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Open-air preaching

November 2000 | by Hugh Bourne

Open air preaching SOURCE Open-Air Mission
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A camp meeting [preacher] or open-air preacher should go straightforward, and should strike home at every blow. Set sermons, prepared for chapel pulpits, are of little use. The open-air preacher should have his mind upon Luke 24:16-17: ‘Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations’.

He preaches man’s fall and lost state; he preaches the atonement; he preaches repentance; he preaches the forgiveness of sins, justification by faith, the new birth, being born again, created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works.

He endures the travail in birth, presses through temptation, gets into the full exercise of faith, the unction of the Holy One descends, liberty opens, and, as much as in him lies, he preaches the gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.

He often produces a greater effect in a quarter of an hour, than many a pulpit preacher does in a full hour. Some preachers in chapel pulpits spend portions of time in proving what they advance; but the straightforward open-air preacher does no such thing.

He preaches the lost state of man, the death and resurrection of Christ, repentance, faith and holiness. He warns, by setting forth the terrors of hell, and encourages by preaching the glories of heaven; but he leaves his preaching to prove itself.

He looks to God, and to the prayers and faith of himself and people, and watches for effects — watches for the conviction and conversion of sinners, and the quickening of believers.

A sound camp meeting preacher avoids apologies and frivolous remarks. He preaches a free, full, and present salvation. He redeems his time, and completes his work. He does not squander away his own, and the people’s time, by attempting to tell what others have preached, or will preach; but he attends to his own work, occupies his own portion of time, and makes an end without attempting to occupy the time that belongs to others.

He is prompt and attentive, and closes at the signal given, if not before.