It was a strange feeling being back in Brisbane after spending a week on the beach front of Surfers Paradise. The city just seemed dirty and as Ryan later commented, you could “taste” the air of Brisbane. But, it is always good to head back into the CBD. As we set up for the night it was no surprise that the city was not very busy. This is due to the extra cold winter we have been having of late.
Due to the quiet nature of the night we spent much time in one to one and tract work. It is always easy to get conversations in Brisbane, and of late we have had an increased number of Arabic speakers. This is good, since we are able to minister to them in their own language, they way in which we accomplish this is by carrying Arabic tracts and Bibles.
It was also good to have the Malyon College team come out and join us tonight, even though it was quiet the team of students seemed to enjoy the night. The highlight for me was having a mate of mine get up and preach open air for the first time. He did a wonderful job expounding on the gospel and also calling men and women to repentance. All I can say is great job Adam, may God be glorified in your future preaching.
I also preached tonight, and as I was preaching a couple of young ladies approached and asked me about lesbianism. This topic is always a sensitive one, so I dealt with it gently. I explained to them that it was a sin and that God would judge them for their sinful behaviour, I also stressed to them that Jesus Christ is the friend of sinners. One of the girls seemed really interested, and she took a gospel of John and a CD at the end of the message.
The night was great, so encouraging to see people come to the realization of Jesus Christ being their only hope. It is our prayer that many would flee to Christ and be saved.
It was a quiet night in Brisbane city, this was no doubt due to the fact that it was very cold. This winter has seen Brisbane having some of the coldest weather in years, and since those in our city aren’t use to it many have been staying indoors.
But, tonight we were proud to be apart of the international outreach known as Project Ezra. This ministry seeks to have Christians the world over to read the same passage of Scripture in the open air all around the world. The passage this time was 1 John, so we as a team took turns in reading the Bible in public. Due to it being very quiet not many people stopped to listen and even less heckled.
After the reading finished we began to prepare for the preaching. It was fairly quiet all night, and now much happened when it came to heckling. But, in the midst of it all there were many great conversations.
It is such an honour to see the gospel go forth in this city of ours. May God continually be glorified.
I was in a great mood tonight as I made my way to the city. This was due to several reasons, first, that morning I was at a young evangelist conference, it is always great to be with other like-minded Christians. Second, I had the privilege of making known the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to all those who would listen.
Those things combined made me excited about the night. Also, the preaching tonight would all be focused around the one thing that had shaken the world, and that was the unexpected death of the pop superstar Michael Jackson, now while I am not a fan of his music, I myself was shocked at his death, it caught me unaware. My first thoughts upon hearing of his death was “I wonder if he trusted in Christ?” Maybe, you are reading this now, and you have never trusted in Christ for your salvation, if that is the case right now I would encourage you to turn from your sins and trust in Jesus Christ, as He died upon the cross for sinners and then rose again. He now offers you forgiveness of all your sins if you would come to Him.
It was great for the team to once again meet in King George Square, we use to meet all the time in the square, however, with the re-developments we have had to move to Ann Street. But from now on we are back in the heart of the city. We spent some time in prayer and then read the Bible together, it is always great to commit the outreach to Christ before we begin, as apart from Him we can do nothing.
As 9pm rolled around, we made our way to the Queen Street Mall, and began our set up process. I was to be the first preacher for the night, so I began to prepare for my message, my text for the night 1 Peter 1:24-25
“for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”
I used the Michael Jackson death as the launch pad, but then spoke about the good news of death and sin being defeated by Jesus Christ. A few people stopped to listen, one young man began to heckle a bit. He was rather proud, but he soon saw the seriousness of things. After presenting the gospel to him I called this young man to decision, and his words were heart breaking “I choose to reject Christ!” Before he left I said to him, “Mate, remember this, on the day you regret your sins, know Christ can forgive you.”
I wrapped up the preaching shortly after that. Then it was time for Amy Barnard to get up and read the Scripture, but she did more than just that. She expounded on the verses and preached a gospel message from Genesis 3. It is encouraging for me to see her getting up to preach. She has grown dramatically over the past couple of years. It is my prayer that she will continue in this ministry. She is such a blessing to all those within Operation 513.
