Thursday, May 11, 2006

Market Outreach '06

Brothers and sisters,

Beginning this Saturday (the 13th) I will be picking up the ministry that began last summer at the Fredericton Farmer's Market. This will be started and carried on every Saturday at 11:00am until the end of August. What I would love to see is the local family of Christ come out and spend the vast majority of the day in evangelism, prayer and fellowship. I know this sounds idealistic, because at this time I cannot even see the body of Christ here coming together and doing something like that (how very sad)... but as William Carey has said: "Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God." I want to see Christians come together in one mind and accomplish something in this city.

If you have a desire to see lost souls won for Christ, to strengthen your witnessing skills, to build up courage and boldness in sharing your faith, to spend time in prayer for the city and to be in fellowship with other believers, then please come and help! The Lord can use whatever you offer to Him, and even the presence of supporting believers can turn the tide of the day. Only let this be your agenda: to win souls for Jesus.

Saturday's, at 11:00am, we will meet in the parking lot behind the Playhouse theatre. From there, Lord willing, we shall proceed mission work at the market using preaching, one-on-one witnessing, tracts, paintboards, singing... whatever the Lord may use. Following this we can have lunch together and fellowship one with another, and perhaps afterwards carry on the mission in downtown Fredericton. And if we may go even further... if the Lord wills we could even hit the bars in the evening, spreading the gospel light against the dark deeds of the night. Though this seems impossible to pull off, I will trust the Lord to get the job done. Whatever befalls, receive honor Lord Jesus!

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)

13 comments:

Widmer said...

Hy Eli,

it's great to hear these words from you. I want to believe it and live it too. I think if we have these thoughts in our hearts this can have an influence to other people. They will see the light, and hopefully we can be salt to them too. At least this is what we want to share, and if one person opens it heart to God and accepts him as his ruler and follows him with all of his life, then the whole heaven will rejoice.
Hope God can show you the way to speak to the people and that HE will encourage you and all wwilll come to the market place.

Greetings from Thomas (Germany)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps one should inquire of the Lord, for an effective method of evangelism. Personally, I find the methods employed to be obnoxious and offensive.
Your style is commonly viewed in many videos and training under the category of "How NOT to do evangelism."
I pray that your heart would be softened to come alongside the people in Fredericton, and be an witness of faith in action, and not just of the pharisees standing on the street corner shouting "Lord, Lord".

Matty (Fredericton)

Ricky said...

Very exciting brother Eli! God bless in all the work, I was just reading today in Philippians of Epaphroditus - "Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me" (2:30).


Matty are you a Christian? Do you not see open air preaching and witnessing as being THE biblical method of reaching lost people?

Erin said...

Hey Eli-

Scan over your info again- did you mean 11 AM (in the morning), instead of 11 PM (in the evening)?I just wouldn't want people to be confused.

Blessings on you today,
Erin

Anonymous said...

Ricky,
Yes I am a Christian and NO, I don't see that as the Biblical method of reaching the lost.
I see coming alongside them and walking with, as my Saviour Jesus did, as the Biblical model.
I see open-air as a method for condemnation and an opportunity for those insecure about themselves to feel better.

Matty

Widmer said...

Why are you all against it? Of course it is great to walk with the people and to tell them about Jesus. But Paul was standing in Athen on the market place and talking to the people about Jesus, and the Apostels went 2 by 2 and preched the good news.
By the way, these are all only "methods". Much more important is, to have a close relation to God and hear his voice and to follow him. He coulde speak through stones - well then dont let him do that and let yourself be used to tell the people from Jesus.
There are hundereds of different methods, which make it easier for the people to be reached.

Ricky said...

Matty, I'm sorry to say but you either don't know your Bible or you don't believe what it says.

It was Jesus himself who said "preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). The word "preach" in the original Greek means to publicly proclaim as a public crier. I cannot think of a better place to preach than a farmer's market.

I see open-air as the best opporunity to share the Gospel. It's open for all to hear, and one is not ashamed to proclaim the name of Christ (which is sorely lacking in our country). Matty if you knew someone who seriously open air preaches you would find that it doesn't make them feel better, but more burderened for a lost world. When you preach and see how sin-hardened the average person's heart is, it will break YOUR heart.

Matty, there is no condemnation in preaching on the streets - there cannot be. Jesus said in John 3:18, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." He who believes not in Christ is already condemned, so simply telling of the fate of those who remain in their sins is simply reality and quite a loving thing for a Christian to tell a sinner.

Amanda said...

How amazing would it be if we as followers of Jesus really did unite together frequently in our city to talk openly and passionately about the transforming power of the Holy Spirit through Christ?…encouraging dialogue, preaching, praying over those who need it, humbly serving others with no ulterior agenda and doing other “methods of ministry”, as you guys put it, out of love for our Father. I think that a lot of people so often hide behind the opinion that you can only minister through a certain way effectively, why dichotomize two means to the same end when they are both done out of love for the Lord and obedience to the Holy Spirit? Pride can so often stop us from putting ourselves in the vulnerable position of ministry structures that aren’t the norm, many are probably scared of what people will think of them, of being known as crazy or something. But hey, David was a man after God’s own heart and he could be pretty undignified.

