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(A Seminar Paper presented at the 2024 Lagos Metropolitan Clergy Workshop held at Diocese of Lagos West (Anglican Communion), Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.)

By The Revd Olakitan Oluwole Ibikunle, B.Eng. (Unilorin), PDG (ACU), MA (ACU)



I thank God Almighty for the privilege given to me through the Dean of the Seminary, the Rt Revd. Dr. Babatunde Joseph Adeyemi and all the Proprietresses of the Seminary particularly, my Bishop and Chairman of Adetiloye Foundation, the Rt. Revd Dr. James Olusola Odedeji for the approval granted to deliver this seminar. I also appreciate the Seminary Faculty and the Chairman of the Planning Committee for the privilege.



Every Church leader wants people to come to the Church but in a society that was not raised on weekly church attendance, going to church is a foreign concept that may seem more like trouble than it is worth. So instead of spending resources to get people to come in, you may have more success when you go out – build relationships and demonstrate God’s love before you invite people into your Parish. The Scripture makes it clear that God wants us to preach the gospel to people around us. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave this command before His ascension in Mark 16:15-17 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;” The people that should hear of the gospel are referred to as “every creature” in the Lord’s command. They are on the streets.  We then need to understand the fundamental meaning of Street.


What is a Street? According to Google Search dictionary meaning, a street is a public road, a city, town, or village, typically with houses and buildings on one or both sides[i]. It is a public way especially in a city, town, or village usually including sidewalk and being wider than an alley or lane. Oxford Dictionary says a street is a public road in a city or town that has houses and buildings on one side or both sides[ii]. It is a thoroughfare, usually paved, in a village, town or city, including a sidewalk or sidewalks. Every one of us grew up on the streets. We live on the streets. Our churches are on the streets. Members who worship in our churches live on the streets. The command to go into the world to preach the gospel therefore means we must go on the streets to preach the gospel. If our Parishes are to be filled with disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must be on the streets.



In my days growing up in Oko-Oba Agege Area of Lagos in Nigeria, our streets were where children were raised to become responsible adults. Going to church was a regular life for us. Walking to our schools was joyous. Today the reverse is the case as the streets are filled with many vices and unseemly sights.

  1. Our streets have lots of churches with little or no impact. Some of them including our own are scanty with members. Some streets could be referred to as Church Street because of the number of churches.
  2. Many houses have sellers of “paraga” with diverse alcoholic drinks in sachets and cigarettes with weeds being drunk by all categories of people.
  • Street boys with sagging trousers and all sorts of dreadlocks and strange hairstyles.
  1. Lots of beer parlours and bars with men resuming there after work.
  2. Ungodly music / unimpactful songs in the name of entertainment.
  3. Various hideouts where the street boys smoke weeds and India hems. A lot of them are children of landlords and landladies.
  • Night Markets where mostly food and food items are sold to people. People sit around to eat pasta and fried eggs with minerals at any time.
  • Music from Churches but with empty pews. To mention few.



Street evangelism or preaching, in a public area, has been a method used throughout the history of Christianity for the purpose of evangelizing people who would not typically enter a church. Street Evangelism is the act of sharing the knowledge of the New Covenant through Christ in public places with others applying wisdom and taking into consideration all cultural, social and legally acceptable practices[iii]. It involves taking the gospel where people reside or work in order to reach them with the gospel and to make them disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is approaching total strangers for the purpose of explaining the gospel to them and to win them for the Lord and to the Church. So, it could be challenging as well as intimidating, but it is also rewarding. There are people who are outside of the sphere of Christian influence, and unless they hear the gospel from a stranger, they are likely not to hear it at all. This kind of evangelism is exhilarating because you never know whom you are going to talk to. Could be a Catholic, a Muslim or a traditionalist. An agnostic, a self-righteous sinner, living on moralism, Gangsters with alcohol and cigarettes in their hands. This mystery makes street evangelism compelling and intimidating. Evangelism is a cornerstone of the Christian faith and can be a great way to connect with people and share your passion in a tactful, friendly manner.


In Nigeria, we do not need permission of the authority to meet people to share our faith deploying one-on-one approach or standing at one junction to preach the gospel.  Our streets are becoming something else with all sorts of vices and there is reduction of membership in our  churches. People are no more going to church. With my experience recently in street evangelism, more of the younger generations are tending towards cultism and hooliganism. Almost every street in Lagos and the surrounding cities are filled with sellers of alcoholic drinks in sachets and weeds wrapped in cigarettes.


