Brisbane Team (Night) (QLD)
Meets every Saturday night in King George Square 7-10pm.
Brisbane Team (Day) (QLD)
Meets Wednesday afternoons 1-5pm in King George Square (near Adelaide St crossing).
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
Wednesday in Brisbane City was overcast meaning that many more people were sitting around the area, making opportunities for a whole host of conversations.
The hard part with a conversation is knowing what pace to take. If you try and rush person may get lost or confused and leave the conversation. If you go too slowly they may have to leave before they comprehend the gospel. Usually at a bus stop outreach, it is always better to be quick knowing you have less than ten minutes in most cases to have the conversation. But in Brisbane city the balance is harder to find. The first conversation of the afternoon with Carly was cut short as she had to leave.
Before that point she came to realise that we all know God exists, that all of humanity is guilty and therefore there is no other religion in the world that can solve this apart from Christianity because exclusive to Christianity is God taking the penalty for the sins of those who will be going to Heaven. During the chat as a young lady she asked some interesting questions about sexuality, Hell and a few other things in light of how she has perceived Christians. What she was so surprised at was the graciousness of the answer. Scarily she said, "You're the first Christian I've talked to that hasn't been really rude about this".
The conversation was finished before she came to understand how a sinner can be forgiven but she took a tract and was thankful for the conversation.
Another conversation soon after was with Andrew. He has spoken to the team before but is very interested in his own ideas rather than what God has to say. Similarly to last time he said it was proud and presumptuous to be declaring who we think God is but then he would go on and start sharing the he thinks God is impersonal, just a force and doesn't care about right and wrong. Sadly the irony was lost on him.
This time, with great effort the conversation was mostly kept on track as Andrew was shown that any religion, including his religion of secular humanism, that says all we must do is be good people and that will be okay in the end are sown with the seeds of their own destruction, as we fail to do good continually. He was shown that where he was placing his hope would never be able to solve the issue. He had to head back to work before he could come to hear of Christ but please be praying for another opportunity to talk with him in the coming weeks!
A conversation with a guy, named Liz, took place and similar to Andrew he was blinded to the irony of his claims. The sad part of the conversation was that during the conversation he shared that he grew up in the Pentecostal Church and ultimately left because he doubted the Bible and started to think, there isn't enough evidence to conclusively say that there is a God.
Many simple evidences of God were pointed out, chiefly that a God who doesn't exist cannot act in history, so the very fact there is a universe, that God has told the future through prophets and apostles, that He has done miracles and most notably that He walked this earth, died on a cross and rose from the dead are things that God has done, there is absolutely no doubt about God's existence. Rather Liz was questioned about the original issue and was asked if that his doubts about God stemmed from a desire to do things God said he wasn't allowed to and then he had to make a choice, to ditch God or to stop sin.
Liz agreed that this was the case and then following that he'd started "disbelieving" in God. He was shown why this is foolish, both because of the judgement to come but also the the only hope for sinners is found in Christ and what He offers but despite comprehending the depths of God's love for sinners, Liz choose to reject the forgiveness that could be his if he will acknowledge that his sin is sin and trust in Christ, instead choosing to continue living his own way.
Please be praying for Carly, that another opportunity will come up where a Christian can share with her the glorious gospel. Please praying that Andrew may return for another smoke break and may get to hear of what Christ has done and please pray for Liz, who in his pride and self-love is making a very foolish decision to reject the only offer of forgiveness available for guilty sinners.
Saturday night in Brisbane City came with great joy. There were eighteen team members out, Including a few new members! These members, despite having a desire for many years, had their first opportunity to try and articulate the gospel to someone they didn't know. What a joy it was to watch these first steps take place, as they endeavoured to see how it looks and then to share God's glorious gospel with those He had provided.
The first conversation of the evening was a sad one. There were a young African and Asian lady who approached the flip chart with the desire to see what it was all about. One girl professed to be a Christian whilst the other had hardly even heard the name of Christ. The problem, both of them believed it was ones goodness that would make them acceptable before God. Through the law they trekked, seeing the desperate position they're in before God but as the condemnation bought by the law showed itself the professing Christian started to get squirmy. "I've already repented of all my sins and I pray every day. I go to Church and I try and be good," she said in an attempt to defend herself.
