Street-Ministry That Pleases God
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Hi there, my name is Basie Martins. Before we go out for the first time, we need to make sure we know what God wants us to do. We do need to make sure that whatever we do, that it is in the will of God. We do not want to hurt people. We want to be a blessing to people.
Street-ministry is becoming very popular nowadays. More and more people have left the building and they are going out into the streets and the marketplaces and the houses of their communities to fulfill the great commission. Some disciples of Christ are obedient to Christ and they function more and more like the disciples of the early church.
However, most people act and function completely incorrectly when it comes to street ministry. Different people go out into the streets for different reasons. Some go out with the focus on evangelism. They go out and lead as many people as they possibly can to Christ. Some go out to heal and deliver as many people as possible. Some go out to challenge people through intellectual reasoning to make them aware of God and his will. Some minister unto people with music or roll-play or some kind of a one-man stage performance. Others go out to teach or to carry out some sort of a combination of what I mentioned here.
All these people go out to make a difference in the lives of people and to achieve special breakthroughs in people’s lives. They want people to meet Christ and to be healed and delivered and blessed. I am sure that none of these people realize that what they do may look fine but is not always the best thing to do. They may hurt people in the process. To get to the point, a few things are very important when it comes to street-ministry: Finding a man of peace, the water baptism, baptism in the Holy Spirit, incorporating the man of peace and his whole family into the local church congregation or planting a house church right there in his house. Some street-ministers are under the impression that some or most of these things can be omitted but this cannot be further from the truth. When two of these things are omitted, and almost all street-ministers do, we have succeeded in leading people to Christ, but, we have also caused a lot of damage to those people.
When we do all these things we have made a major spiritual impact in the lives of the man of peace and his family. If we omit some of the things that I mentioned, we have made the spiritual experience of such a person less spiritual and we have reduced the impact on his life significantly. By doing so we created a bad start for those people.
Some street-ministers are happy with just one of the things that I mentioned, and that is to lead people to Christ. All the other things do not matter to them that much. Now, by doing this, we have given those people a very mediocre spiritual experience, and, as I said, we have given them the worst start in Christianity that they possibly could have received. They could have experienced the most wonderful, life-changing, and most empowering and spiritual equipping experience possible if we were prepared and ready to give them the whole experience that God intended. To follow Jesus Christ as God intended is the most wonderful and unforgettable experience in everybody’s life. Nothing can compare to it, and nothing can give a person the turbo-charged start or spiritual power and abilities that the real God-given salvation-experience can give people.
This is how Jesus Christ experienced it and how many people in the Bible experienced it.
16. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
As we can see in this Scripture, Jesus received the baptism in the Holy Spirit as well when He was baptized in water.
35. Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
In this Scripture, we see that the eunuch followed Jesus Christ through the water immediately.
44. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48. And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
In this Scripture, we see Cornelius and his whole family converted, baptized, and baptized in the Holy Spirit at one single event. I have written a teaching about the power of the baptisms. If you want to understand the importance of both baptisms, you need to listen to this teaching or read it on my blog. It describes the significance of what literally happens during both baptisms. Both baptisms are not symbolic at all. Seriously important things happen in the spiritual realm when we are baptized in water and again when we are baptized in the Spirit of God. These things empower the new-born Christian and it equips him to walk the walk of faith immediately and successfully. It helps him to be an instrument in the hands of God from the start. When we separate salvation and the baptisms, I am referring to the sinners-prayer, we make the baptisms symbolical. This man-made ritual changes the salvation and deliverance experiences of Christians tremendously. It makes the most wonderful and empowering experience a mere formality.
You see, it was God’s intent or his will that every new-born Christian should follow him through the water. God never replace the water-baptism by the sinners-prayer. It was implemented by the church, more than a thousand years after Christ.
The notions that one can pray Jesus into his or her heart and that baptism is merely an outward sign are actually late developments and cannot be further from the truth. The prayer itself dates to the Billy Sunday era, however, the basis for talking in prayer for salvation goes back a few hundred years.
Consider the following appeal: “Just accept Christ into your heart through prayer and he’ll receive you. It doesn’t matter what church you belong to or if you ever do good works. You’ll be born again at the moment you receive Christ. He’s at the door knocking. You don’t even have to change bad habits, just trust Christ as Savior. God loves you and forgives you unconditionally. Anyone out there can be saved if they … Accept Christ, now! Let us pray for Christ to now come into your heart.”