After Amy finished, it was time for her brother to get up and preach. Joel’s preaching is going well. He is becoming more confident in his preaching. Other preachers for the night included Ryan and Jeremy, both of whom did very well in dealing with hecklers and making known the glory of Christ.
During the preaching I was able to get a conversation with a young man who was walking down the Queen Street Mall wearing the classic Australian driza-bone jacket. Since I have one that is exactly the same I decided to grab this bloke for a discussion, it turned out that he was a bush boy and he was in the city for a night. He didn’t seem overly impressed with everything in the city, but he was happy to have someone to talk to, and since I lived in the bush for a time, I was able to relate to him. He had never heard the full gospel message before in his life, and he saw the serious nature of his sin and his need for the Saviour, he left me with a Bible a Gospel CD and then he promised he would think about our conversation. Please remember him in your prayers.
The rest of the night was spent handing out tracts and having one to one conversations with people. While it was a slower night due to the cold, it was a great night of ministry. To God be the Glory!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, June 20th, 2009 - Brisbane
The city was abuzz with people tonight, which is always good and considering the slow day we had on the Gold Coast it was going to be a nice change. Louise and I met up with the rest of the team in our usual spot for a time of prayer and bible reading.
At 9pm we started our weekly ministry in Brisbane city. Sadly I was on high alert since we had credible threats come in from a person who had stated they would come attack the females of the team and rape them. So my night was spent making sure people were safe and keeping my eyes open for this guy.
Andrew Hsu was the first preacher up, he preached for some time and did some good preaching when engaging hecklers. The night was quiet so it was fairly hard to get a crowd and also to get good hecklers, but never-the-less he was able to bring the gospel to those who would stop and listen.
The Queen Street Mall in Brisbane is a great location for evangelism, there are so many people milling about and many want to talk about spiritual things, this was evidenced by that fact that the Buddhist had a large jade buddha set up in Brisbane square. It was saddening for us as Christians to see such an idol in our city, but at the same time we were able to use that idol as a springboard for the gospel proclamation.
The night seemed to be going slow tonight, that was until the guy making the threats showed up and began to walk pass and glaring at the members of the team. During this stage Ryan, and Jeremy were able to preach. It is so good to have these two go after each other since they both have a different style of preaching. Ryan’s style is similar to mine, in that he will bounce off the crowd and dialogue with those listening, whereas Jeremy is a stand and preach it kind of guy. These two styles work great together, and when running off each other more people get to hear the gospel.
Overall the night was slow, even though Alex the Agnostic was present, but the gospel went forth and God got the glory!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday - 13th June 2009 - Brisbane
After a great day on the Gold Coast I was really excited about going into the city to witness tonight. We all met as per usual at the point where we have team prayer and Bible reading. It was great that we were joined by a few new people tonight, and also it was great to have other friends return.
The plan of action for tonight was to have Andre and Joel open up the night with a song, they both prepared and decided to sing “And Now My Lifesong Sings” by Casting Crowns, they both did an incredible job. Once they finished singing, I stood up and began to preach, my text for the night was Ezekiel 18, my sermon “The Soul Who Sins”. For about twenty-five minutes I preached, there wasn’t any major heckling, I did however get to engage one man in the open air. He seemed quite open and even hung around after his friend left him. For the most part I found myself focusing on the loving kindness of God in my preaching, this of late has been something I find myself preaching more of, while I believe it is vital to preach about sin, I think it is more important to speak about God’s love and kindness towards sinners.
After the preaching finished there were many great one to one conversations to be had, every where you looked people were engaged in conversation with someone. Some of those who were being witnessed to at this stage of the night would remain to listen to the preaching for the rest of the night. People may say that street evangelism is ineffective, but I would disagree, in fact I would challenge anyone who is anti-street evangelism should actually give it a go and see what happens.
The rest of the night was spent with other members preaching. Joel Barnard got up and preached with passion, as did Nick and the other preachers. Towards the end of the night we were joined by our friendly homosexual atheist heckler named Riley. It is always a joy to have him come out and heckle us. He is actually quite a friendly bloke, and I reckon he enjoys the show. Please keep him in prayer.
To hear an audio of the Open Air preaching visit:
Saturday, 6th June, 2009 - Brisbane
The sound of a car whizzing by brought me back to my senses. I was in Brisbane city and during the prayer meeting I found myself starting to fall asleep. My body was overcome with tiredness. It had been a big day. Preaching twice on the Gold Coast, engaging in blocking punches being thrown by a heckler had all taken its toll. But, the night was young, one battle finished another just about to begin.
