Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mission Good Friday 2018 Suggested Gospel Springboards 


Hello Project Ezra!  Easter is a bit over a week away, and it’s time to start thinking and praying more deeply about our Easter reading, if you are planning to participate.  It’s also time to pick your day, and to contact people to join you, if you haven’t already done so.  Many people will be thinking about Easter through the holiday weekend, so any day is appropriate. I will actually be doing my reading this weekend, since I’m going to visit family next week. But very few people will be thinking about the death and resurrection of Christ, the true meaning of Easter.  That's why we will be going to the streets, to share that message with many who will not hear it otherwise.   

Matthew 26 through 28 is the Easter story, so it is the passage we have chosen for this reading.  If you are an experienced open-air preacher, you will likely be able to find multiple starting points for good gospel presentations.  For those of you will less experience, here are some things to consider when using this, or any, passage of scripture for evangelism:   

What the passage says and doesn't say - Some preachers (open-air or otherwise), will try to force the entire message of the gospel into any passage they read.  That is not handling the Biblical text rightly.  What you should try to do is to look at the passage and see what it's focus is.  Some will cover aspects of sin or judgment, some will talk about God's mercy, or grace, or goodness, some will recount details of the life of Christ, and almost all will have something to tell us about the nature of God.  Try to read the passage with an eye to the original intent of the author, and find the place that point has in a Biblical gospel presentation.  

The Nature of God - The gospel is what it is because of who God is.  Jesus came to die because God is both perfectly just and perfectly loving, and both truths of His nature had to be perfectly satisfied.  A good idea is to contrast God's nature with ours and explain the dilemma this causes. I would recommend THIS video to give you a good starting point.  Then explain the solution.  Consider these thoughts:
  
God is good, and we are not. What must a good God do with people like us?                                   

God is a good judge and we are guilty criminals.  What must a good judge do with criminals like us?  If He is a good judge, He must insure that justice is satisfied.                                                           

What if someone paid the fine and satisfied justice so we could go free?  What if that someone were God Himself?  God demonstrated His love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God is a good and loving God.  But because He is just, He cannot ignore sin.  Instead, He paid for it on the cross.

Be sure you cover the basics - Every gospel presentation, and every open-air preaching session, will be different.  This is due to the change in the scriptures used, the audience, the location/situation, and even the convictions of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer at the time.  But regardless of the situation, we want to make sure that we cover the basics of the gospel.  A general outline is below.

God created this world perfect

But mankind, out of pride, chose to rebel and fell into sin

God cursed the world as punishment, and now all men are born sinners, in rebellion against their creator

USE THE LAW (BE SPECIFIC) TO BRING CONVICTION OF SIN

Because of our rebellion, we are deserving of God's justice

The scriptures tell us that justice will be carried out in a very real place called Hell

But because God is not only a just judge, but also a loving Father, He made a way for justice to be satisfied, so we would not have to go to Hell

Jesus Christ, God the Son, humbled Himself and came to earth

He lived the perfect life that none of us did, and then died a perfect death on a Roman cross

On the cross, all God's anger and wrath toward sin was poured out on Him, so it would not have to be poured out on us.

Then He rose on the third day, as He had prophesied He would, and after appearing to His disciples, ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven.

He now sits as both judge, and advocate, and if we will turn from our sins and to the one true savior, trusting in Him alone to save us, then the price of our sins will be satisfied, we will be seen as righteous before God, and we will be free.

Then we will spend eternity in loving relationship and worship of God, as we were designed to do.


I pray that this is helpful, and I look forward to hearing how your readings went.  If you need something more particular (perhaps something you could just read through) let me know, and I’ll see what I can do.  God bless you, and have a great Easter weekend!!

All for His glory,
Dan B.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Mission Good Friday 2018 - Relaunch and Guidelines

Hello Project Ezra!  As we attempt to re-launch Project Ezra, there could not be a more appropriate date.  The original project, called Mission Good Friday, was organized by Tony Miano in 2009.  Now, nearly nine years later, and after a couple years off, I’ll be giving it another go.  Rather than doing an event every week, as we did for a number of years, I’ll be posting just for major holidays where there are likely to be people out in public, so there should be more opportunities to share the Gospel. Many people were encouraged in the past through the project, and a number of people open-air preached for the first time after being encouraged by Project Ezra.  I hope it will be as much of an encouragement now as it was then.

Some of you are probably hearing about this for the first time and are wondering what Project Ezra about.  The idea is simple.  We suggest a passage of scripture, along with some ideas on how you can use that passage to transition into the message of the gospel.  You can choose to use that passage or pick your own.  Then you invite your friends and church family to join you.  People around the country (and often several other countries) do the same.  Then you pick a spot in a public area with good foot traffic, climb up onto a bench, box, ladder or stool, and read the passage aloud.  If there are several in your group, you can split the passage up and each read a section.  If you have people on your team with experience in sharing the gospel, they can do so, either one-on-one with those who stop to listen, or aloud from the box.  And then we see what God does.  Sometimes people will stop and listen. Sometimes they will hear as they walk by.  And sometimes they will stop and talk.  Regardless of which happens, God’s name will be lifted up and glorified, and people will hear the good news.  By His grace, it will encourage you and other believers, and you will be planting and watering seeds that God may use to bring people to Himself.  So be sure to pray that God’s Spirit will fill you and empower you as you share, and that He will convict and change the hearts of those listening.

The suggested reading will be Matthew 26 through 28, and I will post some suggestions for springboarding into a Gospel presentation soon.  You can use this passage or choose your own. However, there are a few important guidelines: 

  • Stick to the essentials.  The GOSPEL is the power of God unto salvation, and that is what we want to preach.  There are many other good, important subjects (end times, Arminianism vs. Calvinism, spiritual gifts, politics/conspiracy theories, etc.) that should be discussed, but should not be center stage. They are great for discussions between believers but should NOT distract from the basic Gospel message.
  • When you pick a passage, look for essential truths, which relate to the Gospel to focus on.  Things like the nature of God, the nature of man (created, sinful, prideful, etc.), the person and work of Jesus Christ, and the means of salvation are excellent.  Be careful how you use a text.  Don’t twist it into saying something it doesn’t.   It might be wise to check your study Bible notes, or a respected commentary or two, to make sure you are on the right track.
  • Don’t use language and expressions only Christians will understand.  Part of the goal is to reach unbelievers, so use words and expressions that are common.  If you have to use theological language, explain your terms, simply.
  • Don’t try to sound eloquent, or preachy.  Don’t try to use big words to impress people.  This is NOT about you!  It’s about glorifying God through His Gospel.  He needs to be central, not you. 
  • Remember gentleness and respect, both in your prepared words, and in your responses if anyone comments or stops to talk.  Don't get angry of frustrated if someone tries to shout you down or shame you into stopping.  Keep going, and trust God for the details.
  • PRAY!! This is spiritual warfare, so go in with your armor on.  I can not emphasize this enough.  Without the presence of the Spirit, this will not work.  Give it to God before, during, and after. 

I will be posting more ideas and encouragement as we get closer.  If you have any questions, feel free to send me a private message.  Thanks


Dan Beaudoin

Monday, June 30, 2014

First John on July 4th, 2014



Hello Project Ezra! It’s time for our next reading, First John on July 4th.  The 4th is Friday, so there is still time to talk to your friends and church family about you in participating in this year’s reading.  You can participate anytime this weekend, though Thursday or Friday will probably be the best days.  If you want to spend the evening of the 4th with your family, look for a local picnic, parade, or the like, and go there.  They make perfect venues for reading and open-air preaching.

1st John is five chapters long, and the chapters are not very long.  its a good book for dividing up, so if you bring someone along, even if they may not have been planning to read, encourage them to do so anyway.  It’s also got an amazing amount passages that are good transitions into the gospel.  It’s one of my favorite books to read from before I open-air preach, particularly since it deals so directly with those who falsely profess Christ.  When I meet someone who states that they are a Christian, but I have questions due to their behavior, this is the book I recommend they read.  A false believer will have a hard time getting through 1 John without being seriously convicted, so use that to your advantage.  Press people on the passages regarding false conversion, and encourage them to take out their own Bibles when they get home, and read it for themselves.

 If you invite a friend or two to join you, recommend that they visit our Facebook page below, and let us know where they will be participating, and who they will be joining. The group has been very slow of late, and I would like to post an outreach report this year, so if you are able to provide pictures, video, or a written testimony, please send them to me or post them on the event page, which is now up.

Project Ezra on Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/103701805742/

Here are a few suggestions for gospel springboards that I have shared in past years.  You can use one of these, combine them, or use your own.  But more than anything, please be sure to spend time in prayer and in study of the scriptures to prepare yourself, intellectually and spiritually, to share the gospel in a way that honors and glorifies God.  Don’t forget, we are just the vehicle that caries the message.  By God’s grace we have the incredible privilege of being used for His purposes, and of seeing His power in operation.  But the work is not ours, it’s His. 

Please be sure to post your location on the event wall, so we know where you will be reading and so others can be praying for you.  May God be glorified in your obedience!

All for His glory,
Dan


1 John 1:1-4  The words of life, being manifest through Christ Jesus, with the Apostles as eyewitnesses

1 John 1:5-10  Walking in the light, confessing our sin, and being cleansed by the blood of Christ.  If we say we have not sinned, His word is not in us.

1 John 2: 1-2  Jesus Christ, the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 2:3-6  Walking in obedience out of love for Christ

1 John 2:15-17  Do not love the world.  The world passing away along with its desires

1 John 2:18-28  The Antichrists, the deceivers who deny the Father and the Son

1 John 3:4-10  The practices of sin and righteousness.  The fruit of true repentance and faith

1 John 4:1-6  Test the spirits.  The Spirit of God and the spirit of error

1 John 4:7-12  The love of God made manifest through us in Christ Jesus

1 John 5:1-5  Those born of God overcoming the world

1 John 6:6-12  The testimony of God concerning His son.  He who has the Son has life.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sermon on the Mount Saturday 2014


Sermon on the Mount Saturday 2014
Hello Project Ezra!  It’s almost time for this year’s Sermon on the Mount Saturday.  It kind of snuck up on me this year (again), but I will still be reading the Sermon on the Mount this Friday and Saturday outside a local anime convention, and pray you all will participate in your neighborhood, and invite your believing friends to participate as well.  The mission is this:

Invite a few friends to join you in taking to the streets this Saturday


Choose a spot with good foot traffic, or where people gather


Climb up on a bench, box, ladder, or something else that elevates you


Read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and share the truth of the gospel


Be ready with tracts and Bibles for the follow-up conversations that follow!


There are lots of different places you could go for this reading.  A local park, particularly one with picnic tables (which are very likely to be used this weekend), a downtown shopping area (lots of sales going on), or near sporting events or parades are all excellent places to read the word.  Find a spot that allows many people to hear, but try to avoid blocking foot traffic or setting up right in the middle of someone's event.  The message of the gospel is offensive enough.  We don't want our personal behavior to add to the offense.

The Sermon on the Mount is one of those passages in scripture that I believe provides very easy jumping-off points into the gospel, and I would suggest that you read through the Sermon on the Mount, and spend some time considering what you should focus on.  I will be posting some suggested springboard as well in the next day or two, but there is no substitute for spending time in prayer and meditation on the God’s word.  Consider reading through it once or twice a day, as part of your devotional time, and praying for God’s leading.

If you will be participating, be sure to join our Facebook event (see below), and pass it on to your believing friends through social media.  I look forward to hearing what God does through you this weekend.

All for His glory,
Dan


https://www.facebook.com/events/285090721672436/?context=create&source=49

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mission Good Friday  Suggested Gospel Springboards 




Hello Project Ezra!  It's time to start our readings for this year's Mission Good Friday.  Though today is the official day, any day surrounding the Easter holiday will work just fine.  People will be thinking about Easter this weekend, but very few will be thinking about the death and resurrection of Christ, the true meaning of Easter.  That's why we will be going to the streets, to share that message with many who will not hear it otherwise.  Please pray that God will work in a powerful way, and that hearts will be changed and souls saved.  

Matthew 26 through 28 is the Easter story, so it is the passage we have chosen for this reading.  If you are an experienced open-air preacher, you will likely be able to find multiple points of entry into a good gospel presentation.  For those of you will less experience, here are some things to consider when using this, or any, passage of scripture for evangelism:   

What the passage says and doesn't say - Some pastors, and some open air preachers, will try to shoe-horn the entire message of the gospel into any passage they read.  If you do so, you are not handling the Bible rightly.  What you should try to do, if the message is not explicit, is to look at the passage and see what it's focus is.  Some will cover aspects of sin or judgment, some will talk about God's mercy, or grace, or goodness, some will recount details of the life of Christ, and almost all will have something to tell us about the nature of God.  Try to read the passage with an eye to the original intent of the author, and find the place that point has in a Biblical gospel presentation.  

The Nature of God - The gospel is what it is because of who God is.  His nature and character is why Jesus came to die and rise again.  A good idea is to contrast our nature with God's, and explain why that is a problem.  Then explain the solution.  Consider these:  
God is good, and we are not. What must a good God do with people like us?                                   

God is a good judge and we are guilty criminals.  What must a good judge do with criminals like us?  If He is a good judge, He must insure that justice is satisfied.                                                           

What if someone paid the fine and satisfied justice so we could go free?  What if that someone were God Himself?  God demonstrated His love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God is a good and loving God.  But because He is just, He cannot ignore sin.  Instead, He paid for it on the cross.

Be sure you cover the basics - Every gospel presentation, and every open-air preaching session, will be different.  This is due to the change in the scriptures used, the audience, the location/situation, and even the convictions of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer at that time.  But regardless of the situation, we want to make sure that we cover the basics of the gospel.  A general outline is below.
            God created this world perfect 

But mankind, out of pride, chose to rebel and fell into sin 

Now, all men are born sinners, in rebellion against their creator 

And because of our rebellion, we are deserving of God's justice 

The scriptures tell us that justice will be carried out in a very real place called Hell 

But because God is not only a just judge, but also a loving Father, He made a way for justice to be satisfied, so we would not have to go to Hell 

Jesus Christ, God the Son, humbled Himself and came to earth 

He lived the perfect life that none of us did, and then died a perfect death on a Roman cross 

On the cross, all God's anger and wrath toward sin was poured out on Him, so it would not have to be poured out on us. 

Then He rose on the third day, as He had prophesied He would, and after appearing to His disciples, ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven. 

He now sits as both judge, and advocate, and if we will turn from our sins and to the free gift of grace offered by our one true savior, then the price of our sins will be satisfied, we will be seen as righteous before God, and we will be free. 

Then we will spend eternity in loving relationship and worship of God, as we were designed to do. 

I pray that this is helpful, and I look forward to hearing how your readings went.  God bless, and have a great Easter weekend!!

All for His glory,
Dan B.