Sound familiar? This method of conversion has had far-reaching effects worldwide as many have claimed this as the basis for their salvation. Yet, what is the historical significance of this conversion? How did the process of rebirth, which Jesus spoke of in John 3, evolve into praying him into one’s heart? I believe it was an error germinating shortly after the Reformation, which eventually caused great ruin and dismay in Christendom.
Eventually, the following biblical passage written to and inspired for lukewarm Christians became a popular tool for the conversion of non-Christians:
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. ….Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
This passage was written explicitly for lukewarm Christians. Now consider how a lecturer named John Webb misused this passage in the mid-1700s as a basis of evangelizing non-Christians:
“Here is a promise of Union to Christ; in these words, I will come in to him. i.e. If any Sinner will but hear my Voice and open the Door, and receive me by Faith, I will come into his Soul, and unite him to me, and make him a living member of that my mystical body of which I am the Head.”
Preachers heavily relied on Revelation 3:20. As a result, more and more preachers of Christendom concluded that baptism was merely an external matter, only an outward sign of an inward grace.
In the days of the apostles, the gospel was preached to the people, and then all those who were willing to be on the side of Christ were called out to be baptized. However in the 1700s, in the Inquiry Room, the counselors asked the possible convert some questions, taught him from Scripture, and then prayed with him. The idea that prayer was at the end of the process had been loosely associated with conversion in the 1700s. By the late 1800s, it was the standard technique for ‘receiving Christ’ as Moody’s influence spread across both the United States and the United Kingdom. This was where a systematic Sinner’s Prayer began, but was not called as such until the time of Billy Sunday.
The sinners-prayer was easy and convenient. It is also a huge advantage for street-ministers. How can they give people the truly God-given experience there in the streets? There is no water available to use, most of the time, and street-preachers do not want to commit to the time-consuming practice of escorting people to their houses or his own residence where they can use the bathtub or a swimming pool to baptize people, so they take the easy way out. They lead people to Christ with the sinner’s prayer and then their job is done for the day, not realizing that they have just done those people a huge disservice. They failed to ensure that those people have the most important and wonderful experience and equipping session of their lives. You see, God intended for people to enter the water as an unsaved being. Because the person is unsaved, what he is about to experience, will be as real as real can be. Quite a few things are about to happen in the spiritual realm, literally, because he is still unsaved.
People follow Jesus Christ through the water, not by praying the sinner’s prayer. The water baptism is the road to salvation and restoration. So when that person goes underwater, the old man (old spirit) literally dies and ceases to exist. In its place, a new creature, a new spirit is born of the Spirit of God. It is not the same type of spirit that Old Testament people or unsaved people have. As I said, that spirit ceases to exist when the new convert goes under the water. In its place, a completely new type of spirit is born. That is why it is called a new creation. Just look at how powerful Scriptures about the water baptism is:
Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
15 And he said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
The water baptism is not just a symbolic act. It is a powerful act of obedience that causes changes in our lives. It fast-tracks us on our spiritual journey. We experience instant deliverance or at least a lot of success in our spiritual growth and development when we have been baptized for the remission of sin, the right and Biblical way. It means we are serious about Christ Jesus and our faith and that is why demonic spirits hate it. They know that they won’t be able to do whatever they do when they possess or oppress people. When this happens they know that they will not be able to keep such a person in bondage. There is power in obedience and there is power in water baptism.
If we are not baptized for the remission of sin, we will always struggle to live in freedom. We need to lay down the old man and we need to die with Christ by sacrificing the old man so that we can rise with Christ as a new creature. We cannot carry the old man on our backs. The water baptism is the first step to follow Jesus and when we take this step, at that moment, we are disciples. Not before that. Before we go through the water we are unsaved or we are saved because of the sinners-prayer, but we are not really disciples of Christ. Yes, although the sinners-prayer is not Biblical, I believe God still saves us even though we did not follow his will and instructions. However, when we are baptized, at that moment we become a follower of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:21 explicitly says that baptism saves us, and it is true because we are supposed to be unsaved when we enter the water. So by following Christ through the water, the water-baptism literally saves us. The sinners-prayer does save us as well. But it is wrong, it was supposed to happen in the water, as Christ instructed. If we are saved through the sinner’s prayer, those powerful things which were supposed to happen in the spiritual realm, are now absent in the water when we are baptized at a later stage. In such cases, the water baptism really is a mere symbolic act.
