Open-air outreach: The elephant in the evangelical room?

Open-air outreach: The elephant in the evangelical room?
Mike Mellor
Mike Mellor Mike lives in Dorset and is involved in itinerant preaching, evangelism and evangelism training.
11 January, 2024 5 min read

Many have deep concerns regarding the relevance or appropriateness of open-air preaching or ‘street evangelism’ in our day. This can be clearly seen in the way that open-air outreach is conspicuous by its absence as a subject in most ministry conferences and seminary training programmes.

I am someone who is convinced of the primacy of preaching outside as well as inside church buildings, and am fully persuaded of its effectiveness. However, I do understand why reservations exist.

We all have witnessed poor, insensitive, and even aggressive  examples of street preaching and outreach. Being so public makes it doubly inexcusable. Sincere and earnest though they may be, the approach and manner of some preachers can be lacking the essential grace, winsomeness, and empathy that are so needful.

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