This made it hard because the flip chart deals with the saving exclusivity of Jesus and how it can only be received by faith, not by works, but sadly this young lady was making it hard for her friend to even get a chance to comprehend the gospel. She was too proud to realise her own need and her words and actions were causing her friend to miss out on the chance to hear what Christ has done to save sinners. It wasn't too long later but both of them walked away together, with the condemnation that the law brings, without the knowledge of how it can be solved.
Soon another man approached the flip chart. He was a bit hesitant and was taken carefully through the flip chart but it was wonderful to see that he comprehended it simply and easily. The questions fell into place, the examples made sense and in under ten minutes Shuki went from a general knowledge of Christianity to an understanding of the simplicity of justification by faith alone. And was left to ponder the question, "When will you trust in Jesus?"
There were a scattering of conversations over the next hour or so but the final two conversations of the night were beautiful. Pat, was a man who at first even rejected the idea of God but with the simple building's need a builder analogy, flowing into the law Pat saw the predicament he is in. He is living in God's world, his way and will have to face the consequences of his rebellion, if he continues this way. He was asked for the solution but had no real idea so he listened intently and responded through a simple range of examples and analogies explaining; how the debt must be paid, forgiveness requires someone to pay, that salvation is a gift accepted by faith in Christ and it wasn't too long before He came to understand the gospel! He was able to repeat back the good news.
Then a turn was taken, he'd understood justification by faith so it was time to challenge him to count the cost. Although forgiveness is a free gift, upon receiving it, our lives will change and trusting in Jesus will cost us something. Whether it is a job, a girlfriend, a house. There will be scenario's in ones life, following their trust in Jesus that they will be called to give up something they love, due it being a hindrance to their service of God or maybe because to keep it they would be required to sin.
Pat was challenged and he was exceedingly grateful for the conversation and said this very day he will count the cost and trust in Christ. This conversation was followed by a very similar one with Matt.
Over the course of the night, many tracts were handed out, many gospel conversations were had and there were a range of people who came to comprehend what God has done to save sinners!
Please be praying for those spoken to tonight that God would use these conversations to challenge them, not just to acknowledge his existence, but to change their mind about sin and to trust in Christ, the Saviour!
On Wednesday in Brisbane city, there were many people around and as always many people heard the gospel. The team of eight split throughout the area and were able to have consistent conversations over the course of the afternoon.
The first five conversations of the afternoon were short and sad. It isn't that they were a waste because the intention was to share the gospel and why it was needed (God's existence and our guilt) but the first five who were approached were fueled by their love for sin and desire to be their own God. There was a Buddhist lady who wanted to trust in her own ideas. She had no reasons or arguments as to why Buddhism was true and when challenged she saw that her system was greatly flawed with no standard giver, no judge and no justice and in the end she admitted, "I just want to live a happy life my way and not have to answer to anyone". She was very offended at the law.
A lady who was using the idea of "Metatrons Cube" to argue that there is no God. Ironically, it is a pattern and patterns need Creator's, just as does everything else with a beginning and complexity. She too didn't want to acknowledge God's existence and was upset that she would be challenged in what she wanted to believe.
Chelsea, saw God's existence and the law but sadly had a friend turn up and had to head off before the conversation could continue. A man almost instantly sat down where Chelsea was and was asked the same question and created a silly strawman argument to try and argue that God is evil. He used this to justify his own actions as not that bad. This was followed with a conversation with Gabriel who saw the law and his guilt then started arguing that there was no such thing as right and wrong.
But after almost and hour of conversations that were with people who were hardened against God, along came Anna. She too at first was quite opposed to the idea of God and was shown the building builder analogy and said that it made sense but was still not keen with God's existence. This was revealed all the more as the law, like a mirror, showed her sin. It was at this moment in honesty Anna said, "I don't want to believe in a God who tells me what to do". Anna showed that her problem wasn't one of intellect, or being "too smart" for God, it was one of idolatry, she wanted to be God.
