When Christians meet me — a Christian newspaper boy — they always ask, “What church do you belong to?”
And I often tell them, “I AM the Church! YOU are the Church! We, ALL of us born-again Christians are the Church.
The Church is the Body of Christ. All of us who have received Jesus as our personal Saviour have become a part of the Body of Christ consisting of all the millions of born again believers, wherever we are, wherever we come from, whatever we look like, whether we are rich or poor, black or brown, left or right, young or old, East or West, male or female, etc.”
“And”, I add, “Whether we are called Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic, Presbyterian, 7th Day Adventists, Bread of Life, True Jesus, Mormon, Recovery, Jehovah, or even those of us without any label or any church denomination! Like ME!”
“You mean that you don’t belong to any church or denomination?
“That’s right, I don’t have any label, denomination, official organisation, foundation, or building that I attend on Sunday morning.”
“What? You don’t go to church?”
“I told you. I am the Church! How can the Church go to church? YOU are the Church! Those Christians over there in this amusement park, are also the Church! Church with a big C!”
But how do you fellowship then?
Well, you are a Christian, I am a Christian, and we are fellow-shipping here right now in His Name, sharing the Word of the Lord! And “Where two or three are together in My Name,” Jesus said, “there am I in the midst of them.
So WE are the Church of this street/park/school/university/shopping center that we are standing in, right now!”
“Huh? That’s weird!”
Sure! I am right now passing out tracts in Jesus’ Name, and you are asking me questions in Jesus’ Name, asking me the reason of the hope that is within me, for which I am supposed to give an answer to whomsoever asks me, and therefore we are fellow-shipping in Jesus’ name. And as it turns out, it happens to be Sunday today, which is actually my busiest day to reach the Sunday crowd of our City’s people who are coming here to this hot spot with their families and children to find some relief and entertainment from the weekly stress of city and business.
And I really have no time or energy enough today to also go to any building called ‘church’, with a preacher called ‘pastor’ and his followers, because God called me to “GO into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature”, and the weekend is a prime time for that.
Did you know that it doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that we are supposed to go to “church on Sunday” or on any other day?
It does say that we should not give up fellow-shipping together, as is the manner of some.” and that’s why I am so happy to meet you and to be fellow-shipping with you, sharing God’s Word and testimonies and explain how we can serve God to the utmost.
But do you know what it does say in the Bible? Jesus commanded all of us believers, His Children, His followers, His people, His disciples..to…
“GO into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature and that whosoever believes in Him shall be saved.”
“COME and follow ME, and I will make you fishers of men!”
And in order to do that seemingly difficult job, He promised us that “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, and Samaria, and unto the farthest parts of the world!”
Taiwan! You can’t get any farther, more East than Taiwan, Japan, or New Zealand, right? – After that it is the Pacific Ocean!
So why do we Christians often ask that question, “What church do you belong to?”
Because they want to know what we believe! What my doctrine is. How my theology works. If my doctrine is correct in the opinion of their church or pastor, to see and prove whether I am “a true Christian!”
What is a true Christian?
Well, I don’t really like to call myself a “Christian” very much, because that word is so loaded with the historical ballast of the failures of Man, that I prefer to use the term that Jesus used rather. He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the Children of God!” “Child of God” is a statement of status rather than “Christian” which is more a statement of performance! And I must honestly confess, my performance is often not a very good one! How about you?
I am a true child of God,though, no matter what I do, if I am a church member or not, no matter if I am a good newspaper boy for God or not, or whatever I do or am, or whatever you do or are, a nurse, a policeman, or even a banker!
What makes us or anyone a true child of God? What makes us born of GOD? What gives us the right to be called or become a real Child of God? What do we have to do? What makes us deserve such a high privilege of adoption?
NOTHING! Why? Because no one is ever good enough to deserve that high privilege. It is a freely given gift from God! In fact it was already presented, given, and bestowed to Mankind long ago, while we were still all sinners even, 2000 years ago when Jesus paid the utmost price for that precious privilege with His very own blood by His very own death!
NOBODY deserves that precious expensive gift! NOBODY is PERFECT! – Or perfect ENOUGH! Why?
Because we are all born sinners! We have all gone astray from God as soon as we learned to walk! In God’s light there is not ONE person in all of history who isn’t the least little bit dirty, grey, or black with sin, from a lack of perfect love. So none of us really could deserve the high privilege to be called or made the sons and daughters of God! We are just not good enough to qualify for that privilege.
So how DO we become Children of God?
What can we do to be saved? There is little we can do. We are actually utterly lost, except for the mercy of God.
We have very little to do with this gift of divine childhood whatsoever, except for two things that we can do and are actually supposed to do:
1. Believe HIM, and 2. Receive HIM!
Who? Jesus Christ! Why Jesus Christ? Because He is the living sacrifice God offered up to pay for our privilege to become His Children! You can’t pay for it your self in any way! He gave it away freely, to whomsoever.
