Friday, September 29, 2006

Open Air Extraordinaire

The group is growing each week as new people join up. We have a lot of new people hearing about what we do and coming along. Many are just starting out and have no idea how to start a conversation with a stranger and lead them through the Law and Grace. A big part of the night was pairing up with various people and letting them watch a witness encounter. Tonight's podcast is one where I took Andre around and we found a group of kids. I opened with a variation of the Name Ten Get Twenty game and in about nine minutes stopped their mouths with the Law and had them sitting there stunned as they learned of God's mercy. It sounded too easy, but it was basically the only recording I got as the next three groups I talked to either weren't interested or ended up having their rides pick them up in the middle of the conversation. One lady, in fact, as I got to the end of the good test was so convicted, she swooped up her three teenage kids with a, "Come on, boys, I've heard enough. Let's get out of here." Even when people couldn't stay to the end, either with a one to one, or an open air preacher, I make sure to get a "Good Person" tract into their hands so they can read it in private later. Sometimes pride is too much for a person to overcome and even though I am presenting the harsh truth, I leave room for the person to escape if they are really through with the conversation. It is not me that will ultimately convert anyone. It is God, using His Spirit, through His Word.

Open air is definitely becoming a regular part of our week. We are blessed with such a great location that is very friendly to us setting up and preaching. Tony Miano has a lot of great props, including a stand with some very nice signs to get people's attention. He also has many bears donated from the Children's Hunger Fund that we can use to gather a crowd. I was the first one up on the box tonight, and I felt pretty good about it. But, I am still learning, and I need to get better at gathering a crowd and keeping my volume up so everyone can hear me. The great thing about being part of a team is that I can get feedback and learn from everyone. Tonight also, there was a table next to us with Scientologists promoting their religion. There were no conflicts between the groups, as they were very quiet. I was surprised, but neither group went up to the other. It was very apparent, though, that while they had two people sitting at their table listening to what they had to say, there were hundreds of people gathered around our preaching and witnessing. God is certainly in control and can sway the hearts of men. I thank God that we are blessed with the feet to carry us to the streets, the mouths to proclaim His Gospel, and the hearts that have been softened by His Grace to have compassion for a lost and dying world.

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