Spirit
the rapport with the people
the strength you received
the protection He provided
the witness that was given
the souls that were saved
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