After we prayed for awhile and then read the Bible together, we made our way to the Queen Street Mall. Part of me was looking forward to preaching, another part would have loved the night off. We set up and Ryan began the night by preaching. He had been preaching for a few minutes when the heavens opened up and it began to rain. We quickly scrambled to pack down the Bible table and also we placed a tarp over the team bags so that there would be no damage.
Ryan kept preaching, even though it was raining. One of our regular hecklers (Wayne) brought in his family tonight. It must have been a good family night out as they seemed to enjoy heckling Ryan as he preached.
While this was all going on I noticed one young man walk past who we have dealt with in the past. This man is a professing Christian, however, he is now back on drugs and is making many threats to females, including females in the Brisbane team. I approached him to speak to him and straight away I saw that he was off his face. He began to ramble about how he had just beaten up his father, mother and little brother. Since I have dealt with him in the past I tried to help him. But he wasn’t interested. A bit later on he returned and the team was able to buy him a meal and minister to him.
In the past I have spoken to his pastor about him, and I gave his pastor my word that if he comes to the team I will tell him to leave before calling the police. Tonight we let him stay with us as long as he behaved. However, his good behaviour didn’t last long. While I was witnessing to young lady who had been listening to Ryan preach, this guy walked in and abused her. He also threatened rape and physical violence. This young lady ran away and I was not happy. I order him to leave or I would call the police. The man left, only to return later on.
Later in the evening I noticed that he had returned so I approached him and once again told him to leave or I would be forced to call police. He refused to leave, so I asked him again. This time he got up to leave and as he did he put his cigarette out on my chest. This resulted in Queensland Police being called. The man ran when police arrived and after a short chase involving about twenty police they caught him and placed him in lock up.
It is so sad to see this guy back on the drugs and it was hard for me to call the police on him. But hopefully he will learn that there must be a punishment for his crime and also that Christ can forgive whatever crime has been committed against God.
During this time there was quite a large crowd listening to Ryan preach and for the whole night the preacher had a crowd listening to the gospel. Ryan started to preach at 9:15pm and at 11:45pm he finally stood down. After that there were plenty of one to one conversations.
The night was hard, but many people heard the gospel. May God save sinners in this city!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday - May 30th, 2009
Another night, another chance to preach the same old gospel that has been proclaimed for the past 2000 years. And, once again we had the privilege of seeing God work in peoples hearts and bring them to Christ. As usual we met for prayer and bible reading before actually commencing the outreach. Tonight, we were joined by many new faces and also we had Andrew Walkington from Melbourne come into Brisbane to join us for the outreach.
We had a good time of fellowship at the start of the night, but at 9pm we made our way to the preaching spot in the Queen Street mall. The first preacher for night was Joel Barnard. He was very nervous at the idea of being the first preacher up, but it is great training for him. After watching him preach over the past couple of months I think in many cases he sells himself short. He is a really decent preacher and given time he will develop into one on fire open air evangelist.
After Joel finished his open air preaching it was my turn to preach. Tonight I preached my classic open air message “The Stalker” it had been awhile since I preached it in Brisbane, so I dusted it off to use once again. Not long into the opening analogy I had a few hecklers yelling random things out and then a group of young blokes came and stood right in front of me. They looked at me then looked at the crowd, it was show time. The boys began to jump around, dance, throw balls and just put on a show. It was hard to regain control during this time, but I used much of what they did to the advantage of the gospel. Finally towards the end one of the boys named Conner asked a few questions, this was the opening I had been looking for. I answered his questions and then presented Christ to him. He like all the other young blokes rejected Christ and continued with their jeering. However, later on in the night I noticed all the young blokes were in one to one conversations with members of the team.
After finishing up my message I was a fair bit discouraged as it was a hard open air, but then I was informed that a man had a approached the Bible table and was asking more about he could become a Christian. Andre was able to minister to this man who was covered in tattoos and had his hair in a Mohawk. It served to remind me that the power is not in the preacher, nor is it in the how the atmosphere is during the open air, but rather the power is from the Holy Spirit who convicts the hearers of sin, righteousness and judgement.