In Anglican Communion, a Parish Church is not limited to the four walls of the Church. A Parish Church includes the whole city or town in which the Church is named after. For instance, Archdeacon Ogunbiyi Memorial Anglican Church, Ikeja. Take note of Ikeja. The city or town is made up of Streets according to our definition of a street above. A  Parish Priest is to care for and curate the souls of everyone on the streets around the Church. Many of us are limited to the Church compound throughout our periods of stay in a particular Parish.



This seminar will be limited to New Testament of the Bible though there are references in the Old Testament about Street Evangelism. Psalm 96:3, 10 says “Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.” The heathen were living among the Israelites on their Streets in villages, towns and cities. We have already defined Street Evangelism as sharing the New Covenant through Christ. We will consider this in two dimensions:

  1. Jesus Christ fulfilled His Mandate on the Streets. The four Gospels have lots of records of Jesus Christ on the street meeting people to preach, teach and heal them of diverse diseases and sicknesses. Just to mention a few.
  2. Jesus Christ returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit and He declared that the Spirit was upon Him and He was anointed to preach to the poor, heal the broken hearted and to set the captive free. Luke 4:14,18-19. The poor, broken hearted and captive lived on the streets of towns and cities of His days. He was always there to preach, teach and heal them on the street. Acts 10:18
  3. Jesus “.. preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.” (Mark 1:39; Matt 4:23; Luke 4:44). It was like He was on every street in Galillee to preach.
  • “When he (Jesus) was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.” (Matt 8:1-5), Multitude constantly followed him on the streets of towns and cities. Lepers were healed there. (Mark 1:40-45).
  1. On Jesus’ way to raise Jairus’ daughter with multitude thronging Him, a woman with the issue of blood touched Him in the crowd and she was healed of her plague (Mark 5:21-43; Matt 8:4; 9:30; 12:16; 17:9; Mark 2:12; Luke 5:14).
  2. “…at Jerusalem by the sheep market, a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda …” (John 5:2) where multitude of impotent people were, a man was healed of 38years of infirmity. (John 5:3-11).
  3. “…. Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.” (Luke 10:1ff). He sent them to the streets of cities and places where he would visit to preach the gospel.
  • “:… Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34; Matt 6:36). This happened on the street. We need such compassion today.
  • Jesus carried His cross on the streets of Jerusalem to the Golgotha outside the city gate to be crucified for mankind with multitude following Him. (Matt 27:28-35; Mark 15:15-23; John 19:15-18).
  1. Jesus commanded the disciples to go into all the world to preach the gospel to everyone (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Acts 1:8) before His ascension.


  1. The Apostles Continued the Great Commission on the Streets. Ever since Apostle Peter preached in the streets of Jerusalem in Acts 2, Christians have used this method to lead many to faith in Christ.
  2. Peter preached the first sermon on the street in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. 3000 souls were added to the church Act 2:1-5, 14ff).
  3. The disciples were dispersed about to villages, cities and towns as a result of persecutions in Jerusalem and they went everywhere preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Philips “.… passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea” (Acts 8:40).
  1. “…..the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26). This probably happened on the streets of Antioch. The disciples did not address themselves as Christians but those living with them in the city.
  2. Paul and others have this testimony that the “….turned the world upside down have come here.” (Acts 17:6) with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  3. “…. as I (Paul) passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” (Acts 17:23). When Apostle Paul passed by the Streets of Athens, he saw an altar with inscription.



Jesus did what we refer to today as street preaching when He was on earth. He walked from town to town proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. When He ascended to heaven, His disciples took over the street evangelism ministry. The early apostles walked from city to city proclaiming the good news.

The Gospel grew through street evangelism. To this day, street evangelism remains one of the most effective ways of winning souls.

  1. Street Evangelism is the Lord’s Command in fulfilling the great commission. The church is to be a “Go Church” (Mark 16:15; Matt 28:18-20)
  2. Street evangelism is aimed at creating awareness of the Gospel and the church in the neighbourhood.
  3. It is aimed at people who do not go to church and do not care about the gospel.
  4. When preaching in the street, the goal is to let unbelievers know that there is something called salvation. They may have heard about it before but you go there to emphasize the message.
  5. A street evangelism mission is successful if people hear the message. Majority of them may not respond right there and then but provided they have heard the message, the mission is successful.
  6. John the Baptist went around proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea ‘repent for the kingdom of God is at hand’. The repentance was to warm up the people for the arrival of Jesus. John was more concerned about drawing the attention of the people to the coming Messiah than transforming their lives. Jesus came to transform of their lives.
  7. Street evangelism warms up those who hear the message in preparation for the real transformation of their lives.
  8. Street preaching can also transform lives if the heart of the people hearing the message are receptive. This is more likely to happen if the street preaching is backed up with miracles, signs and wonders.
  9. Non-believers will be more willing to buy into the message of salvation if they see miracles. Street evangelism must be enticing to non-believers.



Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. – Acts 2:47

And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) – Acts 5:14

For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people were added unto the Lord. – Acts 11:24


The church needs to be favoured by the Lord before all people. Prayer of favour must be prayed for our Churches. Favour of the Lord makes addition of people possible and easily without much stress. When a church is not increasing numerically as the Lord intended, the Church needs God’s favour. The Leader with the prayer team must pray for favour. A reknown man of God once said, “God is in a hurry to grow His Church. No Church is ordained to be small in the agenda of God.

There are two major purposes of the Street Evangelism according to the Scriptures above.

  1. That much people should be added to the Lord even multitude of men and women. The Kingdom of God gains more souls.
  2. The Lord added to His Church such as should be saved. We have more believers and eventually Disciples of Christ.
  3. The word of God grows as the Gospel grows through Street Evangelism.



  1. Wanted: A Passion For Souls

What a beautiful phrase! Yet how many of us have almost forgotten the expression “A passion for souls”. For years it was a tremendous force motivating God’s Children[iv]

Every Christian leader, whatever his official title or role should be characterized by a passion to lead others to Christ. We need to feel the love for people that drew Christ from heaven to earth, that fills His heart in heaven today. We need to feel the infinite longings of His heart as He looks out on the streets filled with the lost in their sins, their sorrows, and their spiritual helplessness. The passion for souls must come from the heart of Christ. From Him we must seek it until we find it.


 “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38.


No Christian leader is actually one that our Lord wants him to be, unless day after day, the consuming desire of his heart is that people come to Christ. For this we must live, must long, must seek opportunities, must pray, and must believe. You have not drunk deeply of the Spirit of Christ if you do not share of His tears over the unsaved who are blindly hastening to an eternity forever separated from the love of God, the presence of Christ, and with all of change forever gone.


No alternative to the Holy Spirit is available for the Christian leader. He must have a heart ablaze with love to God and for people. Dr. George W. Peter said, “God, the Church, and the world are looking for men with burning hearts – hearts filled with love; filled with compassion for the ills of the church and the world; filled with passion for the glory of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the salvation of the lost. He adds, “God’s answer to the world of indifference, materialism, coldness, and mockery is burning Christian hearts in pulpits, in pews, in Sunday Schools, Bible institutes, and in Christian colleges and seminaries”[v]. If you as a leader in Church lack a burning heart, few of your people will be known for their burning hearts, and they will make little impact on the world around them. The communities are little impressed by our programs and friendly church, or even an evangelical church to impact a community for Christ. It must be a church ablaze, led by leaders who are ablaze for God.


How to receive This Passion

If you long to be a person of God with such a passion for souls that God begins to add a new dimension of fruitfulness to your leadership. Not everyone of us is called to be a Whitefield, a Billy Graham, or a Praying Hyde. But everyone of us is called to bear fruit – both the fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of souls. There is no greater love than to lead a person to a transforming experience of Christ. The more you taste this joy, the more you will want God to make you a soul-winner.


How to find this joy.

  1. Become more passionately committed to Jesus Christ than ever before: The more personal your daily fellowship with Jesus Christ, the more thrilling your personal prayer communion, the more naturally and eagerly you want to speak of Jesus with


  1. Specifically ask God to give you a passion for souls: Make it part of your daily prayer to ask God to help you lead people to Christ.
  2. Ask God to give you sensitivity to others: You need eyes to see and ears to hear the people around the street.
  3. Ask God to make you spiritually radiant: each day ask God to make you Christ-like, overflowing with joy in the Lord and anointed by the Spirit in all your contacts.
  4. Ask God for winsome boldness in witnessing: Ask God for a loving, caring spirit of initiative to make you recognise open doors and to use the opportunity.
  5. Ask God to make you confident and positive.
  6. Put constant priority on prayer: Let there be priority for communing and interceding prayer.
  7. Green Pasture To Lie

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.” – Psalm 23:2,3

Street Evangelism is aimed at adding souls to the Lord and the Lord adding them to the Church such as should be saved. The question is what does the church leader make available for the spiritual sustainability of the souls the Lord is adding to the church. The Church leader must be ready to labour in the word of God to prepare green pasture to feed the added souls in order to make them disciples. If such plan is not available, the Lord may not add them to the Church.  If the purpose why you want them added to the Church is to make money in order to grow to increase the financial status of the Church, the Lord may not add them. This is called making merchandise of the Church of God. The primary aim must be to make them disciples of the Lord and in the process, the Church finance also will grow.  Various discipleship classes must be in place before the church embarks on street evangelism.


