Evangelism Interview with Brady Brewer: Bus Station Ministry

Me: You already touched on your bus station ministry. What are some of the benefits and fruit that you see. What are the pros and cons about that kind of consistent location or ministry approach?

Brady: Okay, let’s start with the pros.

I would never be critical of anybody, as long as they’re going out there and preaching the gospel and preaching sound doctrine. A lot of guys travel, they’re preaching in one place then go on to the next place and time. That’s fine, the gospel goes forth!

God could use the word of God being preached, but somebody could hear just a portion of a message or just a few scriptures and God can use that to convert them. I’ve done those things, I’ve preached in places just one time. I do like the idea of going to the same place regularly if you can, like at the bus station. I build relationships with people, I see people there regularly, even for a year or two, and then you find yourself seeing different people.

There is one guy down there right now, he’s part of a group, they do a lot of drugs. I’ve seen him there for the past year. When I first started seeing him, he was giving me a lot of trouble, just heckling, more of an adversary. Through being down there regularly and having conversations with him, even though he may not agree with the message, I’ve gained his respect. I often drive up and I can hear them through my car window, he will say, “the preacher man’s here.” They will give me a hard time but he will get on them and say, “you guys need to sit and listen to this guy.” Its funny when you have guys who aren’t even converted trying to get others to listen. He comes to my defense. I think he’s gaining respect for what I’m doing, and he knows that I’m down there because I care about people and I care about him. That’s an advantage, people get to see you not just there to preach and leave.

They are still blind and dead in their sin, but they come to see that this guy really does care about us. I think it is very good just to show them what a Christian is. I’m here to preach the word of God absolutely, but “what’s going on in your life?” Sometimes I’ll take some of these guys home if they need a ride and they just get to see the pastoral side of you. Whether you’re a pastor or not.

People sometimes walk over to the table from clear across the parking lot, It’s a quite a ways. You see them sitting there, looking your way and listening. You may preach for 30 minutes and they walk all the way over to get a Bible. They will say, “I’ve heard you down here for the last two years and I just got the courage to come over here.” They get a Bible and you can witness to them more, give them a DVD or a tract. I have talked to a lot of people down there and it’s amazing that I still have people coming up who I don’t recognize, but they have been listening for years. You and I know that the word of God is powerful and it will not return void. That gives me encouragement to keep going knowing that the people are listening.

We planted the church a little over a year ago. Then COVID hit and we met in our house which is about 30 minutes from downtown. We found another church that is letting us use their building. That’s where we’ve been meeting since about last August or September. It is only 10 minutes from downtown and we’ve had a few visitors from the bus station. This is what I’m discovering, that people say they’re going to come, “I’ll be there Sunday” but only a few show up.

I still like the response at the bus station because people are hearing the gospel. That’s the main thing they’re hearing the gospel and we’re getting the word of God out. As far as bringing people to our church, we haven’t had that many come as much as I thought they would. There have been a few, but they don’t often last long. I’m fine with that, I’m not trying to do something pragmatic. Leading up to the church plant we did anticipate many people directly from the bus station and they’re not coming quite as quick. That doesn’t discourage me.

The church that we were in before was about 20 to 30 minutes outside of town so I never really expected people to come but with the church downtown there was more expectation. We try to have a regular presence there, somewhere downtown, every week and we’re trusting God. That’s what I tell people, we want to be there, we’re getting the word out. I am a pastor and we have a church planted down here so we have a place we can send them now. I got tired of trying to find churches to send people to in Oklahoma City because it’s hard to find healthy churches. I was very frustrated trying to do that for the first four or five years at that bus station. That was one of the reasons we decided to plant where we planted, we can bring people in that we know can sit under the word of God. That’s what I tell people, “Hey, we’re here, give them a tract, it has our website we’re here.

Me: Do you have the church address and website printed on your tracts?

Brady: Yes. Also, the buses run by there on Sunday. It was really amazing, the bus station used to be open Monday through Saturday and right before we planted this church, they opened up on Sunday too. I even know the exact bus that runs by there, I tell people it’s bus 11.

We shouldn’t expect lost people to come flooding into our church, I know better than that. For the first several months we tried to shy away from an invite to a lot of people because we weren’t ready for it, we were just trying to get established. As of the last few months we are ready now. We are starting to get visitors, the church is growing but not as much directly from the preaching. I don’t want this to be known as the open-air church. It is centered around Christ and centered around the gospel. We want to intentionally engage in evangelism and our church is doing that. At the same time I don’t want it to have an identity that says “you must be a street preacher over there.”  We are going to keep the gospel central.

Me: The church is the church.

What you’re saying reminds me of the parable of the sower. We sow seeds and there’s different ways in which people react to that, and that parable really tells that part too.

Part 1: Profile
Part 2: Bus Station Ministry
Part 3: Evangelism Centered Church
Part 4: Closing Thoughts and Encouragement

Author: Jon Neifert and Brady Brewer
Posted on July 02 2021