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ON SKID ROW

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I’m proud of our church. Not only do we believe in Biblical evangelism, we believe also in putting our faith in action by hitting the streets of Skid Row on a monthly basis with our Skid Row Outreach. In addition, we also have a ministry called “Hope in Action” that provides food and clothing to the homeless in our area on a daily basis.

Though this ministry does its share of witnessing to the homeless through one-on-one conversations and by handing out tracts, the evangelism team explored the possibilities of preaching to those in line not only in our location, but in other areas of Skid Row as well.

With my daughter holding on tightly to me (this was a bit of a culture shock to her), I positioned our sound system, Lil’ Mike, so that the homeless could get the meat of the Word along with their sandwiches.

There were a few hecklers as always, but overwhelmingly, these people were appreciative of the sermon they got to hear before mealtime.

After the message was preached, we went across the street where another group of homeless were gathered, with no discernible reason for being there.

Since no one was handing out food, I was curious as to why there was such a large crowd hanging out. “What are they all waiting for?” I asked someone who lived in the area.

“Night,” he replied. “That’s when they score their drugs.”

We moved on to another location: In a parking lot adjacent to another line of homeless people receiving food from another church. Our friend, Carol Nicholson, a woman who retired from her nursing profession so she could preach the Gospel, got on the box.

As Carol preached we noticed a nicely dressed man clinging to the chain link fence and shouting.

She ignored him.

He continued to shout, arms spread wide, while Carol preached on.

I went over to the man afterward and heard him shouting, “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” He was the church’s pastor and was rejoicing that someone was out in the parking lot preaching the Gospel. In fact, he had a request: “Can you come back next week?”

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he was fully capable of preaching the Gospel, too.

*****

R.A. Torrey, wrote this 100 years ago about street preaching:

“You can reach men in an open-air meeting that you can reach in no other way. I can tell of instance after instance where men who have not been at church or a mission hall for years have been reached by open-air meetings. The persons I have known to be reached and converted through open- air meetings have included thieves, drunkards, gamblers, saloon-keepers, abandoned women, murderers, lawyers, doctors, theatrical people, society people, in fact pretty much every class.

“Open-air meetings bring recruits to churches and missions. One of the best ways to fill up an empty church is to send your workers out on the street to hold meetings before the church service is held, or better still, go yourself. When the meeting is over, you can invite people to the church (or mission). This is the divinely appointed means for reaching men that cannot be reached in any other way (Luke 14:21). All Christians should hear the words of Christ constantly ringing in their ears, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor,’ etc.”

7 Comments

  1. All-riiiiight !!! Great stuff ! Thanks for sharing – i remember Carol from CCSB that came out with you to HB pier several months back – “John” from CCSB broke the sound barrier at the Bell Gardens DMV last monday, sister Rachael from CCSB is now preaching by HERSELF @ Hawthorne DMV – so exciting to see what’s going on, and it’s so great what you guys are doing, modeling NT Christianity as it should be … great job !!!

  2. Good work with the homeless lineups. Good idea! Also, very encouraging to see a female street preacher up on the box. God bless Carol.

    Quick question: I recently read about Lawman standing in 104F degree heat and I see your photos with people wearing sweaters, parkas and hats.

    Don’t you guys live in the same area? Or is “global warming” playing around with your weather system?

  3. Nuts! I made the above comment before viewing the video.

    What a wonderful ministry your Hope Chapel has on
    Skid Row. So simple, yet so effective, I am sure. May the Lord bless all those involved and may He inspire more to join your ranks in Zone Uncomfortable.

    Thanks, Steve!

  4. The video was made of an outing a few months ago; my photos were shot in February or March. I have a whole backlog of this stuff.

    Also, Tony lives in the Valley, with weather like Iraq, only worse; L.A is about 20 degrees cooler. I live by the beach which is 20 degrees cooler than L.A.

    Tony suffers more.

  5. Thanks for the R.A. quote post. I acquired it and used it on my facebook. I get a lot of people I grew up in school thinking street preaching is wrong because it only worked hundreds of years ago and now we should only preach inside church walls and just do “nice” things for people outside church walls like donate food to the Salvation Army. Its sad many I know not wanting to have anything to do with Jesus or hold to an emergent/universalism mindset. I weep for them and pray for their salvation.

  6. Awesome post Pastor Steve!

  7. Pastor Steve, what an awesome example of Christian love! That’s something we could do here too. Thank you for this post.

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