On my way out this morning, I met a woman “preaching” a few kilometres from my parents’ house. I heard the chiming of her bell to be exact and a raspy voice muttering words that included “hell”, “alcohol” and so on. Let’s just say I couldn’t make out a full sentence from all she had to say.
‘What’s the point of the preaching then? There must be a better way to do street evangelism’, I reasoned. So I took to my Whatsapp and updated my status, asking my friends (who are believers) for their opinions on the effectiveness of street evangelism (SE) and bus evangelism (BE). Thanks to them, I got helpful tips on how to do street and bus evangelism effectively. I thought to share these tips with you all:
Angel: Hmmmmmm… This bus evangelism ehn, I have never tried it ooo. Street evangelism, I don’t think sooo, except when we are many and we catch them ONE ON ONE. All those people that will just be talking and walking about, they should be called PUNCHLINE PREACHERS, once in a while- as the Spirit of God works, they will just use a line that resonates with you somehow.
Paul: Street evangelism, Yes. In SE you are not just talking to the air. You are having a one-on-one conversation with people and you’re sure they can hear and understand correctly. They are free to ask questions…But BE, you talk, hoping someone is listening 😩😩😩 and in this angry Lagos, no one wants to be disturbed.
Bayo: It’s definitely effective to an extent because at least, seeds will be planted in hearts and will prove effective later, one way or the other… But the issue is usually following up and that requires more efforts. And moreover, the point is to get as many to hear and to know the good news. So Yes, it is effective.
Iyinoluwa: No…..for street evangelism.. you are literally not talking to anybody. Cos people just hear just bits and pieces when they pass. While for buses, people just want to be in their thoughts. A lot of times it’s just a bother even for a Christian. God can use anyone though…the right word and the right time …so it can’t be totally cancelled out
Uche: I’m not exactly sure of the best ways- but these things will help in either situation: knowing how to get their attention and keep it, knowing how to pass across the message so it sticks and passing the true message without mincing words.
Pascal: Street evangelism is effective in my opinion. I’ve spoken with people one on one and they listened. Bus? I don’t really know. Personally, my bus trips are usually time for me to study the bible or read up something. So when people talk or preach, I find it inconvenient. And the bus space is all cramped up. So I don’t really think bus evangelism is effective sha.
Joe: I share the same opinion (Pascal’s opinion). I think it’s only effective when it is very short. Otherwise, it can be very disturbing.
Folu: Okay… So, think of it as some sort of advertisement. As we move around each day, it’s not just the comprehensive and elaborate discussions and explanations that we have that are being stored in our minds. Also, the trinkets of information, as small as a sentence or phrase can make a difference, especially when combined with comprehensive information. It’s very unlikely that someone would at that moment make a decision to follow Christ. But in the larger scheme of things, it isn’t a waste at all. Remember the Bible says that we will reap where we haven’t sown – talking about the fact that most of the people we appear to have harvested into the kingdom were laboured upon by others. This is typified by the ‘Paul planted, Apollos watered’ scenario in the first letter to the Corinthian Church.
Taiye: I don’t think it’s effective as per the lack of interaction and ability to elicit responses from the people being preached to, but it does a world of good for the Christian faith when the right doctrine is taught in buses.
1. People hear the word they might not be opportune to hear again. A seed is planted in the very least.
2. Exposure to the right doctrine which serves to combat the amazingly poor theology that is shared by good-natured but poorly taught Christians.
3. Helps the believer to share his faith boldly in public spaces.
1. Lack of interaction between the preacher and ‘prechee’😅
2. There is usually no follow-up method used because of the large spatiality of the state/country (When Paul preached in the markets, he was able to separate those who believed and teach them further.
Eniola: I think it is. You never know who is listening. I used to ask the question and the major answer I got was, the most important thing is to get them saved. There’s this new creation reality preacher always on my street. I hear his voice from my room and I’m always pleased. My sister also called my attention to him. Meaning some other people are listening too.
Jones: I think street evangelism is effective. The important thing is dropping the right word with a person, yeah? And we are also aware that heaven rejoices if one soul comes into heaven so you might speak to ten people during your street evangelism. And when I say street evangelism I am not referring to those guys who carry megaphones at junctions, threatening hellfire on everybody and threatening us towards salvation. No. I mean going into streets, speaking to people one-one and having a conversation. If you speak to 10 people in a day, it might resonate with one person or two. Their conversion may be a culmination of the words they’ve heard beforehand or what you said coming to play at a later date.
For bus evangelism, I think it’s subjective because most people will shut you out. However, there are a few people who either have no choice but to listen to you. There are also some Christians who are not preaching so they support you by paying attention to your preaching but they are already saved. Sometimes, your preaching might resonate with someone and then they choose to pay attention. But generally, people who listen in buses are those who want to protest against your preaching or just shut you out.
The above observations provide certain helpful tips when considering SE/BE:
1. Either Street Evangelism or Bus Evangelism should not be ruled out as God is capable of bringing people to Him through these platforms. Also, like Taiye pointed out, they are good platforms to boldly share the gospel. If you can preach on the street or on a bus, you may find that preaching to your colleague at work or in school will be less hard.Both Street Evangelism and Bus Evangelism should not be ruled out as God is capable of bringing people to Him through these platforms. Click To Tweet
2. For Street Evangelism, it appears one-on-one preaching is more effective than just talking to people in general, hoping that somehow a “punchline” sticks.It appears that one-on-one preaching is more effective than just talking into the air, to people in general, hoping that someone is listening. Click To Tweet
3. If you decide to preach to people in their shops, for example. Be polite, introduce yourself and ask if you can have a conversation with them. Even if they are distracted by the frequent buying and selling, if interested in your preaching, they will give you audience.When you preach to people in one-on-one in public places, be polite, introduce yourself and ask if you can have a conversation with them. Click To Tweet
4. When preaching on the bus, make it short and precise. Otherwise, you will lose the attention of your listeners. Preach the Gospel, pray and dispense spiritual gifts (prayers for healing, word of knowledge, etc) if led to and round off. Anyone touched by your preaching may strike off a conversation with you on the bus or after you’ve alighted, then you may go into more details.When preaching on the bus, make it short and precise. Otherwise, you will lose the attention of your listeners. Preach the Gospel, pray and dispense spiritual gifts (prayers for healing, word of knowledge, etc) and round off. Click To Tweet
5. It is trite for me to point out that accompanying your preaching with a bell (or similar instruments) while on street evangelism is not helpful. It’s distracting and makes one come off as a nuisance especially when it’s all people can hear. If you are considering it, please don’t.
Do you have a helpful tip? Please comment below.