I sometimes go out and spend some time talking on the streets with strangers (people I have never met) about Jesus. While others disagree, I think there is place for some Christians to do this regularly; it does NOT have to be done poorly, it actually can be done well and have great results. I believe we should have MORE Christians doing this, even if not all believers are called to do it.
I don’t go out as much as I wish I did. It is actually extremely difficult to get myself to do it; I tend to make every excuse not to do it. But a vast majority of the time I do go out, I leave so grateful I did and wish I did it more. There really is a JOY that comes with inviting others to consider the good news of Jesus Christ.
On a weekend in this past month, I went out for about 1.5 hours and positioned myself on a busy corner in downtown Naperville. I had about 30-40 copies of the Gospel of John with invites to our church in them. To those who were interested, I gave a gospel of John with a short comment ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Have you read the gospel of John?’ And on some occasions I had further conversations about the gospel.
Here’s the breakdown of what took place, and I think this kind of typical for what happens in my context:
1. Vast majority (80-90%) either ignored me, avoided eye contact, or politely declined receiving a gospel of John or having any type of conversation.
2. Some took home a copy of the Gospel of John, (a few with what seemed very genuine interest and even intrigue—I told them “reading this book could change your life and even your eternity”)
3. Several people mocked or responded with jeering or jesting (nothing too in your face, more flippant on this occasion)
4. Several Christians stopped by and THANKED me for what I was doing and encouraged me to keep going. This is always refreshing and a precious help to keep at it.
5. I had one really long great conversation about the gospel with a non-Christian (a young man in his early 20s). He opened up to me about his struggles, took a gospel of John, and I prayed with him. He also THANKED me for taking the time to talk with him. I hope to see him again in the future.
What are other people’s experience with this street evangelism? I certainly don’t believe this is the only way of doing evangelism—I mostly use other methods that are more relational—but I do think it is method we ought to do more.