In this article, I’m going to bang a particular drum–the drum of consistency. Consistency is vitally important when it comes to street evangelism.
Crosswalking at Harrison and Locust
I was crosswalking at my usual spot (Harrison/Locust, Davenport, IA) today. It was cold and damp. I’m usually at the corner in the afternoon, but other obligations today had me out there during the morning hours.
My evangelism signs were set up and I stood at the corner, cross in hand, waving at passing motorists. As I do each day, I prayed the Lord would allow people to either walk by and take a gospel tract or stop and talk.
I guess you could say it was a typical morning, which means more motorists positively responded than not. The few middle fingers were overshadowed by positive honks, waves, thumbs-up, and smiles. And the Lord allowed me to distribute a few gospel tracts to pedestrians.
Fewer people stop to talk in the morning than in the afternoon. In the morning, most people are on their way somewhere and have less time. Whereas people in the afternoon seem to be heading home and have more time to chat.
Wayne Stopped to Talk
In God’s providence, I met Wayne.
As you will see in the video (below), Wayne encouraged me in a very significant way.
I share this video for two reasons: 1) to give God glory, praise, and thanks; and 2) to encourage Christians.
My conversation with Wayne and the sentiments he shared was made possible by the theological and philosophical changes the Lord has wrought in my heart, mind, and life over the last several years. These changes, the process for which has not always been comfortable, have resulted in a more biblical perspective regarding the importance of the local church in street evangelism and in the life of the street evangelist, as well as a deeper and more genuine love for my community. And all of this has resulted in more consistency in my street evangelism–a consistency that, by God’s gracious providence, is bearing fruit.
As you listen to my brief conversation with Wayne, you will hear him say something I have heard many times over the last several years since moving my family to Davenport (IA) and bringing my ministry under the leadership, authority, and accountability of Grace Fellowship Church–even more during the last year as I’ve had over 130 gospel conversations since March 2020 while crosswalking: “I see you out here all the time.”
“I see you out here all the time.”
Consistency matters. Consistently being on the streets, in the same places, the same time of day, the same days of the week all help the evangelist to establish rapport, even trust with his community. Many people have told me that they decided to stop and talk to me because they see me every day. Others have told me that a friend or family member suggested that they stop and talk to the “guy who carries the cross.”
“Yeah, but Tony, you are a full-time evangelist.”
You don’t have to be a full-time evangelist to be consistent in your evangelism efforts. Maybe you can’t consistently be out on the streets every day. Can you do it one day a week, or a couple of hours one day a week? Or maybe you can do what my buddy Roy does. He takes his work lunch hour one or two days a week and stands on a corner with a gospel sign.
You Can Do This
What you *shouldn’t* take away from this video is that I am somehow unique or special, or that I’m doing anything extraordinary. Wayne could have had the conversation he had with me, with any Christian–any Christian willing to do the heavy lifting of being consistent in his or her evangelism efforts. Yes, it does take effort. It does take commitment. And yes, if I can do it so can you.
One more thing by way of reminder (I’ve said this many times, but it bears repeating): your evangelism efforts don’t have to look like mine. Biblical evangelism takes many forms. My crosswalking is just one of them. Again, what I’m stressing in this article are the benefits of evangelistic consistency. Be consistent according to the context of the life you are living, in the community where God has placed you, and in keeping with the personality He has given you.
Pray for Wayne
Pray for Wayne. FAR more important and pressing than the appreciation he showed me is the gospel tract I placed in his hand. Pray he will read it, repent, and believe the gospel. And join me in thanking God for the opportunity to put the gospel into Wayne’s hand–an opportunity God created, in part, as a result of consistency.