Hello all! Merry Christmas! I hope the season has treated you well so far. It has been busy for us, but quite good.
We are back at CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK again this year, and we’ve got just a couple of weeks left. I realized I’ve been going to the event for over a decade. Wow, how time flies! It remains a great place to share the Gospel with people who otherwise wouldn’t hear it. I’d encourage you to come out and join us if you can. I’ll be out there at least a couple nights a week between now and New Year’s Eve, so let me know if you’re interested in participating. I always love the company, and it helps get a lot more tracts into people’s hands, so come on down! You can view our outreach schedule at oacnorcal.org.
YEAR END GIVING
I try to limit my appeals for support, but since we are at the end of one year, and the beginning of another, now is the right time. We’re making plans for the new year, and I know many of you are as well, and we hope you’ll consider making us part of your giving plans for 2023.
But we don’t want folks who will send support, though it is a great blessing when they do. We want to be in fellowship, keeping you updated, praying for you, and encouraging you in your own evangelism efforts. I’d consider it a privilege to talk with you over a cup of coffee or a meal (my treat), or via phone or internet if we are too far apart, to share more details about what Open Air Campaigners is and does here in Northern California. So if you’re interested, reach out and let’s spend some time soon.
A NOTE ON METHODOLOGY
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ways to share the Gospel in public settings. Some people believe open-air preaching is the best, or even only way to faithfully share the Gospel in public. Others like to hand out tracts, or focus on one-on-one conversations. Some think that building personal relationships with family or friends is the best way. Others carry a cross, or use drama presentations, or artwork, or music, or witness door-to-door, or just invite people to church. But which is the best way?
I think the answer can be all of the above. I’m a strong believer in having a lot of tools in your toolbox, and I’ve used all of those, and more. All may have their places, since not everyone is gifted in the same way, or has the same life circumstances. But before you decide what YOU should do, be sure to ask a few questions:
- How has God gifted me? What training and experience do I have that He might want to use?
- Is this method effective in impacting people for the Gospel? – Notice, I didn’t ask about number of converts. Some plant, so water, and God brings the increase. You may be called primarily to plant and water.
- Is the method Biblical? – The message must ALWAYS be a Biblical one, and the method must effectively communicate the message without violating Biblical principles. If you have to water down Gospel truth for a method to be effective, don’t use it. If the method requires you to be harsh or rude (remember 1 Peter 3:15-16) then don’t use it.
- Is the method an excuse for inaction? – To speak frankly, many folks seem to choose their method based on comfort level, rather than effectiveness or Biblical foundation. Allow yourself to be pushed outside of your comfort zone. Trust God’s power for your success, not your own. That will help you grow, and will almost always be more effective.
If you have more questions on this, let me know. There are few things I enjoy more than encouraging others in their evangelism efforts. We can talk about what tool works best for you!
EVANGELISM FLIP CHART
With my last note in mind, one very effective tool I’ve been working on recently is the one linked below, our evangelism flip chart. It’s a set of banners that can be used to start a conversation, and then walk through a Gospel presentation with people on the street. I’ve been using a version of this for a couple years, and I use it almost every time I go out. If you are part of a team that shares the Gospel in a public setting, or would like to start one in your church, I’d encourage you to get one. It’s very effective, and I’d be happy to show you how to use it.
Note: Tract Planet also has a great selection of tracts!
Back to School
College ministry is back in full swing! I’ve been focusing on Stanford University and San Jose State this semester. Both have gone very well so far, with lots of good conversation. And God has provided a new College ministry partner, Doug Pyle. Doug has been involved in reaching out to students, and particularly to Jewish students, for many years. It’s been great to have an experienced and passionate ministry buddy, particularly at Stanford. Oh, and by the way, Doug is 90! He has every excuse to stay home, but he chooses to go out and share Christ instead. Can us younger folks do any less?
I’ve also had a couple of good high school outreach events, though I’m hoping for more in the new year. I’ve been able to take a couple groups of high-schoolers out so far. Please pray for many more in the new year.
As always, your prayers are appreciated. If you would like to be added to my weekly text message list, so you can pray for us when we’re out, reply to this email or give me a call.
I pray God blesses you all for the rest of 2022, and even more in 2023!
Please pray for unsaved family member
Please pray that our High School and College Ministry will continue to grow
Please pray for the future of our radio show. We are finishing teaching the Gospel of John, and there are a lot of changes happening at the radio station that hosts us.
I am still raising support so I can get rid of my part time work. Pray I’m at full support soon!
Please pray as we plan our big projects for 2023 and 2024
West Coast SET Training – We want to host a sketch board training in the area soon
Online and in-person evangelism training – Brenten and I are looking to host several evangelism classes soon. If we did, would you attend?
Community Festivals – I would like to plan earlier for community festival outreaches in 2023. Do you have any big festivals in your community? Would we work together to reach your community?
International Conference – Becky and I are hoping to go to the Open Air Campaigners international conference in 2024. Pray for God’s guidance!