Anna was shown why this was unwise and stronger yet, foolish. Anna started trying to take the conversation down other routes showing that she did not know the gospel so the opportunity was taken to ask Anna if she knew what Jesus had to say about how someone gets to Heaven. Anna didn't know, she thought it was by being good and not doing the wrong thing. Then for the first time in her life, with a few well placed and chosen questions she comprehended the beautiful message of grace that God offers to sinners.
Anna was on the ball, comprehended the gospel immediately and was able to get challenging checking questions correct to show that despite her prior disposition she had no trouble understanding the simplicity of how someone is justified. Sadly at the end of the conversation after coming to understand the offer of forgiveness, Anna still chose to reject it because she said she was unwilling to give up living life her way. Even when shown that God's rules are for our good.
The last conversation was with a man who after going through the law got quite upset and declared that he didn't think there was a God. He then said, "I grew up in the Church for twenty one years and then I left". When asked why he said, "Because I had my eyes opened and learnt the real truth about the Bible". He had to leave but was challenged briefly that it wasn't really knew knowledge that caused him to leave the Church rather it was a choice he had to make. There were things he wanted to do that God said no to and the choice he had to make was whether he would throw out sin or God.
He looked gobsmacked that he had been seen through, acknowledged that was the case and then had to head off.
Please be praying for those today who heard of God's existence, God's law or the extent of the gospel. Please be praying specifically that Anna would reconsider her initial rejection of the gospel and instead trust in Christ alone for her forgiveness and as a result turn from her sin and live for God. Please also be praying for that last man that the reminder that he rejection of God was on the basis of sin, not intellect would cut him to the heart and that he would turn and read his Bible once again and come face to face with who God really is.
On Labor Day, a public holiday in Queensland, a team of ten used the day off to head into Brisbane City to share God's glorious gospel with anyone willing to listen.
It was a privilege to be able to use a fourth public holiday, in as many weeks, on the streets.
In this video you can hear Heidi rejoicing in God's grace that even despite her best efforts to share the gospel with Sue didn't come to pass, another team member was able to share the gospel with two men sitting next to her and she was able to listen.
You can also hear Hanno and Zelda share about encouraging conversations they each had as they as a team, took turns looking after their children as the other went to share the gospel.
Lastly be encouraged that like Fynn, who would have been otherwise occupied if it wasn't a public holiday, was instead able to come out and preach Christ and Him crucified.
Why don't you schedule in an outreach on your next day off?
On Saturday night in Brisbane City the team headed in to share the gospel with those whom God allowed to stop. The night was filled with many conversations but there was one stand out.
Anna, a German lady, was walking past early on and was asked what she thought would happen after we die. She had a range of ideas but mostly about God being a force not a being, the afterlife not being about judgement and therefore each of us could live by our own rules and desires as long as we don't hurt anybody else. She was challenged on this as to God's personhood, God's goodness and God's justice. This opened up an over two hour conversation where Anna came to comprehend the gospel and understood why Jesus alone can offer salvation.
She heard many reasons as to why Christianity can be trusted and why she should place her trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of her sins. Anna tried to argue for her own righteousness by the way that she treats the planet but was shown that no amount of good deeds can ever take away one's history of sin. She then comprehended that all people deserve God's justice for their sin in Hell and therefore that our only hope is if God Himself pays the debt for out sin. She learned how forgiveness will change a persons life and they will no longer want to live in sin but that they will want to honour Christ as Lord with their lives.
The conversation ended as Anna was challenged a number of times to consider what God had said and how one can be forgiven and to count the cost of trusting in Christ. At this Anna was thankful for the conversation and she headed off.
A few other conversations were attempted, with two young guys mocking God saying that they were "so scared" of Him when they saw their guilt by the law. Another guy said he was good and didn't need God and a third said he was too busy to chat but it was less than fifteen minutes later when Anna returned and offered to buy a coffee. Funnily enough, another team member who speaks Dutch started chatting to her and then offered to buy her a coffee instead and then another half an hour conversation took place.
