Like most people I find evangelism hard. I’m nervous about what people will think of me, I’m pessimistic about how it will go and I’m not a quick thinker. I’ve realised I need all the help I can get.
I recently to start a strategy of reading at least one book on evangelism each year and decided to start with Honest Evangelism by Rico Tice.
I’m pleased to say it was the perfect book for me. Maybe for you too?
Rico is a pastor / evangelist in England and has loads of experience in evangelism, suffering and, importantly, training people like me in evangelism.
Here are some of the highlights. I’m hoping they might persuade you to read it too.
Firstly, Rico tells it like it is. He acknowledges that evangelism is hard. He talks about crossing “the painline” in evangelism and how sometimes we’ll get hurt. He doesn’t pretend it will be easy.
For me this is very helpful. He reminds us that just because “we get hit” doesn’t mean something has gone wrong.
Secondly, Rico diagnoses our hearts. He understands deeply the different reasons we don’t evangelise and especially the idols we hold. We value our idols (such as family approval, popularity, comfort etc) more than God’s approval or the fate of our friends and we therefore don’t evangelise. He shines the light we need on those dark areas in our lives.
Lastly, he invites us to be ourselves. He doesn’t want us to become egregious extraverts who can make friends with everybody and answer every question. In chapter 6 he gives us a series of examples, based on characters in the Bible, to help us see how we can evangelise as the people we are:
“…God could have made you to be a high-profile evangelist. He chose not to He chose to make you to be you. And… he put you exactly where you are.” (page 75).
There’s more to say but that’s a taste. And since the book is only 100 (small) pages you can read it easily over a week or two. I was excited also to see a list of other books of evangelism on page 103 that I can get stuck into next year (or sooner).
Now to actually put this book into practice.