Wow, I’m getting off topic, sorry about that David tangent, what I wanted to put out there is that there are multiple examples in the Bible of John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles and others both preaching and healing in villages and marketplaces. (Matt.3:1/4:23/9:35, Mark 1:4/1:37, Luke 3:3/4:44/9:6, Acts 8:25/8:40/16:6/18:5 and so many more)Yes, coming alongside people and being culturally relevant are definitely vital components of “witnessing” (Believe me, I know this firsthand!) but open air ministry can be great too…I’m not talking about shaking fists at people or shouting for our own benefit because we think that’s the only way people will hear, but just being there and sensitive to the Lord’s leading, open to however He may use us in that setting, even if it is uncomfortable or stretching. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to one type of ministry that we’re comfortable with, our entire lives should be testaments to God, don’t put His ministry in a box. Not everyone has an available person close to them who knows God, so going out into the market could be a great way to make Christ known to the "sheep without a shepherd": no one is forced to stop and listen and even if people don’t want to talk, we can simply pray for them as the Spirit leads.

Perhaps like in the new testament when Jesus preached, word will spread of what God is doing in the market and more people will come to be healed and hear the good news, can you imagine?

Love and Peace
-Amanda

Romans 10: 14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Logic said...

Matty,

You make some good points. You ought to go back a few months and read some of the other postings about street preaching.

Hearing some of the pathetic justifications that have been given previously (my favorite was when Eli claimed that every man of God in the Bible was a street preacher) might help you come up with stronger arguments against why you think street preaching is not particularly effective in our culture. You might decide that street preaching is justified; you might decide it is a poor way to engage our culture. I tend to be on the side of you, that it is not the preferred method of evangelism, but I cannot be totally against it due to Philippians 1:18 (at least the gospel is preached).

Therefore I take the position, as you will see if you read the previous postings, that street preaching is not the best method to reach our culture; but it is certainly not immoral.

Adam Wright has made several excellent posts about being culturally relevant without compromising truth... check these out.

I find the most effective criticism against Eli's particular method is his failure to be endorsed by and representing a local church. All ministry in the New Testament was local church based, under the authority of the local elders. Since Eli's particular method is not of this biblical structure, criticizing along this line is more effective.

Certainly Eli is not doing anything immoral, but he is probably not doing the best possible thing due to the shortage of local church accountability, support, and submission that he exercises.

God raises up men for ministry for the purpose of growing the local church. What good is it for people to get saved and not become part of a church community?

Anyway Matty, good luck posting against these things in the future.

-Logic

Widmer said...

Who sent John the Baptist? Who sent Jeremaja? Who sent Jesus?
I think it's nice to have all the theory stuff (I study it too), but to be honest, who of us is out their doing it? For me, I wouldn't go in Germany to the Marketplace, but for me the post encouraged me to stand up and asking God, where he wants me to tell the people from the good news. And I want to pray for Eli (if I don't forget it, which is a habbit of us all) that he will find the best way to reach the people.
Encourage each other, people. Of course, if it is wrong, say it to the person.

nicholas said...

So basically, we have two methods which are seemingly at odds here. The Majority see the open air soapbox preaching as the Biblical Way while Matty, and I would include myself, see an alternative approach as the Biblical Way. We must not be caught up in which is "Biblical" because the Bible attests to both methods and therefore we are wasting time bickering about which is the 'blessed' methodology.

Do we need to preach the Good News as Widmer points out? Yes, of course, that is why you are going there. However, that can be done in multiple ways. Matty is bang on when he mentions that often soapbox preaching is held as the prime example of counter productive ministy. Hearing 'Lord Lord! Save these souls!' can be offensive and cast off as silly. When it comes to ministry we MUST put ourselves in the shoes of those who will hear this message. Coming alongside those who will hear the message enables Christians to develop a relationship with them. It enables them to see that your intentions are sincere, youre not crazy, and that you are willing to talk with them. A soapbox does not let this happen, for not too many people will want to wait until you are finished talking to ask questions. Ive been there, I have talked to many people about this, it's my area of study. Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in this manner, he got to know her, then he brought up the Gospel. There is no Biblical Way as you see it guys, we must recognise that if you want your ministry to be effective.

A combination of both ways is the only way that you are going to see real fruit, AND see some sort of unity that Eli is wanting here. For we are far too different in mindsets to be all for one and one for all in soapbox preacing ministries. Matty cannot be put aside for obvious reasons. His method is no less unworthy than your own, for it too has Biblical aspects. Don't cast him off as unChristian just because he has a different take on ministry. God forbid we disagree on these things, that'd be a first.

So, when you do go downtown and start talking to people which I am all for, keep in mind that the soapbox is not the only way to go about it. I am not all for scaring people downtown and giving Christians who are not there and who do not think soapboxing is the best way a bad name and reputation. I believe that talking to them one and one is the best way. Simply get to know them, and then you can start your message. But deliever it to them, on their terms and in their language. You cant get to them if they do not understand you.

What you plan on doing is FAR too important to go about with out having any serious thought put into it. Youre either going to show a person the truth or put them off it completely. Thats too big a risk to go about this half-assed.

Good luck.

Luke said...

Eli,

If I were closer, I'd be there to join in. I hope that I'll be able to do something here in Guelph, too.

Eli said...

Thomas, how wonderful to hear from you! Bless you my brother.

Sorry about that time mistake.

All I can say about methodology is let the fruit speak for itself: not only of salvations but also of fruit in the believers life. There are three stages to soulwinning as we know, sowing, watering and reaping. Let's also bear that in mind.

The important thing is that we all make our calling and election sure: a good way to know is your own heart and attitude towards lost souls. Do you desire to see them saved? What are you doing about it?

Blessings everyone.