Ringo Starr sang this song many years ago (I’ve revised it slightly).
What would you do if I preached out of tune, Would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ears and I’ll preach you the truth, And I’ll preach more than just “God loves thee.” Oh I get by with a little help from my friends, Mmm, I preach Christ with a little help from my friends, Mmm, I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.
Do you need anybody?
Richard Story is wheel chair-bound yet loves the lost so much, and is so concerned about their eternal destination, that he does not mind being helped by two faithful friends, Tony Miano and Brad Snow, so that he may preach the Gospel of Truth atop a step stool to the fans crowding the Superbowl last Sunday.
Do you need anybody?
We all need a little help from our friends to know how to accurately preach the bad news that all have sinned and will end up in Hell unless they repent and trust in Jesus Christ.
Do you need anybody?
Our ten week evangelism training called, “Sharing Your Faith…Made Easy,” based on “The Way of the Master,” starts Tuesday, February 12, , at Hope Chapel from 7-9pm. My faithful evangelism leader Ed Lee takes over the teaching duties this time around. The class and all materials are free! More details? Leave a comment.
NOTE TO READERS: This article from SermonCentral has been taken down from their site. Still, you can view the “controversial” video in question below this article.
SermonCentral bills itself as “…the world’s leader in sermon resources and research. We are dedicated to equipping pastors worldwide for excellence in preaching.”
Imagine my surprise when one of my videos was posted for discussion with this description:
There are crowds gathered in every city, every day. The question is: how to reach them?
Discussion Starter: Do you think street preaching is an effective way to get the Word out? Why or why not?
Twenty eight people commented (including me). Here are some of the comments:
“I wonder how many of the people walking by will think that he is from Westboro Baptist Church?”
“The world does not need a street preacher scaring them into thinking that they are going to hell. Most people who respond to that kind of gospel only go through the motions, because they are scared of going to hell. God wants people to trust Him because He is love and not because we think we would go to hell if we don’t trust Him. The world needs less street preachers telling them that their going to hell, and more preachers that live the truth.”
“Maybe we should ask William Booth (if he were still on earth) or The Salvation Army if street preaching is valid and if God blesses this ministry. The answer is yes! May God continue to bless those bold enough to proclaim the Gospel in public!”
I’d love to hear your opinions after watching the video yourself.
”Righteous” Richard Chavarria celebrated five years of preaching at the DMV last month—and I forgot to mention it! (He started on February 28, 2007.) During that time he has preached 511 times, spoken to 23,546 hearers and has handed out 29,817 Gospel tracts. (You can print off and memorize his message by clicking here: “Open Air Preaching Speech” )
Now, watch him in action from a video taken two years ago:
You never know what God has in store for you. After Richard retired from the City of L.A. he decided he was going to serve the Lord—by working in the parking ministry of Hope Chapel, Hermosa Beach. He wondered if that was all God had for him; after all, he had been a Christian for over 18 years.
Well, Lo! and Behold! He ended up taking the very first evangelism class that I taught in 2006. (more…)
I was almost caned by Charlie Chaplin on Hollywood Blvd. last Saturday…but I stood my ground!
If you share your faith every day sooner or later you are going to run into someone who does not appreciate your message. In the video below, a character on Hollywood Blvd. dressed as that old time silent movie icon was so irritated at my message that he threatened me two times with a cane beating on my head. Notice in the very first frame that Charlie pulled away suddenly when I pulled out my “Heckler Repellent,” that is, my Flip Video camera. (This is only to be used in the event of a potential violent act perpetrated on your person; otherwise you want a heckler to engage you. Also notice the Asian man standing in front of me. Tony Yuwas an alert “bodyguard” during these tense moments.)
Normally, I don’t single people people out in my open air messages, but since he was anonymous character I chose to use Charlie’s disgusted reactions as a springboard for my preaching. The point of this was to draw other people in to hear the message.
In this second video, a “Christian” gets drawn into the action. He starts to accost me by shouting that I’m an embarrassment until I train my video camera on him.
