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Preaching the Gospel in the streets!


Jun 20, 2005 - “The only reason this church is not growing is because you’re not preaching the Gospel in the streets!”

That’s what we heard a Christian say recently to an elder of the church.  Is it that simplistic?  Is he too candid?“In the streets?” you may ask.  “In this country?  Today?  That’s not cool!  What church would do that?  American Christians wouldn’t do that.  Not in America.  And it won’t work anyway.  Will it?”God said it would (Psalm 51:13).  A few years ago we in this ministry considered it.  And we learned He was right.  God was right!  You see, we went to the streets.  And we learned when we cooperate with God, churches grow!  “Where should I go to find a contact,” asked a concerned preacher at breakfast.  We were sitting, talking about evangelism.  We were passing through on our way out west.  We left him and drove immediately to an RV sales lot.  We walked in the front door; a lady asked, “May I help you?”  We responded simply, “Parts?”  She pointed in the right direction, and we picked up our pace.  She then stepped behind us and, seeing our We Care Ministries motif on our jacket, she said, “We Care Ministries.  What’s that?”  We did a 180-degree turn.  “Well,” we responded, “we are a ministry going around the country, asking our neighbors a certain question.  “What if the Lord were to come right now; would you know for sure, nothing doubting, you would go to Heaven?”  And from there, we presented to her the Gospel of Jesus, right there on the showroom floor!Where should you go to find a contact?  How about the street!  Or anywhere else that there are people!  It is to be proclaimed on the housetops Jesus says (Luke 12:3)!  So, in this ministry we are today stopping people on the Wal-Mart parking lots.  At restaurants.  In their carports.  We are hailing people walking across Church of Christ properties!  On Tuesday mornings.  On Thursday afternoons.  We are greeting people up and down sidewalks.  At their doors!  And, as the Lord said would happen, we find it is happening; churches are growing!  We went to the community in one place and the Lord blessed us, where we conducted 66 studies and baptized 33 of them into Christ. People off the street.  People are obeying and people are staying faithful!We hear reports of our churches in the USA closing their doors and selling their buildings, as many as a hundred in one state since 1980.  We are finding among us church buildings whose baptisteries are used as storage bins, containing marking boards, tables, chairs.  Does that say it has been so long since some of our churches have been evangelistic in this country that we the members have forgotten that people all around us are dead in sin and are lost eternally without Christ?  Does it say we have forgotten that when it comes to eternal life, why, people are interested?  Have we forgotten how to reach them!  Even that it is our job to reach them?  Have we forgotten where to go to find a contact?  And what to say?  And how to say it?  How to confront them?  How to present the Gospel to them?  Have we become so proud, … maybe selfish, … certainly busy … and lazy that we think it fanatic, out of style, silly, whatever, so much so that we wouldn’t dare proclaim it from the housetops?  Or “preach the Gospel in the streets?”Maybe we should repent.  Maybe?  Maybe our love is tested here.  Maybe we should fall in love with the Lord!  Really fall in love.  For when we do that, we will seek, earnestly seek to give Him what He wants. 

It is to the streets we are to go (Mark 16:15-16)!  After all, may we remember Jesus went to the streets.  And may we remember why (John 3:16-17)!  When we remember that, it may, it just may take us again to the streets.