We’ve been doing work in the streets for almost 15 years. During that time we have noticed
some similar attributes in our best streets ministers. Interestingly enough age doesn’t play
a role in being a great street minister. Interestingly enough race doesn’t play a role in it either.
What makes a great street minister you ask? The great ones love people. The great ones
are full of patience and kindness. The great ones are good listeners.
As we have reflected on this list of characteristics one started to push its way to the forefront
which caught our attention and brought conviction.
The best street ministers all have a deep belief that Jesus is coming back soon.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? It is simple. But let me ask, don’t all of us believe Jesus is coming back
soon? Of course we do. You would be hard pressed to find anyone in our churches who would
vocalize the fact that they don’t really believe Jesus is coming back soon. But if we took a
video camera around with you in your daily life, would we be convinced by your actions that
you really believed Jesus was on his way back soon?
Jesus actually said it would be like this. In Matthew 24 he said that it would be like in the days
of Noah. People would be eating, drinking, marrying and being given away in marriage and no
one would be expecting the event that was promised. Apparently, the end is going to catch people
off guard. Jesus said it would.
Evidently Peter, John and the early church had a belief in the soon return of The King.
In 1 Peter 4:7 the apostle says,”The end of all things is near.” John says in 1 John 2:18, “Dear
children, this is the last hour.” Do you think it’s possible that this attribute was one of
the reasons they endured such persecution, left everything to do The Father’s bidding, travled
all over the world to spreadh the gospel, and produced so much fruit? Is it possible that
this belief helped them discern what was really important on a day-to-day basis? It is not just
possible but probable.
Over the years I have begun to compile information about revival. And here is something interesting
I found in my search: One of the characteristics of every revival is a recapturing of the belief that Jesus’
return is very soon! It causes the people to pray harder, evangelize with more vigor, to live free
of the lust of possessions, and many other great characteristics that lead to great fruit.
The problem is you can’t produce this in yourself. You can’t work up a belief in the soon return of
The Christ. It’s something The Spirit works in you. So my prayer for all of our street ministers and
now for the Church in the Kalamazoo area has been, “Lord, produce in us a genuine understanding
that Jesus’ return is very soon. Give us the urgency that comes with every great revival, and may
we be caught working hard in the field on your return!”
Come, Lord Jesus.
-Nate Bull, Vanguard Street Ministry Director