Out and about Preaching in the Open Air

Preaching in the Open Air

Unusual, curious, out of date? But every weekday at over 300 locations throughout the UK, you’ll find the Plymouth Brethren with their Bibles talking to passers-by and distributing gospel leaflets.

Why do they do it? And even quite young people not embarrassed to tell people what they believe!

Firstly, they are not ashamed of their beliefs. If you really believe in something, why keep it to yourself?

Secondly, they have genuine goodwill towards the community. They know from the Bible that God wants “all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 2 verse 4) and they’d like to share with others what they enjoy themselves.

Thirdly, they have evidence that the preaching of the gospel has a beneficial effect on society. In one place where the preaching had temporarily lapsed a policeman said to the Brethren: “I’m glad to see you back, the crime rate has gone right up since you stopped!”

Interestingly Peter’s first gospel preaching in Acts was in the open air, like many since including John Wesley, George Whitfield and others, so the practice is nothing new or peculiar to the Brethren.

If anyone has had experience, positive or negative, of hearing a street preaching by the Brethren we’re interested to hear from you.

16 thoughts on “Out and about Preaching in the Open Air”

  1. Please, please, please – can you sort out your grammar?

    I mean ‘And even quite young people not embarrassed to tell people what they believe!’ just does not make any sense!

    Not wishing to offend anyone, but this is probably of some importance… i.e. this is the public face of the Brethren.

    Try finding one of your high achievers in English to write articles for you!

    1. Albertina says:

      Makes sense to me!
      In an exclamation like this the missing words are easily understood.
      Let’s not distract from the glory of the Word of God being preached on the streets of this country in this day and age – that is not the case in many other countries where Christians are still being persecuted, tortured, imprisoned etc.

    2. Bodfrey says:

      I think what you think doesn’t make sense is the word ‘quite’. It does make sense if you are using it like a synonym of the word very! Hope this makes sense!

  2. Trev says:

    Keep up the preaching, it doesn’t matter who does, and where its done, as long as its done – this world needs the Word of God more than ever at the moment. The Apostle Paul says “in season and out of season”, so dont give it up during the winter – you’ll still reach some needy soul with a word of refreshment and salvation.

  3. John NZ says:

    Can people interested in “teachings” and witness of Plymouth Brethren Church Members attend meetings…or a gospel? to hear the Lords Word preached….
    Do you have music at church services? and are you filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit…?
    My dealings with Brethren Business people have been excellent…they are honest and reputable across the board and you can rely on them to “get the job done”!

    1. Admin says:

      Hello John, yes persons are welcome to attend one of our gospel preachings.
      Our music is provided by a God given instrument, the human voice! Every age group loves to sing the hymns.
      We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer who obeys Him. “And we are [his] witnesses of these things, and the Holy Spirit also, which God has given to those that obey him” Acts 5:32

    2. Mike says:

      There are many gospel preachings every Lordsday throughout NZ, and yes we love to sing the hymns together, hundreds of passionate people singing together beats every band. If you want to come to a gospel preaching approach someone local or use the contact page on this site!

  4. Tom says:

    Interesting to see the picture outside Westminster around Olympic time I guess from the Steward’s bib:
    1 – I was told the Brethren still preach outside the Houses of Parliament every day around midday; is this true, and if so where abouts does it take place?
    2 – I spent nearly every day of the Olympics giving out tracts and met 20-30 other Christian groups doing the same but I didn’t bump into anyone from your group, I wondered if they did any outreach especially for the Olympics?

    1. Jim says:

      1. We preach at one o’clock every day just off Parliament Square on Parliament Street. (Parliament Street becomes Whitehall as you go towards Trafalgar Square). It’s on the northern side of the road between 2 red telephone boxes.
      2. As far as I’m aware we didn’t specifically target the Olympics, we did keep up our normal program of Street Gospel Preachings. Thanks for the steer, we’ll keep this in mind for similar events in the future. Well done for what you did!

  5. Joel says:

    I regularly preach on the street close to where I work. I generally try to use short portions of scripture to emphasise that the glad tidings are available to all men and seek to point persons to Christ.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Great. But can people join your group, or is that closed and exclusive too?

    2. Joel says:

      We are always glad of support in spreading the Glad Tidings! 🙂

    3. Tim says:

      Sure Anonymous, although the primary motivation of the Brethren’s street preaching is to lead persons to find the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour; persons that are wanting to find a vibrant Christian Fellowship that is seeking to follow the teachings of the Bible are welcome to talk with Brethren about joining. Everyone that is a member of the Bethren has either joined or had an ancestor that has joined.
      Scripture teaches us that living the Christian lifestyle comes at a ” cost”. Refer Luke 14 v 28, however this is more than recompensed by the joy that Christian fellowship affords AND the eternal reward. Refer Luke 18 v 30.

    4. James says:

      Well done Joel – considering the number of Gospel Tracts we give out it’s fair to say that people as a rule welcome the ‘Open Air Preaching’..
      It’s true to say now and again we get some people who don’t like it, but that’s life isn’t it!

    5. Rob says:

      After 9/11 in New York we found that many more people took tracts. Then people forgot.
      Then came Huricane Sandy and people are once more willing to listen to the gospel message.
      Wonderful to be able to preach about “A help in distresses very readily found”.

    6. Andrub says:

      Its funny how the adverse weather or circumstances make the spread of the gospel seem easier. My best experiences are people who are in the depth of pressure and they reach out hinking you cannot help and find that if they have faith they can have peace in their soul as i have found in troublesome circumstances and situations. This is the proof of what Rob quotes – and to finish: his compassions are new every morning and they fail not.

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