Anna had some more questions and this time the tone was even more serious. She was encouraged that God didn't make mistakes and He may have even bought her all this way to Australia so that she could hear what He has done to save her. She was talking about being thankful for now understanding others opinions but was challenged strongly that this wasn't just anyone's opinion, this what what God has said, done and promised and therefore it isn't just to be treated as a nice idea but the truth by which life should be live.
The conversation finally came to a close and Anna was comprehending the gospel, said she would consider it and was left with the very serious choice, trust in Christ and live or rely on oneself and be punished eternally.
Please be praying that God would be at work in Anna's heart, that she would hear this good news and trust in Christ alone for her salvation and that her life would be changed, that she would return to Germany as a Christian, wanting nothing more than to know God, be known by God and make Him known!
On Wednesday in Brisbane city the team out to preach Christ and Him crucified to the lost and broken people of this world. The afternoon had some great reminders and was encouraging as well!
One conversation late in the afternoon was with Jemma. From first glance she seemed as though she would be hard to talk with but God in His grace allowed it to be one of the easiest and simplest conversations. Jemma had some Christian background but nothing major.
What was most surprising was not that Jemma used the word, "repent" when talking about how she should respond to the gospel but that she actually had a correct definition of the word! When asked, "What do you think that word means," she responded. "To have a change of mind about sin and then you will trust in Christ".
The reason this is so surprising is that the team a few months back realised that what Australian's mean when they say the word "repent" is usually, "be a good person, stop sinning and ask for forgiveness". Since the team has started asking people what they mean when they use the word, this is the first person to give an accurate definition. For this reason we have stopped using the word and instead started explaining the idea other ways.
This conversation with Jemma was incredible, she comprehended the gospel, she was able to get the checking questions right first time and she was challenged to count the cost and to trust in Christ this very day!
The conversation following this was with Arli, an Indonesian man. The conversation was harder, he struggled to comprehend the gospel as first and more work had to be done to lead him to comprehend what was being said but when he did understand and was able to explain the gospel simply back he declared that he didn't want to trust in Jesus. He said that he was happy living his own way and didn't need the saviour. It was sad to see someone understand the predicament they are in, the reality of judgement but willing to say that they love sin too much to trust in Christ.
There were many people who weren't able to stay for the gospel as they had to head back to work or off with friends. This included Shane an Irish guy who'd never thought about it before, Alamir a lapsed Muslim who had very little idea about Christianity, Tracey who had to head off with her brother before she heard the good news and Jason said he was just going to risk it on the day of judgement.
Lastly was an exciting conversation with Oli, a local homeless man. Usually those on the street aren't willing to chat but Oli was. By God's grace, even though there was a strong hint of alcohol on his breath he came to comprehend the gospel! He said, "I have spent so many years visiting different churches and being served by them but this is the first time I have understood what Christianity is about". What an exciting comment from Oli, praise God that he has now comprehended the gospel!
Please be praying for all those who heard the law and gospel today that God would use the guilt shown by the law and the forgiveness provided by the gospel to draw people unto Himself that they may come and trust in Christ for their salvation!
On Saturday night in Brisbane City, as with every other day of the year God in His providence provided those he wanted the team to speak with. Evangelism is hard work. It isn't that articulating the gospel is a feat that is overly strenuous (though some gospel conversations take more effort than others), it is that investing in and caring about someone's eternity takes effort. It makes a lot of sense that Christ needed time alone with the Father and often retreated to have quiet time, compassion for the lost takes energy.
This evening was filled with fewer conversations than normal but these were conversations that were invested in strongly. It wasn't that lengthy apologetics took place, or all the questions raised were flawlessly answered but that whilst attempting to lead those spoken to, toward an understanding of the gospel, a great burden was carried knowing the reality of their eternity without Christ.
The first conversation was with two young men who came up to the table being silly and mocking and they asked for a Bible but they ended up walking away with far more than they had bargained for, they left with the gospel. These two young men were being silly but their silliness was cut short as they heard the seriousness of their sin, their current eternal destination and the only offer of hope. They ended up leaving quite abruptly but not before they had heard what God had done to save sinners.
