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Change your mind about evangelism

12 May

Book Review: Sharing Jesus {without freaking out}: Evangelism the way you were born to do it, by Alvin L. Reid

When you mention the word “evangelism,” chances are most people think of a canned presentation like The Four Spiritual Laws, Romans Road, or Evangelism Explosion. You think about a program you have to memorize and repeat correctly. Pastor, Professor, and author Alvin Reid wants us to think about evangelism more as a conversation rather than a program.

In his book, Sharing Jesus {without freaking out}: Evangelism the way you were born to do it, Reid shares eight principles that are aimed at helping each person see

… how God wired you to be you—how to be a living, loving witness without morphing into a person you were never meant to be. You don’t have to be a superstar Christian or a clever communicator. You just need to find the intersection of your love for Jesus and your love for the other person.

Each chapter of the book explores one of his eight principles:

  • Principle 1: God created you for his glory, to advance his gospel with the gifts, talents, and opportunities he gave to you.
  • Principle 2: In order share Jesus confidently and consistently with others, first share him confidently and consistently with yourself.
  • Principle 3: Shifting from giving an evangelistic presentation to having an evangelistic conversation takes pressure off the witness and relates the gospel more clearly to an unbeliever.
  • Principle 4: God has sovereignly placed you in this world at this time with the abilities and gifts you have to bring glory to him and show the joy of the gospel to others.
  • Principle 5: Effective evangelistic conversations connect the unchanging gospel with the specific issues people face.
  • Principle 6: Expect people to be open to the gospel, and learn to share Jesus where they live.
  • Principle 7: Talk to the actual person in front of you about the Jesus inside you; let them see and hear the change Jesus makes in you.
  • Principle 8: Developing a lifestyle of sharing Jesus consistently flows out of a plan to share Jesus regularly.

The book includes an eight-week study guide for individual and small group study designed to help the reader put the principles into action. I appreciated his approach and found his stories and examples to be encouraging.

Books like this one have an inherent two-fold weakness. One is that they presuppose that one already knows how to share their faith. A person still needs to learn a basic approach to evangelism and what verses you’d use in sharing your faith. That way when it comes up in conversation you know what to say and how to shift a conversation in that direction. The second weakness is that it presupposes everyone is an extrovert like the author and naturally connects and talks easily with strangers. One has to work hard at adapting his principles to your own unique personality and style. That being said, the book is helpful and encouraging.

Disclosure: I received this book free from B&H Publishing through the B&H/Lifeway Bloggers program http://www.bhbloggers.com/. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Books, Evangelism, Quotes

 

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