Tuesday, June 30, 2009

GOSPELFEST AT RIBFEST

We have alot of "FEST"s here in Ottawa, especially during the summer. They come in a variety of events like music concerts, art displays, food contests, street performances, theatre shows, etc.

We have Westfest, Bluesfest, Ribfest, Jazzfest, Fringefest, Chamberfest, just to name a few. Most of them are in the summer which means most of them are held outdoors on city streets and city parks.

And it's where lots of people congregate, for whatever reason, that Christians with a passion for the Lord and compassion for the lost should be out and about giving the gospel to the meandering crowds when the opportunities are there for the taking.

This past weekend was Ribfest in Ottawa. Three downtown blocks of various eating establishments from all over vying for top prizes for the best ribs on the planet. Thousands of meat lovers flock to partake in the annual public chowdown.

I worked all day Saturday but was able to MAKE a small window of time on Sunday to preach the Law and the Gospel in an area of the mall where there was no loud rock music blaring out of speakers to compete with like in other venues.

My vantage point: below is a left to right view from where I would preach the gospel from. Many on my left and right are not in the photo.


All miked up so I wouldn't have to yell, I opened up with a positive note on the event at hand. I told my meat-chewing congregation that I was there to offer them food for thought as they ate their food for tastebuds.

I started my discourse on the deaths of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon just last week. THAT certainly caught the attention of many. Utilizing familiar current events is a great way to attract people's attention as a springboard to any gospel giving venture.


Focusing on Michael Jackson, I told them it was highly unlikely that he woke up Thursday morning, got ready for his day, stopped, looked in the mirror and said to himself: "Well, today is the last day of my life."

I informed them that he and the others were part of the ultimate statistic, that 10 out of 10 people die. I reminded them that one day, maybe sooner than later, they too will face the same fate, some as sudden as Jackson's.


After telling them that, along with the three stars mentioned above, one million and fifty thousand people on earth died last week and that 150,000 would die that day, etc., I took them through the Law and the Gospel.

Many stopped and paid attention to the gospel sermon. Some listened for a while and continued on their chow 'n chat with their friends. Others seated nearby me pretended not to listen, but I could tell they were.

But there was one fellow who happened to stroll by with his wife and baby. He stopped to listen for a while, came right up me while I was preaching and quietly told me to "Go **** your God!"

I ignored him.

Then he pressed on: "You are an ***hole."

I responded for all to hear: "God bless you, sir".

"I was having a fun day until you came along and ruined it." he said.

"But you haven't heard the good news yet. I told you good news was to follow".

"I didn't come here for this." he said.

"I didn't come here for you to deny me my right to free speech." I responded.

"Go to hell!" was his final word as he walked away.

"I can't, sir. Please stick around to hear why that is so." I suggested.

He gave me the finger and left in a huff with wife and baby in tow.

I wished him well and continued the gospel from where I left off with many more people paying attention after that little verbal exchange. Hecklers have no idea how helpful they can be to a street preacher.

All else went well. I thanked my listeners for their patience, encouraged them to think about what they had heard and stepped down. I packed up my gear and had to head home, unfortunately, without the time to give out tracts. But I was pleased for the time the Lord gave me to preach one gospel message, at least, to about 100 people on Sunday who, otherwise, would not have heard it.

This day, church came to people who, for most I'm sure, did not go to church that day, or ever do. Or maybe some did but attend a church where the TRUE gospel is not preached.

That's two of the many reasons why we Christians must be out there doing all that we can, in whatever way we can, wherever we can, to share the Good News with those who know it not.

Are there city or community events in your area where you can share the gospel with folks? I am sure there are just as many, if not more, than what we have here.

Make time, even if just for a little while, to take advantage of crowd gathering events around you to share the gospel with others and revel in the joy of knowing you have shared in the gospel work of building the Kingdom of God.

The food is real good is some places, too!

4 comments:

  1. "I can't, sir"

    I love that - perfect!

    God bless you Paul!

    Thanks for the encouragement

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  2. Sadly, one day that guy will remember your conversation with him, but it will be too late by then. NEVER stop doing what you do.

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  3. Anonymous:

    Let's not give up on "that guy" too soon. I was just like him before God tackled me. The Lord is the God of the impossible.

    Maybe if God regenerates his heart and saves him as he did me 9 years ago, "that guy" will remember his little chat with me and use his boldness for good and go out to share the gospel with others too. Please join me in praying for him.

    And I will stop doing what I am doing some day...when God takes me home. There will be no need to evangelize after we get there. We'll have to be given something else to do for eternity, I guess. :)

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