Please read and be encouraged by this guest post by Joe Conkle from Mansfield, OH. He raises the interesting question – When you say you are afraid of open air preaching (or any type of service to the Lord), maybe your problem isn’t fear, but pride…see what you think.
I attended the Kentucky Derby outreach through Sport Fan outreach International May 3rd and 4th this past weekend. This was not my first evangelism event with www.sfoi.org (I’ve attended other evangelism opportunities through other groups), but this will probably be my most memorable since I open air preached several times. I had publicly read scripture while attending the Jersey Fire in 2012 at the urging of Bill Adams who was my team leader for the day; yet I still lacked courage and confidence to give a public proclamation of the Gospel.
My rationality to not open air preach in the past was to convince myself that “some people are gifted in that area, and I’m not one of them” or “there are several great open air preachers with the group and I will just make the group look bad”.
While it may be true that some people are not gifted in that area, that did not apply to me!
I’ve shared the Gospel one on one several times before and thought this was ” my gifting” or “my thing I do” instead of open air preaching.
Most of us who share our faith have studied “The School of Biblical Evangelism” through Living Waters, or watched several hours worth of YouTube videos of Ray Comfort and many others sharing their faith and open air preaching; we’ve read scripture, and we have confidence enough doing it one on one, but doing the same thing elevated 12 inches off the ground to a crowd is completely out of the question!? If that is your opinion, than it may be the sin of “PRIDE” that you will have to repent of. I know in my case it was!
If you are scared of facing hecklers, others in the group will step in and address their questions so you can continue to proclaim the Gospel. Sometimes I believe it is the intent of hecklers to stop the preaching of the Gospel and that’s why they interrupt. Veteran preachers like Tony Miano loves hecklers, while Bill Adams will not allow them to interrupt the preaching of the Gospel. Whatever fits your style or confidence level, there are several other evangelist who will help you, and there is no competition among these godly men and women. Just the burning desire to fulfill the Great Commission.
In closing, if you haven’t open air preached before, or even read scripture aloud, I urge you to examine yourself, and encourage you to “Go, Stand, Speak”!