Open Letter:

How To Witness

 
Image: The Prayer Foundation logo (with white Celtic cross on a green shield).    

 

Photo: Green Monk.

Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."Photo: Monk Preston and Lighthouse on the Pacific Coast. Monk Preston visiting a Lighthouse on the Pacific Coast. _____________________________________________

"An té nach gcuireann san earrach
ní bhaineann sé san fhómhar."

("Whoever does not plant in the spring
does not reap in the fall."
-Old Gaelic Saying)

“Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread.

-D. T. Niles 

"...and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

-Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)

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The Letter We Received:

Hello -
I'm (one of your Knights of Prayer
Lay Monks and also) a  lay minister in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod.  I've always been drawn to such movements as the Franciscans, Lollards, Hussites, Waldensians, etc., and their public preaching.  I am always humbled to read about such Christians as Monk Bob, who publicly preaches every day.  I would like to start such a ministry (public preaching), but I'm not sure what the best way to begin would be.  Aside from that, I have the fear of my flesh to contend with - although I know I should fear the Lord more than my inhibitions of public preaching.  If Monk Bob has any recommendations or words of insight, they would be most appreciated.

Blessings,
Monk Blair (Wisconsin)                                                                              

                        ____________________________________

Our Reply:

Sharing the Gospel: Three Different Approaches

     There are perhaps as many ways of sharing the Gospel as there are Christians who do so.  Here are three distinct ways that we see exemplified in the approach of three different individuals.

Monk Bob's Way: Street Preaching

     1st Way.  Monk Bob: (actually preaching on the street)  In our city of Portland with its greater population area of 1 1/2 million or so, including many mega-churches of 5-6,000 members, there are probably ten-twenty persons who do this.  They are joined by another 50 or so who hand out tracts.  At any particular time there are never more than a total of ten persons preaching the Gospel in either of these ways in the entire greater metropolitan area.

 Monk Bob's advice: "Stay close to the Lord. Your courage and strength and leading come from above.  Pray always for these things. Start out with a smaller group, maybe only three or four people. You will soon find out the reaction in your town of the Police and the City authorities."

     Often there is much persecution, and you will have to learn the laws in your favor--those who are supposed to enforce these laws may harass you, instead.  Right now in our city, many policemen are totally unaware of a Citizen's laws of protection and rights under the U.S. Constitution.  Also, the Mayor's Office and other City authorities have been trying to enforce ordinances to arrest (but only selectively, which is blatantly unconstitutional) against persons who stand still in one spot on a public sidewalk, or even sit on a public bench.

Friend Jeff's Way: As You Go About Your Daily Life

     2nd Way.  Jeff, a Friend of The Prayer Foundation
(he is not an official part of our ministry, but he does borrow and watch our Christian movies!) witnesses every moment he's awake, including on his job as bus driver (for which he can be fired at any moment by a complaint--and he has a wife and three children). He always wants a dust-covered bus, so he can write a Christian message on the back of it.  Monk Bob rides with him often, and they hold "services."  When no one will talk, they talk about the Bible to each other.  When un-saved people will talk, they witness; when Christians are present, they sing hymns and have a "church service."  Jeff hands out tracts and witnesses when buying groceries in  the checkout line.

One day Monk Bob and Monk Preston went over to visit Jeff at his house but arrived a half hour early.  Jeff was gone.  He had (he thought) extra time before they were to arrive, and had taken two of his children (age 10 and 8--the other is 3) on a witnessing walk around to his neighbors (he lives in a quite upscale neighborhood), talking about Jesus, asking people if they were saved, if they knew Jesus as their personal Saviour, handing out Bible tracts and literature.

Monk Preston's Way: One-On-One Witnessing

 
     3rd Way.  Monk Preston spent three years in the ministry of an Evangelist; two of those years also doing one-on-one witnessing for 5 hours a day, five days a week, with  nightly evangelistic meetings; Church Services (including evenings) on Sundays.  On Mondays he rested.  His ministry was to tell people about Jesus; how to accept and receive Christ and be born-again.  

     How did Monk Preston first begin telling others about Jesus?  He had received Christ at age 19, going forward during the altar call of an Evangelistic meeting.  He next attended a home Bible study for three months.  Then one day he just went out and began telling people the Good News; talking to anyone, anywhere...asking them if they knew Jesus as their personal Saviour; were they born-again?   

...Monk Preston sold everything he had and gave it away and walked out the door to preach the Gospel and live on faith.  He didn't know where he would stay that night and had no money...

     He went and told students about Jesus in his former High School for three eight-hour days until the bouncer wouldn't allow him to be on the premises anymore (yes, the High School had a bouncer! It was a very tough ghetto school; students hit teachers and pulled guns on them.  You didn't want to enter the bathrooms because the gangs were using them as gambling rooms).   The bouncer sold drugs to the students and was sleeping with some of them.  He left Monk Preston alone until he realized that He was talking about Jesus, and then threw him out. 

At that point Monk Preston sold everything he had and gave it away and walked out the door to preach the Gospel and live on faith.  He didn't know where he would stay that night and had no money; he had kept two changes of clothes, a winter coat, and a guitar (for ministry).  He went out and began talking about Jesus and the Bible.  The Lord provided a place for him to stay that night and for the next three years, as he traveled around the U.S.A., sharing with others about Christ 

..."Faith Outreaches" across the U.S. and Canada...

(Later he would go at times in a car with 5 other Christians on 2-week "Faith Outreaches" across the U.S. and Canada.  These were to preach the Gospel and show those he was with how they could live by Faith.  They started off by taking only $50.00, and no one was allowed to mention any need, unless asked for instance, when asked where they were staying, they were allowed to say that they didn't have a place to stay, but not to ask for one.  God always provided).

     In the first three months of witnessing one-on-one on the street, many were brought closer to the truth, but none accepted the Lord.  The second three months the Lord blessed him with over 50 accepting Christ.  From that time on, it remained that he prayed with about one person to accept the Lord every three days.  The first time He preached in a Church service was in a Maximum Security prison in Michigan (its the one where they "house" the most hard-core criminals from Detroit), and nine convicts accepted the Lord.  The first time He preached in a public rented hall, 7 came forward. 

You already know all that you need to know to begin witnessing; your own personal testimony of how you became a Christian.

     On the street when you can't answer a question or remember where a verse is, you go home and find out the answer and memorize the verse.  Some of the people Monk Preston led to the Lord would go out witnessing the next day, knowing no Scripture.  He led one sixteen year-old to the Lord and the next day that young man led three of his friends to Christ.  

     All that this new Christian knew, was that he was saved by Jesus, and that's what he told his friends.  You already know all that you need to know to begin witnessing; your own personal testimony of how you became a Christian.  The next step is to learn some of the wonderful Salvation verses that are found in the Bible (see our page: Memory Verses: Salvation! and the verses found on our page: Plan of Salvation.  Also see our pages: Statement of Faith).  After this, you learn by doing. God's Word and the Holy Spirit are our teachers.

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