“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” –Acts 6:4, 7


When attention is given to prayer and the word such that the word increases to feed the new converts and the church with green pastures, the number of disciples will multiply tremendously.


  1. You Have Power and Authority

The Lord intends to manifest His power and authority through you on the street through signs and wonders. Signs and wonders are essential parts of the gospel of Christ for the purpose of people believing the gospel. Mark 16:15-18, 20 says

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover….. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen

Every time you go to preach on the street, you have committed the Lord to confirm His Word with signs and wonders following. The signs and wonders you have ever longed for to happen in your ministry will happen when you have compassion for souls and go to preach the gospel. The revelation of your redemption position in Christ Jesus will make one to function well in the capacity of the office. It takes a good understanding and insight through the Holy Spirit into the work of the Calvary to enjoy all the benefit of redemption. All that a Christian should be is packaged in the redemption. What makes one Christian to be different from another is the depth of revelation he has about his redemptive status in Christ[vi]. Jesus said in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you”. What Jesus says He has given you, that is what He has given you. You need this understanding to experience signs and wonders as you preach the gospel on the streets. Expect it to happen when opportunity comes to demonstrate the power of God in healing and deliverances. 



Google Search,

Oxford Dictionary

Conforming to Jesus.

Wesley L. Duewel. Ablaze for God.  E.O. Overcomers and Co. Limited, pp 27,104.


Ibikunle O. Oluwole. Walking in Dominion.  Oluwole Ibikunle Ministries Publisher, 2013 pp. 9,13

Nyongesa Augustine. “Street Evangelism Guild: Win Souls through Street Evangelism”. Nyongesa Augustine, 2022. Https://

Osborn T. L. Purpose of Pentescost. T.L. Osborn Evengelistic Association, Tusla, Okla, 1963

Wilipedia. “Azusa Street Revival”, 2023.

Selywn Hughes. “Every Day With Jesus”. Waverly Abbey Resources, January 8, 2024.

  1. The Holy Love of God

In recent decades statistics show there has been a sharp decline in church attendance. Several possible explanations for this have been given, and one that strikes a chord with us is this: the Church has lost its prophetic edge due to lack of teaching on the nature of God’s holiness and the implications this has for our lives. Research shows this emphasis has been missing from the Church now for many years, having been replaced by the one-sided proclamation that God is loving – and nothing more than that. A report concluded that many who used to attend church are filled with apathy; they no longer see any point in attending because the message they have been given is that ‘God loves me regardless of whether or not I go to church or change my life’ – so why bother? It was also pointed out that the low standard of Christian living is a consequence of the Church community’s failure to defend the faith and teach biblical truth, especially that truth that God is holy and said, ‘ Be holy because I am holy’ (Lev 11:44). God is love but He is holy love. It is important for us to remember that even though we are not saved by our works, we are saved to do good works and to live in a way that honour Him.





There are various methods you could use. These few methods have been used and proven to work.

  1. Open preaching with PA system such as megaphone, wireless combo speaker while you move around the community or positioning in crowded locations.
  2. Open air crusade. This is expensive to run.
  • House to house preaching. You strategically move from one house to another, greet people and seek their indulgence with God’s wisdom to preach.
  1. One-on-One meeting people. Sharing the gospel as you meet people. If you are many, you could divide yourselves into twos and move out. This is the most effective way of sharing the gospel. It will give you opportunity to lead people to Christ and get their details for follow up.
  2. Sharing tracts on the streets or market place and junctions.
  3. Inviting people for Sunday Service and Special Service on the streets.
  • Compelling and persuading the people. Matthew 22:8-10
  • Distribution of items such as clothing, shoes, food items and others.
  1. Community service such as cleaning the street, drainages and filling the pot holes. Making public water available for people to fetch water.


There is no specific formula on how to organise a street evangelism but these suggestions will help.