Street-ministers should really consider this aspect. We should be obedient to the instructions of Christ. There is a reason why we are instructed to find a man of peace. Take note, it is singular, not “people” or “men” of peace. Why just one man?
5. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
6. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.
7. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
Jesus found Zacchaeus in the tree and He asked him to visit him in his house:
5. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
6. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
It is all about us finding one man of peace. Like Jesus, we should ask the man of peace whether we may visit him and his family at his residence. We go to his house and we lead him and his family to Christ. We follow God’s instructions and that is to allow them to follow Christ through the water, not the sinner’s prayer.
So this instruction is a big problem for many street-preachers. They want to lead as many people as possible to Christ. They want to heal and deliver as many as possible. They want to make a big impact on as many people as possible. At the end of the day, they sit with five or ten or even more people who start to leave in different directions. We cannot visit them another day. We will never see most of them again. This is not how it is supposed to be done. Many street-preachers minister to people because they want to build their YouTube channel. To post as many YouTube videos as possible has no spiritual value. In fact, you teach people daily how to evangelize the wrong way. How valuable are all these YouTube videos if it is not Biblical? Rather record the whole process, the correct method, from start to finish: Find a man of peace, heal him right there in the street and/or preach the gospel of Christ to him. Then ask him if you can visit him and his family in their house, right there. The two of you should proceed to his house. In his house, preach the gospel of Christ, pray for the rest of his family. Heal and deliver them if they are sick or in bondage. Baptize them in water and immediately lay hands on them and pray for them to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Right there in the bathtub or swimming pool. All of them. Record the whole process for your YouTube channel if you want. This is the right way. Then, start a house church right there, immediately, or, make arrangements, right there, to incorporate this man and his family into an already existing house church or your congregation if you are in the organized church.
I strongly believe that this is the only Biblical method of street-preaching or street-ministry. We always start in the street and we always end up in a house. Any other way is probably a result of wrong motives or ignorance. God wants us to have an impact on the man of peace and his whole family. God wants the impact to be a real spiritual breakthrough and decisive.
Do not force people to repent. Do not use the well-known sinners-prayer schemes which are aimed at forcing and pressurizing people into repentance. No, tell them that they have sinned and that they will not escape the judgment of God and then ask them if they want to follow Christ through the water. No pressure. Just a little pleading is OK. Just a little and then leave it up to them to decide.
We want truly authentic repentance. Not forced repentance which won’t last and which will destroy their salvation-experience forever. They must go into that water unsaved and when they come up from the water, truly saved and delivered, in some cases truly delivered after being baptized in the Holy Spirit and delivered through the laying on of hands. Do not force people and do not apply all the clever little schemes that Christians use to get people saved.
Every street-minister should have these goals, more or less in the right sequence: Find a man of peace, just one man, heal him, go to his house, baptize and deliver him and his whole family, both in water and the Holy Spirit and then, conclude the outreach by planting a house church right there in his house or make arrangements for him and his family to be incorporated into another house church or your local congregation, if you are a member of the institutional church. I know that I am stepping on toes here, but, I do not see much use for any other type of street ministry. After all, this was Jesus’ instruction.
I will leave a link to my post titled, “The Power of the Baptisms” in which I discussed the baptisms in a lot more detail. It is really a powerful teaching. For instance, Christians are under the impression that they need to be holy and very obedient before they can be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This cannot be further from the truth. The opposite is true. We are supposed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit immediately because we need the Holy Spirit to help us to become more obedient and more holy in the presence of God. The Holy Spirit helps us to grow and develop spiritually.
So my aim with this short teaching is to help you make sure that when you go out, that you do it for the right reasons and that you do it the right way. If you ignore Christ’s instructions in this regard you may cause a lot of unnecessary problems and repercussions for people. You may cause the start of their Christian faith-walk to be completely wrong, not being spiritually equipped and therefore unable to develop and grow like they were supposed to. If you do not understand what I mean by this, then you need to listen to or read the teaching that I mentioned. It literally means that the proper water baptism and the proper baptism in the Holy Spirit, as it is supposed to be done, equips and empowers Christians to grow and develop as they should. Both the baptisms are God-given equipping experiences. Not symbolic experiences.
I hope that you have found this session informative and that it gave you some insight into the will and the ways of God when it comes to street-ministry.
This is all for today. See you next time.