Open-Air Preachers Need the Local Church
All Christians need the local church. This includes open-air preachers. Lone ranger Christianity is a delusion. The task of open-air preaching is not above being committed to the Bride of Christ. The local church gives the open-air preacher accountability. We all have our blind spots. Accountability to the local church helps the open-air preacher not go off the rails and become a disaster to the Christian witness. Furthermore, an open-air preacher needs the local church because by inviting people to Christ an open-air preacher is also pointing people to the church. A churchless open-air preacher is an open-air preacher who communicates that Christ’s Bride isn’t important. That is blasphemous. Finally, most open-air preachers begin their ministry with much zeal, passion, and eagerness to win the world for Christ. Without a love and commitment to the local church, the zeal, passion, and eagerness to preach, can turn into anger, frustration, and bitterness toward others, especially other Christians who aren’t as fired up. This is sin. The apathy of others never excuses anger and bitterness toward God’s Bride. Sadly, the open-air preacher might not even see his spiritual condition because he thinks he’s merely standing for truth as other Christians are being soft. This is dangerous. Open-air preachers need the local church.
The Local Church Needs Open-Air Preachers
There are many members and gifts within the Body of Christ. Including those who have the gift of open-air preaching. Sadly, this gift has often been muzzled in today’s generation. Many who I’ve talked with have found it difficult to find a church that supports open-air preaching. This is kind of understandable. It seems obvious to say that many people, including Christians and churches don’t want to be viewed as extremists. Abuses and media have often painted open-air preaching as extreme. So, the idea of supporting open-air preaching and being viewed by people as extreme isn’t appealing to some churches. As a result, those who are gifted in open-air preaching are sometimes like that boy in the classroom who has lots of energy. No one seems to know how to handle him. So, he keeps getting told to sit down and be quiet and not to cause such a ruckus. This frustrates and isolates. Instead, the kid needs to be able to learn in a way that suits his learning style. Open-air preachers are similar, they don’t need to be isolated. Cutting off a part of the body hurts the whole body. Open-air preachers need to be utilized in unity with the rest of the local church for greater Gospel impact. The church has a responsibility to send out people like open-air preachers, so that people can call on Christ both globally and locally (Rom. 10:14-17). God uses open-air preaching to reach thousands. In a godless culture like ours, in which many can’t even define truth, it is time for wisdom to cry aloud in the streets and raise her voice in the market places (Prov. 1:20). It is time for churches to launch an all out assault on the kingdom of darkness by sending those who are gifted in open-air preaching to the public square to proclaim the Lordship of Christ! The church needs open-air preachers.
Love Christ! Love the Church! Proclaim His Gospel!