  1. Organise prayers specifically for the project standing on the word of God to possess the souls and areas for Jesus Christ. You can use the following Scriptures: Psalm 2:8; Isa 25:6-8; 2:2-4; Acts 2:47; 6:4, 7.
  2. As a Church leader, move round the streets of the community to know their names, how they are linked, what is prevalent among the categories of people in the community and identify different people or tribes and religion that is prevalent. This could be done with prayer walk. It is best done in the evening of weekend especially Saturday. Most people are already at home to prepare for Sunday.
  3. Organise your team that you have trained and brief them on your findings. Ask questions from those who live within the area about confusing issues.
  4. Choose a Street to start with.
  5. It will help if you go out of the Church compound and buy things on the street such as daily needs to get familiar with people on the Street. Introduce yourself sometimes to them as the Pastor in charge of the Church and identify with them.
  6. Choose specific days and time of the week or weekend to go out. Try to be consistent with it.
  7. You could start with public preaching using megaphone or combo speaker to create awareness. You can install PS system on the Church Bus to go out in the morning or any time to pray for the community and preach on some specific days. I did this a lot when I was St Peter’s Anglican Church, Alausa. I was known with the bus up to Police Divisional Headquarters Barracks, Alausa beside Lagos State Secretariat. I used the PA system on the bus to pray for Police Officers in their barrack in the morning. This created a lot of awareness for the church while I was there. The church had few members when I resumed there but the membership grew.
  8. Use different methods as the need arise to reach the people.
  9. Share the gospel and lead them to Christ. This is very essential and it is the main purpose of the whole exercise.
  10. Preach short messages.
  11. Dress well like disciples of Jesus Christ. Everyone in the team must dress modestly.
  12. Avoid argument and controversial issue with people. It engenders strive.
  13. Add more ….



  1. Street preaching reaches a large number of people with little resources. The number of people who end up hearing a street preacher in a single session is huge.
  2. The street preacher may be alone but the message reaches masses.
  3. Street evangelism passes the message of salvation to people who may never have heard about it before. A good number of people on the street don’t go to church.
  4. Some of them are preoccupied with making money; they do not spare time to listen to God. Through street evangelism, such people can be reached.
  5. Others are believers but they are lukewarm. Street preaching will help convict them to commit themselves fully to God.
  6. It is hard to track the effectiveness of street preaching but it transforms many lives more than you would imagine.
  7. Street preaching can be done any day. The flexibility means that you can share the gospel around the week. With such a high frequency of preaching, you can be sure many people will get to hear the message.
  8. In the Bible, we are told of Paul who used to go to the synagogue to reason with town residents on a daily basis. The consistency made it easier to have converts.



  1. Street evangelism can be discouraging especially when no one seems to be paying attention to what you are saying. Waking up another day to go to the street to share the gospel is not easy if no one listened to you the day before.
  2. But as I mentioned before, there are people who will benefit from the message you share on the street but they will not make it obvious.
  3. God convicts people while you are preaching on the street and they go to repent in secret. God will reward you for such souls who are transformed by your preaching even without your knowledge.
  4. Pray that God give you faith to believe that multitudes are benefiting from your preaching even if you can’t see them with your eyes.
  5. Getting supplies is another challenge that you will come across in street evengelismr. In normal church setting, after you share the gospel, those who listen will give an offering for you to get your provisions.
  6. With street preaching, chances of people giving you an offering for the work you are doing are low. Unless you have a passive source of income, street evangelism can quickly land you in poverty. The church could budget for it. Unless the church is buoyant, small churches may find it easier to execute.
  7. You must plan your financial life when you are into street evangelism.



The Church needs to go back to street to witness the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The history Azusa Street revival in New York led by Revd Wiliam J. Seymour, an African-American preacher could repeat itself on our streets for massive soul winning and revival that will fill our churches with multitude again who will thirst and hunger for God’s righteousness and power for the transformation of the nation. We cannot fold our hands as our churches are becoming scanty while the place of syncretism is growing. God is calling the church leaders to move the church members into the street for the last harvest.



  1. Give us o Lord thine unction

Anoint us for thy work

Arise and set us in motion

O Lord the man of war


  1. Baptize us Lord, with thy fire

And set out souls aflame

To burn and shine for thy cause,

Revive Your zeal in us.


  1. Refine us Lord and cleanse us

Clothe us in holiness

Transform our thoughts and nature

Till we Your glory show


  1. New hearts, more love, more passion

For souls in Satan’s train

With hook or net use us still

Make us fishers of men.


  1. Not gold, not power, nor knowledge

Will Thy heaven unlock

But prayer and faith and unity

Will bring the latter rain.


  1. With tears and groans and fasting

O Lord help us to pray

Travailing as in birth for souls

Till You revive the Church

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