Sunday, July 3, 2011

Give Yourself a Lift!

Last night we had an AMAZING turn out of High schoolers and CBC members plus our regulars to reach the lost. While guys were preaching I talked with a Youth Pastor from a local church who had some encouraging words about what we were doing BUT (and that is always the word that lets you know there is something they don't like about what you're doing) he took issue with the fact that we were standing on a BOX to preach the Gospel... (sigh)... people will always find something they don't like about this ministry. Nevermind that when I asked him "if I was your friend who had three minutes to live what would you say to me?" he gave me an abismal presentation of "God has a purpose for your life" and I had to basically BAIT him into sharing anything from the Gospel... but I digress.

He felt we should be on the ground to "connect" with the people. That we may appear that we think we're "better than everyone else". I let him know that people hate us and the Gospel whether we are on the ground or on a box, they will always look for an excuse NOT to believe. Personally, sometimes I like to preach on the ground and enjoy it because you can get more animated, however I still like to keep a box close to me for many of the reasons mentioned in the following piece of advice from Ray Comfort.

Give Yourself a Lift

"If you are going to preach in the open-air, elevate yourself. For eighteen months, I preached without any elevation and hardly attracted any listeners. As soon as I did it “soapbox” style, people stopped to listen. Their attitude was “What has this guy got to say?” They had an excuse to stop. Also, elevation will give you protection. I was once almost eaten by an angry 6'6" gentleman who kept fuming, “God is love!” We were eye to eye...while I was elevated. On another occasion, a very heavy gentleman who had a mean countenance placed it about 6" from mine and whispered, “Jesus said to love your enemies.” I nodded in agreement. Then he asked in a deep voice, “Who is your enemy?” I shrugged. His voice deepened and spilled forth in a chilling tone, “Lucifer!” I was standing beside my stepladder at the time so he pushed me backwards with his stomach. He kept doing so until I was moved back about 20 feet. I prayed, “Wisdom, Lord,” then said, “You are either going to hit me or hug me.” He hugged me and walked off. That wouldn’t have happened if I had been elevated. Elevation will also give you added authority. Often hecklers will walk right up to you and ask questions quietly. This is an attempt to stifle the preaching, and it will work if you are not higher than your heckler. If they come too close to me, I talk over their heads and tell them to go back to the heckler’s gallery. They actually obey me because they get the impression I am bigger than they are. When Ezra preached the Law, he was elevated (Nehemiah 8:4,5). John Wesley used elevation to preach. Jesus preached the greatest sermon ever on a mount (Matthew 5–7), and Paul went up Mars’ Hill to preach (Acts 17:22). So if you can’t find a hilltop to preach from, use a soapbox or a stepladder."

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