by Tony Miano
edited by Matt Slick
Today there are more men, from different cultures and various walks of life, preaching the gospel on the streets around the world than at any other time in history. That is great. But, what does a “young street preacher” look like today? Is he young or old? Is he experienced and not? Is he a Baptist, a Lutheran, non-denominational, or what?
This article will present some common characteristics of the “young street preacher.” It isn't exhaustive, but it should help you get an idea of who and what street preachers really are.
The young street preacher may be...
- 15-75 years of age. A young street preacher is not necessarily one who is young in years, but merely new to the craft of open-air preaching.
- A new convert. Many people who come to genuine repentance and faith through the authentic and uncompromising preaching of the law and the gospel are often born-again with an immediate desire to open-air preach and engage in other forms of biblical evangelism.
- A Christian established in his faith. A young street preacher can be someone who spent years in his Christian walk either not participating in evangelism at all or participating in the more common, decision-driven, relational, non-confrontive forms of evangelism. Yet, somewhere along the line he either read about or saw open-air preaching and realized it was something he wanted to do.
- Immature open-air preachers. Unfortunately, there are open-air preachers who have been on the streets and college campuses for years, but they do not mature beyond the first steps they took in open-air preaching. They are not a workman who strives to rightly handle the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). They are not students of the Word (Ezra 7:10).
- A Christian who has engaged in biblical evangelism for years, but is new to the open-air preaching aspect of biblical evangelism.
- A Christian who possesses zeal and desire to preach the gospel in the open-air, but who lacks some of the requisite maturity and experience of life and ministry necessary to be an effective preacher.
Are you in one of these groups? Do you open air preach at all? If not, that's okay, but pray for those who do and pray that God would expand his kingdom through the preaching of his gospel message.