It sometimes gets a little rough on the Boulevard. One tourist didn’t pay a Catwoman character for a picture taken, Catwoman cussed her out, then the tourist punched her—all this happened while I was preaching!
Nevertheless, in the background there are always those people silently listening, quietly paying attention, mulling over the words that we speak, gently considering the message as we offer them a fighting chance for Heaven.
How did you do on your Everyday commitment last month? Post your totals in the comments section below—and keep on preaching! Want to join the Club? Then click here.
In honor of the Oscars being televised to billions around the world, I thought it was the right time to re-post this video from three years ago when we used to go to the Academy Awards regularly. Security is so tight these days that you can’t get closer than a few thousand yards from the event; that’s why we stopped going. Still, we went yesterday to Hollywood Blvd, the day before the big event, and preached. (Stay tuned for that exciting story later in the week.)
Just down the street from The Academy Awards, and almost in front of the Scientology building on Hollywood Blvd., I preached to a disappointed crowd that gathered to watch the stars arrive on the red carpet. Unfortunately, the stars had already gone into the show at this time. I chose to use liberal amounts of humor to engage them and to distance myself from the “Christian haters” positioned just down the street on Sunset Blvd. Read about the very first time we attended this event in 2007 by clicking here.
Here’s an encouraging report from our DMV preacher, “Righteous Richard” Chavarria.
This past Wednesday, as my friend and I were leaving the Hawthorne DMV after preaching the Gospel as we do twice a week, we were handing out Gospel tracts to folks that may not have received one. As we handed one to a gentleman named Alex, he said that he attended Hope Chapel. I told him that I attended Hope, too.
At the weekend’s service at Hope Chapel, a man came up to me and said, “Hi, my name is Alex and I met you at the Hawthorne DMV.” He went on to say that while he was in line he made a call to his wife and said, “There’s a guy preaching at the DMV.” Alex said that what we were doing was “gnarly” and he could never do such a thing. He wanted to tell me that while he was in line there were about 15 different spiritual conversations going on all around him after I preached. Some folks said, “I don’t believe in God.” Others asked incredulously, “Do you believe what they’re saying?” Still others declared, “I believe in heaven and hell.” These where some of the conversations that Alex overheard.
I thanked Alex for sharing with me. I told him we never know what God is doing and that I was happy he took the time to share what was taking place and that it was encouraging. I know God was opening up the curtain and letting us know what he’s doing when the Gospel is preached.
I received a private comment from a concerned reader of this blog who supports street preaching. Here it is:
Steve, I found a comment on latimes.com about the street evangelism during the Rose Parade. (Read article here.) Just wanted to make you aware of it. Not sure if the poster is talking about your group. If it was another group, like Ruben Israel’s, I can see why someone might get upset. The sign guys are a little too brash.
Here’s a video of a three minute message I gave to the crowds at the Rose Parade. Judge for yourself if I’m too brash. Also, make sure you notice the audience’s response after I finished and determine if they thought I was too belligerent. After the video, read the L. A. Times comment and then my commentary.
Here’s the comment that my reader referred to:
I find it to be really lousy, slanted journalism that the LA Times is making an extra effort to point to the Occupy float as some kind of incident or controversy at the parade while at the same time you don’t mention AT ALL that there was a large group of right wing evangelical extremists marching up and down the parade route for HOURS before the parade harassing the crowd with hateful, threatening “Jesus is gonna get you” messages. They also reappeared immediately after the official Rose Parade (and before any Occupy people were seen were I was standing near the grandstands). Despite complaints, the police would not check to see if they had a permit to hold their own pre-parade and they were much more of a nuisance and of a controversy than the Occupy folks. Shame on you for ignoring this.
Here’s my response:
The Tournament of Roses Parade brings out every type of evangelist, quite literally, the good, the bad and the ugly. The photos to the left and right are great examples of the latter two descriptions. Not only do these types of people bring an imbalanced view of who God is, they promote false doctrine and ONLY ONE WAY. Of course, their one way is only through their organization. See for yourself at the 800HowTrue website. I reported on them in an article from 2009.
