What is one thing that Christians often find most difficult to do? I have a sneaky suspicion that evangelism would be one of the top few. So why is evangelism so difficult? Many reasons could be brought up, but the more important question is how we can remedy this situation.
Stiles first starts by addressing an all too common notion people have about evangelism and conversion — altar calls. He proposes to the readers to discard their pre-notion on such things and seek to see what the bible actually says about evangelism. Here, he also explains the what, how and why of evangelism. His definition of evangelism, and a rather simple one, is ‘Evangelism is teaching the gospel with the aim to persuade.’
And with that he guides readers through what evangelism is. Stiles very helpfully points out that evangelism can never ever happen without the means of words, and hence the first verb in his definition, ’teaching’. Next, he explains what ‘gospel’ is. Showing readers how sometimes we have a too small/large view of the gospel.
In the next chapter, Stiles moves on to the communal aspect side of evangelism. Yes we are each called to evangelise, but we need to evangelise as a church as well. So he talks about how the members must be clear about the priorities they each have. The ministers of the church must stay focus on the proclamation of the Word and not be boggled down with other good or even excellent things. However, the members (christians) must live out the implications of the gospel. this means although the pastor is not championing such causes. This is not an excuse to not do anything at all! He takes this principle from Acts 6:2-4, where the church saw and distinguishes between the priorities of the apostles and the needs of the windows. Faithful christians were appointed to administer the important task of meeting the needs of the widows rather than having the apostles administering the tasks.
Lastly, Stiles talks about how things would work in a day-to-day context. He gets right down to business and raises important pointers that pastors, ministry leaders need to be concern about, things like how we are never to assume that the church understands the gospel, or assumes that everyone in the church are christians. He has also left words of encouragement to those who are trying or have tried to evangelise. Stiles shows us that he like us, sometimes do not and are not able to present the gospel as how we should. Yet we must not stop, we must continue to improve and preach the Word to others around us. He assures us the God is at work even though it may not seem to be so at times. He remains us to not focus on ourselves, but on God even at times when we are weary or are even tempted to give us.
Within this book, Stiles has also added an appendix which he has a short explanation of what the gospel message is. It’s a relatively short one (a page and a half) which will be helpful for most readers, even those who are at a lost of not knowing what to share with others.
Yes, evangelism is difficult, but all christians are called to share the gospel. This book would therefore be suitable for those who are very new but want to learn, and also for those who have been a christian for some time, and have kinda given up on sharing the gospel. Hopefully this book will help you take the first step to evangelising once again.
Rating: 4.25 / 5
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.