Next was a conversation with two men, one of whom was headed for prison in three days. Sadly though, these men in their pride were opposed to God's gospel. They were unwilling to hear of what Christ has done, they simply wanted to try and justify themselves by pretending they weren't guilty, arguing that there was no God, followed by arguing that they weren't that bad. What was so sad was that these two men didn't have a good reason to reject the gospel. They didn't know it, they didn't have information that disproved it, they simply were to hard hearted, too much in love with sin to acknowledge that they had a problem.
The last two conversations of the evening were very different though. Eban and Eugene were chatting to another team member, trying to argue about the origin of the universe and how it couldn't be created by God, when they posed an idea that he wasn't sure how to answer. But rest assured there is a very simple answer to proclaimed "intellectual" arguments against the existence of God, the law. A quick segway was given, "That's an interesting question you raise but let me ask you, do you think you've ever told a lie before?" following into a straight forward gospel presentation, where many questions were asked leading Eban and Eugene to not raise another single objection against Christianity but instead ended up seriously pondering the good news of what Christ has done. It was beautiful to watch God's law at work, it truly did silence their mouths and enable the gospel to do its work.
Lastly was a conversation with Paul and Mary, Germans who had a church background but were living however they wanted, were trusting in their goodness to get them to Heaven and actually were more hoping for reincarnation. Paul and Mary were shown God's law and very quickly realised the seriousness of the conversation. The saw the penalty they deserved and how grave their position was. And with some helpful questions, simple analogies and patience, they came to comprehend the simple gospel of justification by faith alone that will be followed by obedience to God.
They were thankful for the discussion and said that for the first time in a long time light had been shed on this important issue in their lives. They were encouraged to open up their Bibles and to read the Gospel of John and to consider what had been said that they may trust in God for salvation!
Praise God that He continues to use those who were once His enemies to be the proclaimers of His grace and that He delights to display His wisdom through the foolish gospel! Please be praying that God may be gracious to those who heard His law or gospel tonight!
On Wednesday in Brisbane City there was a smaller team out than usual. Some of the local workers couldn't make it down and a few others got held up from coming so with four members the team set out to have as many gospel conversations as possible, to lead people to understand who God is and what He has done!
An early conversation was with Josh. He stopped to chat and at first didn't seem super engaged but by the end of the conversation after seeing the seriousness of the discussion, came to understand that sinners can be forgiven by trusting in Christ, who paid the debt. He was able to repeat it back and said he would consider what was said.
Similarly Niza was able to understand the gospel and explain how someone can be forgiven. Niza said that she had never really thought about what comes after death before and for the first time in her life considered it. Further than that she came to understand the reality of God's goodness and judgement and that our only hope is found in Christ.
A third conversation very similar to the first two took place with Jasper, unlike the others at the end, whilst being able to articulate the good news of what Christ has done and how one can be forgiven he still wanted to hold onto the idea that it may not be true. He was left with a strong challenge to not just sit around, waiting to die to find out but to consider the claims of the Bible, to read it and come face to face with what it says.
Troy, the fourth conversation declared that he had complete knowledge of the Bible and knew what it was all about but his spoke greater than he could support and was shown to be making bold claims. He did no a little about the Bible and said he had done part of the theological degree but sadly Troy had no idea of the main message of the Bible, nor of how he could be forgiven of his sin. He had rejected God whole-scale for what he said were, "problems with the Bible".
As he was about to leave, in an attempt to get to the gospel, as he was trying to bring up as many arguments as possible, a short monologue was given explaining the story of the Bible, of God's creation, humanities foolish, pride-fueled rebellion and God's justice toward evil, yet God's gracious and kind promises that He would act to save the very ones who had scorned Him and mocked Him. This all finding its fulfillment in Christ, when God became man by adding humanity to his deity and then lived the life we failed to live, dying the death, paying the penalty we deserve and rising victoriously from the grave, so that those who trust in Him and what He has done can be made right on the basis of His perfect life and sacrificial death.