My reader mentioned Ruben Israel. The photo below (from his website), shows the type of message he and his group display.
I dialogued with Ruben a little over a year ago on Facebook discussing his style of evangelism with mine, then posted it to my blog with his permission. To see the marked difference between our methods, read my post called “Perspectives: Inside the Mind of a Radical Sign Guy.”
I suppose our group could be considered obnoxious though we try very hard to be winsome and appealing. We approach our task with good humor and a positive attitude. We also know that not everyone shares our views on eternity, so we attempt to be gracious. Very gracious.
So how should Christians respond to those who are not so nice in their evangelistic methods, or are out there with bad intentions and ulterior motives? It’s best to respond the way the apostle Paul did, when he heard about the foolishness that was being preached in Christ’s name while he was under arrest.
“It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” (Phillipians 1: 15-18)
Parades are a great venue for preaching the Gospel—especially when there is a big gap between you and the marching bagpipers. Here’s a review of my video from one of my many, many atheist YouTube fans:
abuchanan821 (19 hours ago): Steve, I just randomly came across 3 of your videos. I just want you to know that you have totally inspired me. I used to be just an atheist. From this day forward I will be a MILITANT ATHEIST!!!!
Many people wonder what impact can be made by someone who preaches to strangers in the open air. Others may wear a furrowed brow when hearing about the “crazy” things that evangelists will do to reach the lost. Holy Hubert was a preacher in the late 1960′s who went onto various campuses to preach Christ to hippies, radical socialists, Satanists, Hare Krishnas, Buddhists, Muslims and Jews; many found Christ as a result of his life and ministry.
I first posted this article about four years ago, then re-posted two years ago and have since received numerous comments from some of the people who were converted as a result of “Holy Hubert’s” ministry. Please make sure you read those comments after you read this article about a man who truly had a passion for the lost.The author of this article is unknown so the accuracy of what is said can’t be guaranteed. Also, you may not agree with all of Lindsey’s theological conclusions (I don’t; and his style of preaching is not my cup of tea either); still, as an historical article it’s pretty fascinating. “Holy Hubert” died several years ago.
Hubert T. Lindsey is one of the great Holiness preachers of our times.
During sixty years of Ministry he has conducted crusades in over 50 nations, established 12 churches and authored 5 books.
America’s best loved and most hated preacher, 74 yr. old (now 83 in nursing home in Raleigh, NC area) Lindsey is perhaps best known as the father of the Jesus movement that swept America in the late ’60s.
During this time more than 3 and a half-million hippies, radical socialist, Satanists, Hare Krishnas, Buddhists, Muslims and Jews found Christ as a result of Hubert Lindsey’s life and ministry. (more…)
The crowds that hovered around the Hope Chapel evangelism booth at our local street fair called the Fiesta Hermosa, which attracts 150,000 visitors over the Labor Day weekend, were happy and enthusiastic as they took our Intelligence Tests. (Print your own here, see the video of an atheist taking the test here.) After failing the test (nobody passes), they received a coupon for a free Chick Fillet sandwich and Coke, a stuffed animal, a trillion dollar bill and our church bulletin. The other booths around us were astonished at how many people gathered around our humble little Christian booth (the only Christian representation in the fair).
The Tough Crowd revealed itself only when I decided to start preaching in the open air to those waiting to be taken back to their cars in the shuttle bus line. See for yourself, then read my explanation below.
It does not surprise me when people are hostile to my open air message. From a purely pragmatic, earthly perspective, it can be grating to hear a guy shouting a message that most people do not want to hear. I totally understand that. Still… (more…)
What’s amazing is when nothing happens. And that’s what happened when we preached to the thousands in line at the 2011 American Idols Finals, the Sing-Off. Nothing happened as a mostly white and female crowd patiently endured our short Gospel messages, preached up and down the line for about 3 1/2 hours. (Don’t worry. We didn’t harangue the crowd, but they did hear the message at least twice.)
