Weekend Read: “Street Preaching” by William Taylor

William Taylor was a Methodist in the California Conference in the mid-1800’s. Although published in 1867, this article speaks to our generation. Mr. Taylor spoke about cultural refinement, secular education, the negative effects of immigration, the apathy of the churches, and other topics that apply today. The book from which this chapter is taken is called, “Seven Years’ Street Preaching in San Francisco, California.”

Why do you preach in the streets and highways?”


The “great commission,” under which every true ambassador goes forth in the “ministry of reconciliation,” by direct implication, enjoins the duty of out-door preaching: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Did the apostles understand the Great Teacher to mean that they were to preach in the temple, in the synagogues, in ” hired houses,” and ” upper rooms?” Certainly. Did they understand him to mean nothing more than that? Certainly not. They well knew that the temple, and the synagogues, and all the house room they could by possibility command, were they all open for their use, would contain but a very small proportion of the creatures embraced in their commission. Every word of this great command, framed by infinite wisdom, is simple and unequivocal. It evidently contemplates a proclamation of the Gospel as wide as “all out of doors,” and so specific and personal as to embrace every single rebel of the fallen race.

Again. The Saviour, illustrating, by the parable of the “Great Supper,” the bounteous provision of mercy in the Gospel, enjoins, by direct command, the duty of out-door preaching: “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

Weekend Read: Open Air Meetings

If you preach in the open air you will want to read this. If you plan on preaching in the open air someday, read this. If you don’t understand why anyone would ever, ever, ever! preach in the open air, read this.


By R. A. Torrey  (1856-1928) (Read his short bio at the end of this article. The following is from Torrey’s larger work, “Methods of Christian Work” (Chapter 6, pages 222-233):

I. Their importance and advantages.

1. They are Scriptural. Jesus said, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” Every great preacher of the Bible was an open-air preacher. Peter was an open-air preacher, Paul was an open-air preacher, and so were Elijah, Moses and Ezra. More important than all, Jesus Christ Himself was an open-air preacher, and preached for the most part out of doors. Every great sermon recorded in the Bible was preached in the open air; the sermon on the Day of Pentecost, the Sermon on the Mount, the sermon on Mars Hill, etc. In this country we have an idea that open-air preaching is for those who cannot get any other place to speak, but across the water they look at it quite differently. Some of the most eminent preachers of Great Britain preach in the open air.


This article by R. A. Torrey, pastor, evangelist, missionary, founder of BIOLA, and the right hand man of D.L. Moody, provides wonderful insight into the the correct and effective use of Gospel tracts. Nearly everything Torrey wrote about this witnessing tool has proven true in my own experience. You will want to make a copy of this and distribute it among your fellow church members. I did. 


By R. A. Torrey (1856-1928)

Comparatively few Christians realize the importance of tract work. I had been a Christian a good many years, and a minister of the Gospel several years, before it ever entered my head that tracts were of much value in Christian work. I had somehow grown up with the notion that tracts were all rubbish, and therefore I did not take the trouble to read them, and far less did I take the trouble to circulate them, but I found out that I was entirely wrong. Tract work has some great advantages over other forms of Christian work.

I. Importance and advantages.

1. Any person can do it. We cannot all preach; we cannot all conduct meetings; but we can all select useful tracts and then hand them out to others. Of course some of us can do it better than others. Even a blind man or a dumb man can do tract work. It is a line of work in which every man, woman and child can engage.

Weekend Read: Charles Spurgeon on Open Air Preaching

This is an excellent article from about 150 years ago written by the Prince of Preachers. Every would-be street preacher needs to keep a copy of this with them and to read it thoroughly.
null Please copy and print this. Things have not changed that much since Spurgeon’s time. You will laugh and shake your head at his wisdom.


I must linger a moment over Robert Flockhart of Edinburgh, who, though a lesser light, was a constant one, and a fit example to the bulk of Christ’s street witnesses. Every evening, in all weathers and amid many persecutions, did this brave man continue to speak in the street for forty-three years. Think of that, and never be discouraged. When he was tottering to the grave the old soldier was still at his post. “Compassion to the souls of men drove me,” said he, “to the streets and lanes of my native city, to plead with sinners and persuade them to come to Jesus. The love of Christ constrained me.”

Now read the entire text: