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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Truth Hits the Streets!

By Justin Edwards

Saturday, October 23, 2010, was The Speak:Truth Project's inaugural event in taking the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the streets. As God would have it, we actually did not stage the event on "the street" as we had anticipated for two months, rather God closed a door and opened another one that placed us at the homecoming festival for Johnson C. Smith University.

Two to three months ago the Lord placed on the heart of my dear brother in Christ, Joshua Earl - founder of The Speak:Truth Project, to obtain 1,000 Gospel tract CDs from Reach Records featuring Christian hip-hop artist, Lecrae. Covered with the luring words, "Before You Die", these Gospel tracts take the reader through Law and Grace, concluding with the 10-track album. From the ReachLife Ministries website:

"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." -Acts 4:12 Have you ever wanted a resource to help share the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is relevant to today's culture? 
"Before You Die" is written and designed to speak into the hearts of the urban and hip hop culture who are not followers of Christ. One of the challenges of sharing the gospel with others is presenting it in a culturally relevant way to the listener. This tract was designed to do just that.

By taking the reader through a graphic representation of the gospel with clearly written text, we pray that the Lord will be pleased to use this resource in a way that brings others to Christ and glorifies His name.

Also, a CD is attached in the back of each booklet with a collection of evangelistic songs and testimonies to share with the listener. Each song provides a great foundation to share further the good news of the gospel. Be sure to check out You can view the whole thing online!

These Gospel CD tracts provided us an avenue to reach the lost in the urban community. It's been truly amazing to see God prepare the way for us from bringing the men and women together to plan for the event, to raising the funds to purchase the tracts and water, to securing the perfect location just five days before the event. His fingerprints were all over this project and it was a testimony for me to witness, once again, that God equips His soldiers for the work He has prepared for them. He will never call us to service whereby He won't prepare us. We just need to trust that He will provide us with the means, the materials, and the spiritual fortitude to step into battle.

After setting up in the morning and following the homecoming parade, we began handing out water and tracts and witnessing around noon. We were set up right in the middle of the festival among all the other vendors and adjacent to the main stage for the post-game celebration. To be able to share the Gospel with so many people was incredible. By 8pm, we had distributed 820 Gospel tracts, 425 bottles of water, and had countless rich conversations with people from various backgrounds. Purposed with sharing the Gospel, each conversation pointed every person to Jesus Christ and I pray God waters the seeds that were planted.

I share this event to encourage you to get active in your own communities in sharing the Gospel. Some of you may have read about our Panthers tailgate event where we assisted a local church in distributing free food and proclaimed the name of Jesus Christ, and that served to "get our feet wet" for this event. The tailgate outreach was the first time I had participated in any kind of organized witnessing, and Saturday followed as my second participation. I cannot tell you how blessed and filled with joy I was after leaving the event around 4pm and for the rest of the day. There is so much joy in knowing we are being obedient to the will of God in fulfilling the Great Commission (Mark 16:15), serving with fellow believers to minister to the lost, and loving and touching the lives of so many people.

My brothers and sisters, the group of us who began this project are nobody special. None of us have theological degrees (to my knowledge ;) ), and none of us hold official positions in a church body (again, to my knowledge :) ). What I do know is that we are a group of faithful servants to the Lord with a desire to be earthen vessels for His workmanship. Jesus said in Matthew 18:11,

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

And the Apostle Paul affirmed in his letter to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:15,

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

Yet how can they be saved if there is no one to take them the message? Paul tells us in Romans 10:14-15

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

      “ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
      Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

We must take the Gospel to the lost, there is no other way and Jesus did not give us an option. Many people I encountered knew of Jesus and some even believed He is God and died on the cross, but they did not understand the Gospel until we shared it with them. Too often we assume people already know about Jesus, but yesterday I found many of these are still depending on themselves to be "good enough" to go to heaven. It isn't until we show them through the perfect Law of God that they realize their depravity and condition, and it is then we can share the Good News of our Lord in the forgiveness of sin through faith and repentance.

It doesn't take a mastermind to put an organization or an event like this together because we have the Mastermind already taking care of everything. Sure we can and should use our God-given creativity to orchestrate outreaches, but it is God who makes everything happen and our part is to obey and trust His will be done. And you don't even have to wonder if this is something God would want you to do - because He's already told you His will through the Word of God.

So do you have any ideas for your area? Has God been pressing you to get off the bench and hit the field? Do you think it's time you stop watching from the sidelines if you have yet to get into action? I can't encourage you enough to put your minds together with fellow believers and see what God has in store for you. He doesn't need us to reach the lost, but we are His chosen vessels to accomplish His glorious will. If you would like more information or are looking for resources to equip yourself, please see airō's Evangelism page. And if you haven't joined The Speak:Truth Project's facebook group, you can do so here: The Speak:Truth Project.  I pray this short message will lead you to serve God in a manner He has perfectly designed for you.

I would like to thank my brothers and sisters who served alongside me on Saturday. I love each of you and I'm so thankful to God to give me an opportunity to serve Him through this ministry. I understand we bless many people through such outreach, but the work God is doing in me each time gives me overwhelming joy. Although the anxieties will likely never go away completely, the confidence the Lord empowers me with gets greater each time. We just have to get into the battle and trust that He will be with us every step of the way in seasoning our words with the truth, love, and grace.

If you are reading this and we had the opportunity to serve you on Saturday, I pray the Lord continues to guide you into the knowledge of His truth. No matter who we engaged yesterday, we love each of you and want you to know Christ loves you more than you can fathom. It was no accident that we met this weekend, and I pray you realize the gift of grace the Lord is offering you. Whether you are still on the fence or are already a sinner saved by grace, I hope you take advantage of the many resources on this website - and please don't ever hesitate to contact me here on the blog, facebook, or email. You can also reach us at The Speak:Truth Project's facebook group or email the address on the back of the "Before You Die" tract you received.

May the Lord of Glory be magnified in our service to Him, and may the Lord Jesus Christ receive all the glory, honor, and praise for the work He has done.

You can view more photos of Saturday's event on airō's facebook page here: Airo Follow

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