The Art of Personal Evangelism: Sharing Jesus in a Changing Culture

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Overview

Personal evangelism is the foundation for all church growth. As the culture and landscape of America shifts, people are looking for spiritual answers to life’s significant questions. However, in the increasingly crowded marketplace of spiritual ideas, people are looking to the church less and less.

Will McRaney addresses this problem at the heart of the solution. If the Kingdom of God is to expand, individual Christians will have to learn to communicate their faith story in a way that is engaging, personal, and relevant to the listening culture today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805426243
  • Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 442,218
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Will McRaney earned a Ph.D. in Evangelism from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1992. Having served a variety of roles related to the field of evangelism, he presently is the Max and Bonnie Thornhill Chair of Evangelism at New Orleans Seminary and also serves as assistant professor of evangelism. He also ministers through his role as co-founder of the Ministry Enhancement Group, a training and consulting group in the areas of church growth and leadership development. He currently resides in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1
1. Understanding God's Involvement 14
2. Understanding Your Role 43
3. Understanding Content Essentials: Clarifying the Gospel Message 74
4. Communication in Evangelism: Making the Gospel Make Sense 99
5. Communicating Inside Your Context 116
6. Communicating Christ Outside Your Context 140
7. Conversation Tips--Conversation Aids in Personal Evangelism 165
8. Removing Barriers 190
9. What's Next? Best of the Rest 217
Appendix 1. Constructing a Testimony 235
Appendix 2. Gospel Illustrations to Share Your Faith 238
Appendix 3. Common Objections 241
Appendix 4. Next-Steps Growth Assignments 244
Appendix 5. Personal Evangelism Bibliography 247
Endnotes 252
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2003

    A Great Primer on Personal Evangelism

    Will McRaney is an Associate Professor of Evangelism at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served in several positions such as pastor, church planter, and professor. In addition to his work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, McRaney also leads a church growth consulting ministry called Ministry Enhancement Group. McRaney¿s book, The Art of Personal Evangelism, emphasizes the importance of personal evangelism for both the Christian and the church. While a large percentage of Christians do not practice personal evangelism, McRaney points out that ¿everything begins with personal evangelism.¿ The purpose of his book is to review the biblical doctrines of evangelism and to provide assistance in bridging the timeless message with the postmodern culture. McRaney achieved this task by dividing the book into four sections: the first section reviews the foundational elements of personal evangelism; the second section discusses communication theory as it relates to personal evangelism; the third section provides practical application aids in personal evangelism; and the fourth section is comprised of five appendices to aid the reader in further research. The first section of the book deals with foundational elements of personal evangelism. These elements consist of the theological doctrines of evangelism, including God¿s role, the Christian¿s role, and the content of the gospel message. God¿s role in evangelism is defined as the instigator and agent of conversion. God desires a relationship with mankind for both His pleasure and for the benefit of His people. It is because of this desire that God created a means of salvation through the cross. This salvation is accessible only through Jesus Christ and the moving of the Holy Spirit. However, God uses His people as the messengers of the gospel. It is our role as His people to effectively communicate ¿the essential gospel message with the view toward seeing people supernaturally become followers and imitators of Christ.¿ Types and methods of evangelistic encounters vary, but the message and the goal of evangelism remains the same in all cases ¿ to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all the Christ has commanded. The second section of the book discusses communication theory as it relates to personal evangelism. McRaney covers three main areas of communication as it relates to evangelism. These include making the gospel make sense, communicating inside your context, and communicating outside your context. There are three primary styles of communication: self-centered, message-centered, and other-centered. We must communicate the gospel with a loving nature as God communicates. There are many facets of communicating with people inside our context. We must understand our culture in order to communicate effectively with the people within it. We must understand that there is a shift from modernism to postmodernism, and then we need to understand what this shift means for sharing the gospel message. Communicating Christ outside our context entails sharing the gospel with people of different age groups (children, youth, and seniors), and with people of different cultures. Sharing the gospel outside our context demands that we understand who we are talking to before we attempt to share the gospel. The third section is comprised of three chapters that supply practical application for the principles covered in the first two sections. These include conversation aids, removing barriers, and the final chapter consists of a miscellany of items. The chapter on conversation aids covers such items as assessing readiness to hear the gospel or make a decision, answering objections, and how to transition to a spiritual conversation. Also, there are internal and external barriers prohibiting the Christian from witnessing. These include: fear, relational distance, isolation, intellectual, informational, and pragmatic barriers. McRaney¿s book, The Art of Pers

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2003

    The Personal Evangelism Primer for Today's Church

    Will McRaney is an Associate Professor of Evangelism at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served in several positions such as pastor, church planter, and professor. In addition to his work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, McRaney also leads a church growth consulting ministry called Ministry Enhancement Group. McRaney¿s book, The Art of Personal Evangelism, emphasizes the importance of personal evangelism for both the Christian and the church. While a large percentage of Christians do not practice personal evangelism, McRaney points out that ¿everything begins with personal evangelism.¿ The purpose of his book is to review the biblical doctrines of evangelism and to provide assistance in bridging the timeless message with the postmodern culture. McRaney achieved this task by dividing the book into four sections: the first section reviews the foundational elements of personal evangelism; the second section discusses communication theory as it relates to personal evangelism; the third section provides practical application aids in personal evangelism; and the fourth section is comprised of five appendices to aid the reader in further research. The first section of the book deals with foundational elements of personal evangelism. These elements consist of the theological doctrines of evangelism, including God¿s role, the Christian¿s role, and the content of the gospel message. God¿s role in evangelism is defined as the instigator and agent of conversion. God desires a relationship with mankind for both His pleasure and for the benefit of His people. It is because of this desire that God created a means of salvation through the cross. This salvation is accessible only through Jesus Christ and the moving of the Holy Spirit. However, God uses His people as the messengers of the gospel. It is our role as His people to effectively communicate ¿the essential gospel message with the view toward seeing people supernaturally become followers and imitators of Christ.¿ Types and methods of evangelistic encounters vary, but the message and the goal of evangelism remains the same in all cases ¿ to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all the Christ has commanded. The second section of the book discusses communication theory as it relates to personal evangelism. McRaney covers three main areas of communication as it relates to evangelism. These include making the gospel make sense, communicating inside your context, and communicating outside your context. There are three primary styles of communication: self-centered, message-centered, and other-centered. We must communicate the gospel with a loving nature as God communicates. There are many facets of communicating with people inside our context. We must understand our culture in order to communicate effectively with the people within it. We must understand that there is a shift from modernism to postmodernism, and then we need to understand what this shift means for sharing the gospel message. Communicating Christ outside our context entails sharing the gospel with people of different age groups (children, youth, and seniors), and with people of different cultures. Sharing the gospel outside our context demands that we understand who we are talking to before we attempt to share the gospel. The third section is comprised of three chapters that supply practical application for the principles covered in the first two sections. These include conversation aids, removing barriers, and the final chapter consists of a miscellany of items. The chapter on conversation aids covers such items as assessing readiness to hear the gospel or make a decision, answering objections, and how to transition to a spiritual conversation. Also, there are internal and external barriers prohibiting the Christian from witnessing. These include: fear, relational distance, isolation, intellectual, informational, and pragmatic barriers. McRaney¿s book, The Art of Per

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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