Street Ministry and The Three ‘L’s’ of Evangelism

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I pitched my easel to paint en plein air on Washington Blvd. near Lake Ave. in Pasadena, CA. My subject was an abandoned movie theater. The exact location was the walk-in entrance to a shopping center where I knew there would be a lot of foot traffic; an ideal spot for evangelism.

The first man who stepped up to my easel seemed to be receptive to the gospel, but I soon learned that he had ‘issues’ when he told me he was Jesus. I was able to speak briefly to about a half dozen other people before the ‘one’ came walking up the street.

He was smoking a joint (marijuana) when he passed me by. I could tell he was curious about what I was doing.

That one was Jake (not his real name). He was smoking a joint (marijuana) when he passed me by. I could tell he was curious about what I was doing so I called out to him, “Do you like to paint?” He stopped, turned around and replied, “I didn’t know how.” “What do you know how to do?” I asked. “I know how to cut hair,” he said. I continued to chat with him from a distant of about three meters. He finally stepped over to my easel.

The 3-L’s of Evangelism

The ministry ‘technique’ I have developed over the years is what I call, ‘The 3-L’s of evangelism’.

  • Love: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 People respond better to the gospel if they believe you care more about them than you care about preaching Jesus to them just so you can add a notch to your ‘got-em-saved’ belt. So, I turn the attention away from the artwork and encourage them to talk about what really interests or concerns them. I had already learned that Jake was a barber (this was his interest). I also found out about his family (this was his concern).
  • Light: The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130 Having become aquainted with my new friend at my easel, God can now give me scriptures that specifically addresses their situations. For example, Jake might receive something special from hearing, …the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30. Concerning Jake’s family situation, he could be helped from hearing, Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. I Peter 3:7 It’s so important that we have the scriptures in our hearts and minds so that God can pull it out of us at the appropriate time.
  • Life: I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 Having had an intimate discussion with Jake undergirded by God’s word, I am now able to extend an invitation to him to receive eternal life in Christ.

Jake had been born again while serving time in jail, so salvation was not an issue. However, he, like most people I meet on the streets needed prayer. I asked him if I could pray with him concerning his family situation. He smiled and said, “Of course!”

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