Evangelism… it seems to be the word that scares many Christians away and makes them run for the hills. People say that it’s difficult. People say that they don’t feel equipped. People say that they don’t have all the answers to every perceivable question that they may be asked. I’ve voiced many of these myself over the years and I’ll be honest, I think that often we end up just making excuses when it comes to evangelism. Let me introduce you to a great book that will help you see that you don’t need a degree in theology, or to know everything about apologetics to tell people about Jesus.
Story Bearer was described to me as ‘spicy but fun’ so naturally I had to read it. This book is all about evangelism and the spread of the gospel, I think that every church member should read it (I do not say that often!).
Maybe you’ve heard, or even asked a question like this before ‘Isn’t evangelism all about big meetings, putting on the right course, knowing the right answers and living out a faithful life?’. Well, here’s what Knox says about that…
“The Christian faith spreads by one person telling another. One of the very first followers of Jesus persuades his friend Nathanael to get involved by inviting him to ‘Come and see'”
As the name of the book suggests, Story Bearer is all about how a Christian can and should use their story to share the greater story; the story of Jesus. Why is this so important?
“When you speak to most Jesus followers and ask them about the important steps on their journey, it will involve someone telling them the story. The Christian story should be the most contagious thing in the universe.”
As I perceive it, many people mix up evangelism and apologetics. The two can certainly cross over, but apologetics is not evangelism. You don’t need to ‘know all the answers’ to be able to share Jesus. People will argue with facts, they can debate the validity of information, but very few people (if any) will argue with your story. Every single Christian has been equipped to share the gospel because every single Christian has a story to tell. Every Christian has the privilege of telling people how their personal story fits into the greater story of God’s salvation plan.
“I wholeheartedly believe that if we, as Christians, were prepared and intentional about sharing our faith in the everyday of our lives we might see something amazing happen and unprecedented numbers of people coming to know Jesus. We need to know God’s story, but we also need to know our own story”
This book give you a brief overview of the Bible story from Genesis to Revelation, and helps you see how you can use your own story to point others to that greater story. Knox gives practical tips and advice for people to follow and he weaves his own story throughout to help you get a feel for it.
I know that there will be some who think this approach to evangelism as being a bit too ‘truth-light’, but that is not the case at all. The fundamentals of the gospel must always be in a Christians testimony, Knox is very clear of that. This book isn’t promoting a wishy-washy story time, but it’s promoting evangelism whereby you connect with your friends and family and get to the reality of how the gospel of Jesus has transformed you. Personally, I have found this style of evangelism (friendship evangelism) to be the most ‘effective’.
I could go on and on with quotes and helpful insights that Knox bring to the evangelism table, but instead I’d encourage you to just buy the book. It’s being released shortly and for just £7.99 (when this post originally went live), you’re getting 147 pages of really helpful material. This book is easy to read, honest about the ups and downs, the joys and the struggles of the Christian life and a real encouragement to simply go and share Jesus with the world. Please go buy it, in fact, buy 2; one for you and one to give away.
Phil Knox is the head of mission to young adults at the Evangelical Alliance. He has a passion for his generation, the local church, loves learning and has degrees in law and mission and evangelism. Phil is married to Dani and they have two sons, Caleb and Jos. He is an avid runner, enthusiastic waterskier and once broke the world record for the longest five-a-side football match. He is also a performance poet. He lives in Birmingham.