Ryan was soon up on the box to preach for the night, as he preached and made known the mysteries of the Gospel, God brought a crowd in to hear about how they can have sins forgiven. Ryan did a wonderful job in preaching Christ and Him crucified. People stopped to listen as Ryan expounded on how to become a Christian. During his preaching he had a few hecklers and around the outside of the crowd there were many people locked in one to one conversations.
During his sermon I was called to an area behind the preacher. A man had come forward to speak to one of the team earlier in the night and he now wanted to put his trust in Jesus Christ to save him. I explained the gospel once again to this man and stressed the cost of following Christ. The man acknowledge it and said that he wanted to pray to receive Christ right there on the streets. So with Ryan in the background preaching, and a crowd listening to the preacher, we bowed our heads and prayed for this man. After the man prayed to receive Christ he looked up and said “A burden has been lifted from me! I have been forgiven!” We were able to give this man some follow up material and gave him the details of a local church. After seeing a person trust in Christ I was excited and pumped for the rest of the night. I later found out that the man who had trusted in Christ actually had been at the preaching a few weeks earlier and was heckling and mocking the gospel.
At the end of the night I also found out that there was another person who had broken down during the preaching and placed faith in Christ. God has been moving in Brisbane city, He is doing many wonderful works and deeds. Please continue to pray for us as we reach out to the lost in this city.
Soli Deo Gloria!
While in the process of setting up the free Bible table, I had a group of about 10 youth come up to me requesting free Bibles. So I asked them whether they thought they were good enough to get to Heaven. They all thought they were. Some also thought that because they go to Church, God will let them into Heaven. So I asked them whether they had lied, stolen, blasphemed, or looked with lust. They admitted they had, and so I warned them that were deserving of Hell because of that. This shocked them, as they had never been told of the Judgment of God before. So I then shared the gospel to them, about how the death of Jesus can save them from their sins if they would repent and trust in Him. As soon as I mentioned that they had to repent, some of them said, "No, I'm not turning from any of my sin". While others were very interested and even came back later in the night to have further conversations with us.
After this, Blake got up to preach a short message warning people of the coming judgment and the good news of the cross. Then Rick, Peter, Paul, Blake, and Joel took turns reading out Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). This was the first time Peter had done any sort of open air preaching/reading, and did well. But while Rick was reading his portion, two guys heckled him and so he chatted with them briefly and told them that he'd be able to chat to them after finishing his reading. So after reading his portion, he got down and had a chat with them. However, 15 minutes later one of the hecklers that was chatting to Rick got angry and spat in Rick's face and started throwing things at him. This caused a bit of commotion, and out of the woodwork, Alex (the regular atheist heckler) appeared, and tried to get the heckler to settle down. But he didn't. By this time, everyone was looking at what was occurring and Joel had finished his portion of the Sermon on the Mount. Then the heckler shouted out, "Why is no one preaching now?" So I got up to preach about the day when everyone will have to give an account for the life that they have lived. He kept grabbing onto me and grabbing my Bible, so the police eventually came and locked him up. But thankfully God had used him to draw in a crowd in which I could preach the gospel to.
Alex also began heckling, stating that the universe does not exist. As he thinks that the amount of mater and antimatter is equal, thereby equalling zero. So I asked him, "Does the building behind you exist?". And he said it does. So then I pointed out to him that if there is something that exists within the universe, then thus the universe is not nothing, it is something. The discussion drew a crowd and gospel was preached.
Around this time, Josh Williamson and Andre arrived after being counsellors at the Will Graham crusade event.
Jeremy then got up to preach, Alex heckled him, but Jeremy did not engage Alex. He instead faithfully warned of the judgment to come and spoke of the cross of Christ.
Alex then got up to preach, standing on the seat next to our soap box while none of us were preaching. Except his message was atheism, not Christianity. We let him do it for a while and heckled him during the process. We tried using the same arguments back on him that he uses on us, to show the frivolity of his arguments. Such as, "I can't believe you would force your viewpoints upon us.", etc. It was really amusing, as even some atheists had a go heckling him.
Amy Barnard also got the itch to read the Bible publicly, and so she read John 3. Max then read from latter portions of Romans 3. Both Max and Amy haven't ever done that before, and they both did really well.