Troy seemed stumped, he was silenced and it seemed that never before had he heard such a straight forward explanation of the gospel, let alone the story of the Bible and he took a tract and headed off.
This was followed by a young French lady who despite evidence declared, "I do not want to believe that there is a God". She was warned strongly that willful ignorance will not go unpunished and that it will not take away guilt from the rest of her actions.
Lastly was a brief conversation with Emma, who was a very good critic of people. She was accurate in noticing faults and flaws in humanity, religions and other world views but the irony was strong. The condemnation she poured out upon others, left her condemned. She criticised others for living however they wanted, despite later declaring that she lived her life trying her best to not hurt anyone else because she thought that was a good way to live. Sadly the conversation didn't last as she had to head off to work but Emma took a tract as well.
Please be praying for those who heard the gospel that they would take it to heart, not just remembering the truth of it all but personally trusting in what Christ has done for their forgiveness!
This past Saturday night was wet and this caused the square to be far quieter than usual but God provided people to speak with quite consistently over the course of the night.
You can hear Andrew sharing about a conversation he had at the beginning of the night with a man who actually was living a few streets from where he did before he moved to Queensland a little over 12months ago. This meant he was easily about to recommend a local Church when this man responded positively.
Also find encouragement in a coversation Ryan had with a young man who had started going to Church and had done an introducing God course but thought that he was going to Heaven because of his Church attendance.
Please be praying for both of these conversations that God would draw these men unto Himself and cause them to walk in His ways!
On Wednesday in Brisbane City, in the lead up to Easter, there was a good sized team out, reminding people of the weekend that was coming and explaining why it is so central and crucially important for every person on the face of this planet.
The day had some exciting responses to the gospel but predominant theme was actually rebellion. Not just that people didn't want to talk or hear. But five people, came to understand the gospel and chose to defiantly reject Christ and His offer of forgiveness. In the theme of Easter, people were being incredulous. It wasn't that there was a lack of evidence, or not enough reason to believe, rather they had decided they did not want to believe.
First was with Margaret a Russian Orthodox, who saw that her goodness and attempts to honour God would not be enough on the day of judgement and that she would be found guilty. In response she asked what the solution was and when explained that it was that God purchases us from judgement by paying the debt Himself she was interested to hear more but when she heard that it was received by faith, not a result of works she rejected it. She said, she must do something to receive it.
Next was Kane. A simple gospel presentation was given and Kane was able to get the checking questions right. He understood what God has said in His word the Bible but at the end of it all Kane said, "I think I will just continue to trust myself". It was pointed out to Kane, the foolishness of his decision and he was strongly warned of the consequences of his choice, that he could be in Hell this very night. Interestingly during this conversation with Kane, two ladies sitting nearby who were at first listening into the conversation left in frustration because they didn't want to have to listen.
This was followed by a conversation with Jordan, who was harder at first than the previous two and was quite consistent in his attempts to escape God's judgement with his arguments. Later trying to justify his sin as not that bad. In the end he heard the gospel, he understood what God had said about sin and salvation and was able to comprehend it and repeat back the way of salvation but he declared that he would not believe.
The same thing happened with Ash a Nepalese man who had Buddhist leanings and saw how helpless he was in the system of Buddhism to deal with sin and guilt. In the end of it all though he declared that he really didn't want to have to live God's way, rather that he was content with his own ideas, his own standards and would continue living how he wanted to until he thought there was a need to change.
Lastly Simmo was in a similar boat. He was the hardest to keep on tract as he had many different ideas and arguments to try and distract from his guilt and God's offer of salvation but in the end despite him rejecting it he walked away knowing what God has done to save sinners and how he, a sinner, could be forgiven.
But after saying all this, today was not a failure. Not even because there were others who responded positively to the gospel but simply because God is in control. As the team we taught people who God is, what He has said about sin and the offer of forgiveness that He gives to those who will accept His terms of peace and God will do whatever He wills with this message that is now on their hearts. So may you pray for these five people that they will not continue to reject the gospel but they will dwell on the beauty of God's love and turn to Him for salvation, that this Easter they may be rejoicing in Him as their King!