You have heard of child sacrifice, haven’t you? All throughout history most “civilisations” have had horrible instances where people offered their own children to some god to incur his or her favours, and there are still rumours today that the most important people in this world are still sacrificing children to pacify or please their god Satan!
Well, God Himself didn’t like that cruel custom at all, and set the unique example that NO one has ever equaled. God came to Earth as a little baby – His only begotten son – and after 33 years He sacrificed His SELF to Himself to pay for our guilt, hate, theft, corruption, murders, wars, sins, imperfections, and our utter lack of love for our brother and sister creatures around us.
God sacrificed Himself in the form of his only begotten Son, his own limited incarnation as a Man, God’s own unique face as a Man, His very own image pressed into the curtain of human flesh, His own beloved, only perfect Human Self, born as a Man from sinful Man in the form of a little teenage girl called Mother Mary, who also wasn’t perfect, and although Jesus was half Man, yet lived He a perfect loving life, loving everyone He met, even His bitter enemies!!!
He even allowed them to kill Him, to do the actual killing of His Soul, God’s Own Sacrifice!
God came down on Earth to sacrifice Himself to pay for OUR sins. Isn’t that kind of Him? And all WE are supposed to do, is just thank Him for His gift, accept His sacrifice, and Believe Him, and then RECEIVE Him even into our own humble sinful hearts. Only Believe and Receive, which is actually quite simple, although many find that very hard to do because of their inborn human pride to humbly accept a free gift and gratis forgiveness of their sins, as they feel they haven’t done anything wrong in the first place. They just don’t realise that they are sinners. That is why Jesus said, “I didn’t come to call the righteous” — the good, those people who think they are pretty good or even “perfect” — But, he said, “but SINNERS to turn around and repent!”
You and I who have believed Him and received Him! – ARE the Children of God NOW! As it says in Scripture:
“BUT as many as received Him, to them He gave the right/power/privilege, to BECOME the sons or daughters of God, even to them that BELIEVE on His Name! Who were born … of God!” John 1:12,13.
IF YOU BELIEVED & RECEIVED HIM?
THEN you are a child of God! For by grace have you been saved by faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God, not of works, or your deeds by obedience of a religious Law, which is called “the righteousness of the Law”, but by “the righteousness of FAITH!” His grace by YOUR faith!
And even that tiny little grain of mustard seed of faith is also a gift of God, given to you who do not trust in yourself for righteousness but are convinced of your own UN-righteousness, your own sinfulness, and inability to love your fellowmen no matter how hard you try in your own strength, sometimes. That one pesky person who bothers you so intensely, whom you can never forgive for even walking across the floor around you. You know what I mean! right? Ha!
Loving others – which is the fulfillment of the law — is also a gift of God! So is loving God, our first responsibility or duty, to love God -Whom we have never even seen – with all our soul, mind, strength, in other words with all that we have! It is impossible other than by His own grace through our own faith.
So quit trying so hard, and start trusting Him to do the rest through you, when you are really unable to do that which is least! He said, “By worrying you can’t add one cubit to your stature, so why do you worry about the rest?”
SO WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO?
Suggestions, tips, do’s & don’t’s, on how to do street evangelism, personal witnessing, & preaching, learned through good, bitter, long, patient experience.
- Tracts are great sifters through crowds to find the jewels
- From the tract they already know you are “religious”, so
- If they’re open to talk, do some small talk & mundane stuff
- Ask questions!Get to know them first, inquire after them!
- Show interest, and LISTEN to their answers with your heart!
- Encourage people, especially teens & young people
- Make compliments, praise them for their strengths
- Before they like Jesus, they have to learn to like you.
- Don’t be insensitive and monopolise their time.
- Give out tracts, but don’t stop uninterested people.
- At the slightest hint of being late or hurry let them go.
- Wait for an opening to give God’s answers, not your own,
- Tell them what happened to you, how you came & got Jesus
- A short sentence how you received Jesus and got saved
- (Men take suggestions, women need a listening ear)
- Have fun with people, but be sincere in your testimony!
- NEVER be self-righteous, not even with negative opponents
- Make jokes in love, but never hurt feelings, be gentle
- Don’t be too serious yet stay sincere with their hearts
- Put yourself in their shoes & don’t push people
- Jesus never condemned His sheep
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
- Have mercy, as you need mercy for your sins & weaknesses
- Share wisdom & knowledge, but stay lowly & humble in heart
- Harp on, explain, break down, ONE single salvation verse!
- John 1:12 (my favourite), John 3:16 Don’t cram the entire Bible
- Explain a verse strophe by strophe, ask’m what they think it means
- Then invite them to receive the Lord so they will “have the right”.
- The Right? To what? “to become the children of God”..
- “Even to them that believe on His Name!” Simple!
