Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Great Book for Personal Evangelism

TITLE: JUST WALK ACROSS THE ROOM: Simple Steps Pointing People to Faith
AUTHOR: Bill Hybels
PUBLISHED: Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan 2006, (224 pages).

This simple book is a very readable and empowering book on personal evangelism. Like John Ortberg's "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat," this book aims to encourage Christians to learn to be bold and to overcome any fear about sharing one's faith. In typical Hybels-style, this book is filled with personal stories of how he himself has overcome personal reservations and to embark upon a genuine sharing of his faith with people he meets on a normal day. He turns ordinary moments into holy moment. As Christ followers, we need to walk like Christ, to learn to walk to other people and to share the good news of the Kingdom of God. He starts with a powerful story of how he managed to share the gospel with a Muslim man. Without coercion, he tells of the story of grace and the free gift of salvation. The result was a wonderful time of honest and open sharing from both persons.

Far too often, we allow our fears of rejection, and the desire to keep the peace through assuming people dislike our gospel. The truth is, there are people who will be more than open to listen, as long as we get their permission. Unlike certain evangelistic activities that are short-term fads, seed sowing is the activity that sustains evangelism in the long run. Hybels talks about the 3Ds of personal evangelism: Developing friendships, Discovering stories, and Discerning next steps. Whether one is telling Bible stories, personal testimonies or other types of stories, one needs to learn 4 things:
  1. Keep it brief
  2. Make it clear
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Be humble as you share.
The good news is not about what we are doing or going to do. It is about what Christ has done for all mankind. Hybels takes a leaf from Greg Ferguson's song entitled, "Peacemaker" to highlight the need to show Christ as:

"Peacemaker. Fear-taker. Soul-soother Storm-smoother.
Light-shiner. Lost-finder. Cloud-lifter. Deliverer.

Mind-clearer. Sigh-hearer. Hand-holder. Consoler.
Wound-binder. Tear-drier. Strength-giver. Provider.
Peacemaker to me. "  (163)
The entire book is not difficult to read. In fact, it is one of the best books on practical steps on everyday evangelism. Hybels reminds us that we do not need big brains or large groups to share the gospel. We need a big heart of willingness, and a humble approach to ask for permission to share, and when given, to share gladly and generously.


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