Friday, June 08, 2007

John Murray on The Open Air Meeting

Busy day, yesterday. I conducted my first marriage service and then attended a church fellowship evening in nearby Saltford. The couple were a man from the church I pastor in West Lavington and a woman from the other church I serve in Westbury!
I sometimes preach the gospel in the open air. We hold open air events in our local High Street in the Spring and Summers months. This morning, I'm off to Bridport, Dorset to assist friends from the Baptist Church with their open air witness. The other day, I was struck to read these Rules for Open Air Meetings, drawn up by John Murray for the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in the 1930's. Aside from being excellent advice, they show that Murray was an evangelist at heart, as well as a being a theologian. They also tie in nicely with my new series on Preaching and the Power of the Spirit (here).
1. Go where the people are, not where you hope they will come...
2. Go in absolute confidence in the truth and power of the Gospel and in complete reliance on the Holy Spirit to bless. Only as the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit can we proclaim boldly, convincingly, and winsomely the everlasting gospel. Nothing can draw and hold so well and so surely in an open-air service as the preaching of the Word in the power of the Spirit.
From The Life of John Murray by Iain Murray, Banner of Truth Trust, 2007, p. 91.
That's me preaching at the Martyrs Memorial, Oxford last March.


michael jensen said...

oh wow, sorry I missed it.

Looks chilly though!

Good to see you preaching under the beady eye of a few good Church of England men!

Guy Davies said...

It was massive cold day last March as part of a Cranmer memorial event.

Others spoke on the man and his martyrdom (dressed in full C of E regalia). I spoke on A gospel worth dying for.

Afterwards, we were glad to get into Starbucks to warm up over a hot cup of cappuccino, which seems a little decadent in the light of what happened to the ol' Archbishop.