- Repeat, repeat, repeat, so the verse is burned in their mind
- After the short “sinners’ prayer”, show them Revelation 3:20
- IF there is time, 1Peter 2:2 shows that they “as newborn babies should desire the milk of God’s words, so they can grow thereby!”
- Give them a small Gospel of Mark if you have extra ones,
- Or a key verses booklet if you have them
- Give your email or website, take their email and/or phone number
- All the above already took a lot of time, so let them go.
- UNLESS they show real hunger and desire to hear more..
- But don’t cram the Bible down their throat
Street ministry is very fruitful, especially if you have loads of tracts. I have tracts in at least 13 languages, as I like to witness to locals and foreigners alike. English, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish, Indonesian, Korean. I found a nice fun park where locals and foreigners go in the weekend. I have no time to go to church on Sunday. It is my best witnessing day besides Saturday. Besides I AM the Church, God’s people, especially when I am with a partner. “Where two or three are together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”
I am very blessed to be on the ‘official’ mission field where the natives are still sheepy, and even the foreigners, out of their own surroundings, are somewhat humbled by the kindness of the Taiwanese people. Even the proud, hardened, critical, by anti-God-media propagandised, fashionable atheistic, hedonistic materialistic, brainwashed anti-religion Westerners… are a little kinder by the friendliness of the locals.
I am not afraid of them. I smile, and give them my tracts about Ancient Chinese History proving Noah, or one about the remains of Noah’s Ark, directly defusing the Mainstream Media induced Darwinian, WickedPedia supported fairy tale we were all brought up with, since the BBC dulled their senses with Dawkins, or ABCNBCMSNBCCNN brainwashed them with Bill Nye the (anti) “Science man!”
To them I gloat about the fact that Taiwan is so sweet, kind, friendly, humble, helpful, open-minded, heaping lots of red-hot coals upon their heads in the process with a smile, making them uncomfortable in their own often hardened superiority-complex attitude, which many of them habitually carry without even realising it. Westerners are a tough witnessing field!
Sometimes there will be some polite enough to accept a tract or two, and joking with them showing an irreligious attitude e.g. the fact that God loves and created Sex or something else that bashes their prejudices against Christians, I inquire after their awareness of alternative media to provoke them to jealousy to get more enlightened and open-minded to alternative viewpoints, as most Westerners are an ignorant lot who still believe that OBL and his 40 robbers did 9-11.
You may wonder why I use and bring up such stuff, whereas I just talked about humility and meekness. With the new Millennial X generation — if you feel that there is some sheepiness in the person — it is sometimes necessary to shake ’em out of their lethargic superior attitude, if they show little humility to receive something from the metaphysical, or “God.”
It surprises them that you do not live up to their pre-supposed, average, blue-nosed, conservative, un-informed “religious idiot” image which has been planted in their young minds ever since they imbibed TV. But I do it with as much meekness as I can muster, to break open their prejudiced pre-programmed shell, to expose them to themselves that they are not that informed or cool after all. Sweetly though.
When I see that it is useless and no spark of divine interest is found in them, I let them down gently with a few mundane common places, and let them go on their merry way. Perhaps they will awaken another day to the unexplored spiritual Universe they have no clue about. Maybe never in this life, but at least I reached out to give them a chance to shake their futile foundations.
Jesus did it. “Did you think that those men who died in the collapse of the tower of Siloam were more sinners than you? I tell you NAY! But unless you repent, you will all die in similar fashion!” Woe! He socked it to their false security, their false self-righteousness in thinking they were better than the victims of the collapse. How much like Americans and 9-11.
I find Americans, the hardest lot around, even the cynical British are more open than them. They are so soaked in a veneer of self-righteousness that the real righteousness of love runs off them like water off a duck’s back. But we don’t want to get into that now. See the Paradise Post for that subject.
I do want to mention however the atrocious American (and some British) so-called “street preachers!” I mean those guys that sport huge signs with “Repent or Perish” or the like, who preach in the air as if anyone is going to listen to their diatribe at all! That is the most fruitless form of preaching I have ever seen. Why? Because they do not form any relationship with their target audience. Biblical street preaching was with interested audiences, not a self righteous preaching at passing crowds, which only turns people off confirming their media & Hollywood induced prejudices against Christians. It is totally unproductive or rather counter productive!
Even St. Paul himself did not necessarily go for public preaching very much. He got ignored on Mars Hill in Athens except for 2 souls, and Paul was a lot wiser in his approach than these self-righteous critical condemning American street preachers (see videos below) At least St. Paul tried to become one with the Greeks by referring to their objects of worship and monument to the unknown god, logically building his case and didn’t quote Old Testament scriptures. Of course it didn’t do much good anyhow. And at other times he got stoned to death or arrested and thrown in jail. Paul preferred to preach in the school of Tyrranus.
The Bible Says….
Preacher against Mana
Girl Slaps Preacher. “God is going to judge you…
Las Vegas Russian