To finish off the night, Andre got up to preach. In total, there were 10 people who preached (excluding Alex), and a lot of them were new timers. Praise God the gospel went out, even though there was a bit of rain about.
To God be the glory!
Saturday, May 9th 2009
There was a light westerly breeze blowing through the city tonight, which meant it would be cold. So I prepared by putting on some warmer clothes and made sure I had a jacket just in case.
I wasn’t feeling overly well tonight, I think it is from all the work I have been doing of late, and also from lack of sleep. But, these are the “joys” of the ministry.
The city wasn’t that busy tonight, maybe the cold was having an effect on those people from Brisbane, since after all this is the sunshine state, and we don’t do cold very well. However, we still made the most of the night and we preached the gospel to all those who would stop and listen.
Hsusy was the first preacher up for the night, he as usual gave a solid gospel message that dripped with theology and sound biblical exegesis. While, Andrew is most definitely not an evangelist, he is very gifted as a preacher. It is always a joy to listen to him expound the Word of God. While he preached he had a few hecklers, there wasn’t much action just the occasional shout of abuse or someone would throw a question as they ran by.
After Hsusy stood down, Joel got up and began to preach. For a newbie in preaching he is doing incredibly well, however, he doesn’t give him self the credit he deserves. Joel has all the marks of a great open air preacher, it will only be a matter of time before he will be one of our main open air men.
Towards the end of the night, both Ryan and I got up and preach. Ryan is always great when it comes to the atheist hecklers (which seem to swarm to Ryan). His apologetics are one of the best I have heard when it comes to dealing with those who deny their Creator.
Overall the night went well (even though it was cold)
Saturday, May 16th 2009
The night was cool, but not as cold as it was last week. As I walked the Queen Street mall, the text of Matthew 7 kept coming to mind “The Broad Road and the Narrow Road” so I decided to preach on that later in the evening.
First up for the night was Jeremy, he was asking before to have a chance to preach, so I though “no better time than first up!” He started off by preaching from John 3:16, and he spoke about the God who loves. He did well considering he hadn’t preached for awhile.
Ryan preached next, however, he only lasted about twenty minutes due to the fact his voice was almost gone. This was due to the fact he had already preached down the Gold Coast today. However, those twenty minutes were strong, while he preached a few people stopped to listen, and it was a joy to see many one to one conversations.
After Ryan finished preaching Paul got up and preached for his second time in Brisbane, he did a great job. He preaches with passion and is powerful when he speaks. It is great having so many different preachers and different styles of preachers in Brisbane, as together we can reach different people.
Joel then followed by preaching again. I am proud of Joel and all he is doing, he has grown so much over the past few years that I have known him. To see him going from standing around doing very little to standing up with Bible in his hand preaching has been of great encouragement to me.
Nick then got the courage to stand up and have a preach as well and did a great job. At the end of the night I stood up and preached. My text was Matthew 7 and my topic was “Which Road Are You One?” While preaching a young man named Mitch stopped and he heckled a bit, so I engaged him. He started off very arrogant about the fact that he was a bad boy going to hell. But, by the end he was humbled and he saw his need for the Saviour. He took an in-depth gospel tract and also a CD presenting the gospel.
Please pray for Mitch and all those who heard the gospel tonight.
Soli Deo Gloria!
I was really tired before the preaching tonight, it is amazing how the Gold Coast can just sap it out of you. But, anyway. The night was set to be a good one. There is nothing more exciting than getting out there and making known the Gospel to those who have not heard of Jesus Christ.
Andre preached first tonight, it is always encouraging to see that he has grown considerably in the time I have known him. His preaching has improved in leaps and bounds, and also his loudness has grown.
Ryan preached straight after Andre. It was encouraging to hear the news that just before Ryan preached he had the privilege of leading a man to Christ. The guy was from Afghanistan but had grown up in Australia most of his life. After Ryan shared the gospel with him, he found it hard to accept that God could forgive his sins. So Ryan explained the gospel to him again, and it was as if it 'clicked' in his mind. Over the past few weeks we have noticed more and more fruit. This is not because we have changed our preaching or how we do evangelism, but rather it is because God is Sovereign and He will save His people in His timing.
Towards the end of the night I preached a short message, and pleaded with the lost to be reconciled unto God.
All in all it was a great night, many people got to hear the gospel.