I was greatly moved by the story of Frank Jenner, the Australian sailor who turned to Christ and decided to share Jesus with 10 people every day of his life, which he followed through for the next 28 years of his life. He is also known as the renowned street evangelist from George Street in Sydney, Australia. All he would do is to ask the following question to people he would pass by on the street:
If you die tonight, will you go to heaven?
It is believed over 1,00,000 people heard about Jesus and that thousands put their faith in Jesus through this simple question he would consistently ask on the streets for the 18 years of his life, before he got unwell and could do no more. Throughout his life, he had hardly known anyone personally who remained in the faith they confessed on the street. However, as his story of his life spread across the globe, numerous number of people responded with the knowledge of the man from George street who had shared Jesus with them. Almost none of them knew his name. He was not a famous personality when he was alive nor when he died, only a small baptist christian group knew him and were there at his memorial.
I admire so many things about this man, a few of which I would like to personally imitate. I share them with you here so you can join along and be passionate about serving Jesus like Frank Jenner was.
His Love for Jesus Translated Into a Passion for Souls
How about you? How do you express your love for this Jesus who laid down His life to save your soul? Many a times our understanding of loving God is just limited with going to church or worshipping Jesus. We don’t remember the fact that we are also commanded to preach the gospel to all creation (Mark 16:16) and Jesus also said if you love Me, you will obey My commandments. (John 14:15)
We are excited about expressing our love for Jesus as long as we are comfortable with what we have to do. I pray that you would imitate Frank Jenner in this area and that you would grow to be a man or a woman who is passionate about souls. If you love Jesus, you would surely be burdened with the same things he is burdened with. All of Jesus’ life on the earth, His teachings, His heart and His death on the cross was to attract souls to the Father. Let us share the same burden and live in a state of continuous and active love for Jesus.
His Devotion to God Led Into a Lifestyle of Service
Being on the street every day of your life for 18 years to witness about Jesus does require you to be very intentional about serving God. If you do something that long, it becomes part of your life and even blends in with your identity. Anytime we do not want to be of service to people around us, but always want to be served, we should definitely question our devotion to God.
Jesus declared that He did not come to be served but to serve. (Matthew 20:28) If Jesus being the son of God, and our captain had a heart that was willing to serve. Jesus knew from the beginning that His life is not about Himself, but about serving the people around Him. He didn’t mind travelling between cities and towns, just to go minister to one person on the way. We have somehow absorbed a celebrity culture in the church today where everyone with talents and special gifts expects to be served instead of serving the church and its members. This has got to go, for good. We need to come back to the first century model of Christianity.
His Goal Centric Life Brought Him Great Heavenly Reward
Sharing Jesus to 10 people everyday was Frank’s goal. His reward was the numerous number of salvations as a outcome of his evangelism. The interesting part is that he hardly knew of anyone who came or remained in the faith because of his ministry. He still continued to pursue his goal against all odds. When we are being rewarded for our service and our spirituality, it is very easy to continue doing what we are doing. But it takes a man of immense discipline in goal centred living to be able to achieve a feat like this when there has been no visible results or appreciation over the ages.
This is Apostle Paul’s encouragement to us: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
His Unashamedness of the Gospel Proved His Belief in It
Can you imagine the occasional insults, backfires and retaliations he would have faced for his question? I am sure, he would have faced some embarrassing situations more than once during his lifetime of being an ambassador of the gospel. However the fact that he still didn’t give up proved that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus.
Apostle Paul also said “I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes–the Jew first and also the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16) The reason he was not afraid or ashamed of the message of Jesus was because he believed in the life changing power of the gospel. Many a times our silence and unwillingness to share the gospel is a testimony to the fact that we don’t completely believe that the gospel carries the power to change people.
His Willingness to Remain Hidden from the Public Eye Gave Him God’s Approval
Hardly anyone knew about a man named Frank Jenner till heaven decided to reveal it so we can be encouraged and challenged by his story. Jesus said, “Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” (Matthew 6:3) He didn’t go about publishing his work and ministry for the Lord. He was willing to remain silent till God would bring it to the forefront through numerous stories and testimonies. That reveals his humility and strength of character. I am not against you sharing about your ministry to people who are praying and supporting you. But doing it for the sake of publicity, acceptance or fame is the last thing a genuine minister of God should be doing. Let your promotion come from God alone. When God brings you honour, it is not temporary or volatile like the world’s respect and fame.
If anything, I pray and hope that Frank Jenner’s life and ministry will inspire you to follow and pursue Christ enough to obey His command to go and preach the gospel to all creation.
Here’s a short video from YouTube that will give you a glimpse into his life a little more in detail. I hope his life and story inspires us to be soul winners.