Monday, February 12, 2007checklist for the Canadian street preacher...
Just got an e-mail from brother Marcel, from "The Beauty of Holiness". Every week I get an e-mail from him in which he gives a report of his street preaching venture in Quebec City; it is very much like my Friday Night Notes. In this particular report, I got a real good laugh when I read this (note that Lucy is Marcel's wife):
"Lucy is always interested that I tell her what happened on the street preaching in Ottawa. I can have these news because I am reading Rand's blog and his friday night notes. Rand is also a member of Calvary Baptist Church and he is helping pastor Tim (also a member of Calvary Baptist Church) to establish a solid doctrines of grace church in Ottawa. Rand has done street preaching every friday nights for 7 years now and pastor Tim has done it for more than 15 years very faithfully. One friday night a few months ago, Rand has been spat in the face by an agressive sinner. I told that story to Lucy. Since that time, Lucy is always carrying Kleenex with her when we go out on the streets. She can forget many things but not Kleenex. She said: "I could not stand to have somebody spit in my face without having a Kleenex to wipe that out" . If ever you come to preach with us in Quebec City, be at ease, Lucy always carry Kleenex... By the way, Quebec City sinners have not get to that point yet...."
What really made me laugh is that Kleenex has been a must for me, on all of my street preaching endeavours. Whether someone spits on you, or throws something, Kleenex sure comes in handy.
So now, for my dear sister Lucy, and her team (and for any other soul who will get involved in street preaching in Canada), here is my "top 10 rules to limit the damage", for the street preacher:
1- Keep Kleenex on you!!! From wiping off whatever you have received, to simply taking care of your runny nose, Kleenex is a really help.
2- DO NOT (and I cannot stress this enough) accept any drinks or snacks from anyone you do not know personally. Do not take a warm cup of coffee even if it is -20 Celsius. Do not accept a Gatorade if it's 30 Celsius. You have NO IDEA how easy it is for someone to spike a drink with drugs or other "nasties". I'M NOT BEING PARANOID, I KNOW OF SUCH AN INCIDENT.
3- Do not wear your best. If you are involved in street preaching for over 2 years, you will be pushed around, you will have objects/liquids thrown at you, and you don't want your new 200$ suit stained for good.
4- Know where to find a police officer. In my city, there usually is a police officer parked around the corner from where we preach. If things get out of control, that's where we get our help. If you don't know where to find an officer, you should keep a cellphone with you.
5- DON'T LONE RANGER! The Lord sent his disciples two by two, so don't go out to war all by your little lonesome (Luke 10:1). If no one in your fellowship will go with you, shame on them! If there really is no other option and you have to be the lone ranger, then at the very least, keep a cellphone on you.
6- When speaking to the unconverted, especially those who are antagonistic, use the term "my friend" when speaking to them. I have disarmed several angry sinners just by staying calm and referring to my adversary as "my friend".
7- When faced with the possibility of a violent confrontation, subtly put anything that is in your hands away. You want to be ready to defend yourself, but at the same time, you don't want your adversary to know you are readying yourself for a fight.
8- Never preach under a balcony or in front of any building where you could be beaned with a projectile. The parking garage we preach in front of has two sections where there is nothing but a brick wall; THAT'S WHERE WE PREACH! If we preached in one of the areas where there is a window, sooner or later, we would be on the receiving end of something unpleasant.
9- Keep your distance from people who are intoxicated. The best you can do for such is to give them a Bible tract that they can read when they sober up. You will not make any progress discussing the fine points of the Faith with someone who has their brains swimming in Jack Daniels. At best, you will be wasting your time, at worse you'll have someone vomiting or passing out in front of you.
10- In the winter time, WEAR THE EXTRA SHIRT/SWEATER/JACKET. You have no idea how many times I have found myself looking at an extra piece of clothing and thinking: "should I wear that too?" The answer to that question, I assure you, is always "YES!!!" In the winter time, it's cold in Canada. Even if you have 5 sweaters and two jackets, you will not die of heat!
There you have it, brothers and sisters. Preach on, and preach safe. Remember there are only two times fit for a Christian to be preaching the Gospel: IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON! (2 Timothy 4:2)
Take care and God bless,