Here’s a 2 minute overview of what happened while we shared our faith followed by some tag team preaching by myself and “Righteous” Richard Chavarria.
From the looks of things it seems I’m wasting my time preaching to wildly frenetic, whirling dervishy, hip-hoppy-happy Hare Krishas who were not paying any attention whatsoever to my one minute message.
What should you do when a tall guy with a harmonica attempts to interrupt your preaching by playing a loud off key tune? Well, you may want to try what I did. It stopped him cold. (Click here to start at PART 1 of this series.) See some tips about dealing with hecklers below.
Hecklers can be a real God-send. Do you know why?(more…)
This may sound shocking but I’m going to write it out, here and now. There is no need to get arrested while preaching the Gospel in America. That’s right. At this current time there is no need for anyone to go to jail for evangelizing. The time will come when that may have to happen, just not now. (Click here to start at PART 1)
Watch this recent encounter at the 2011 Pasadena Doo Dah Parade, when a police officer wanted me to stop preaching to the crowds lined up waiting for the parade to start. You’ll notice that when I hear the policeman interrupt my sermon with “Sir! Sir!” (off camera at the 2:30 mark), I lift up my index finger to ask him to let me finish my presentation. He did. Watch how I handled the situation. (Below, read the reason why I think Christians don’t need to be arrested. For now.)
There is a reason why American evangelists get hassled by police and carted off to jail. This is a general observation that may not apply to all heralds of the Good News, but it’s something I’ve seen way too often in the streets and in the press releases of Christian defense institutes. Too many evangelists suffer from… (more…)
When we left off in part 1 (See it here first!) a drunk man was giving me a hard time as I preached in Huntington Beach to another man who was listening to every word I was saying. Suddenly the police drove up. Here’s what happened…. (Read the rest of the story below.)
The drunk man was apparently on leave or just got out of the military. He said that the worst mistake he ever made in his life was enlisting. (more…)
While in Huntington Beach last week I had a great time asking trivia questions and preaching the gospel—until a drunk guy swaggered in—then it became even more exciting! There’s some great filming and editing from the Way of the Master team. I will post part 2 when it becomes available. (See part 2 by clicking here.)
This will be the featured video for the show “On the Box” where I was a guest today with Tony Miano and Chad Williams. (more…)
I found this short, 2 minute version of my preaching at the Hollywood anti-war protest on YouTube from a stranger who was listening and filming. We delivered our message many times after the march started. I am actually in the middle of the protest itself—and the police helped to get me there. How? I’ll tell you that story next week…. In the meantime, notice the barrier my faithful friends provided, surrounding me, just in case something untoward happened, like if the lady who was cursing decided to rush and plow me down. (Read the previous 3 parts by clicking here.)
#1:Do Not hold a Bible when preaching in the open air.
“Wait a minute,” you protest. “Are you ashamed of the Gospel, God’s Word, the Sword of the Spirit, Pastor Steve?”
Readers of this blog know better. I just think that in this post-Christian, anti-Christian culture, a Big Big Bible being waved around is not a visual selling point. There is just something about a guy shouting and holding a black book that builds fences around sinners’ hearts and minds before they even hear what I’m saying. I prefer to lure them in with some humor, trivia, interesting statistics, then WHAMMO!, they hear the Law and Gospel. I don’t want to blow my cover that I’m a Christian until it’s too late—for them.
Think about it like this: Before you were a Christian were you appreciative of a guy standing , hollering, and gripping his Holy Bible? Was your first thought Gee, I wonder what that guy is saying? I think I’ll walk on over and have a listen. Have you also noticed, Way of the Master acolytes, that Ray Comfort never holds one? (Discount this advice if you are devoted to the public reading of Scripture. By all means, bring your Bible then; but that is for a completely different purpose.)