Evangelism by Mack Stiles
The Christian bookstore has a wide selection of books on topics such as marriage, prayer, apologetics, and evangelism. However, as the poet Samuel D. Coleridge once wrote, “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.” The vast majority of literature on Evangelism talks about boldness, events, strategies, and ways to reach specific people groups. While some of these are important topics, what is fundamentally missing in most of these books is the church-centric vision of Evangelism. Every individual is called to evangelism but that’s a call that flows down from the call to the church. Stiles’ book stands out among the lot for its biblical and church-centric approach.
The book is broadly divided into five chapters “Of Altar Calls and Laser Lights,” “A Culture of Evangelism,” “Connecting Church and a Culture of Evangelism,” “Intentional Evangelists in a Culture of Evangelism” and “Actually Sharing the Word”. The author begins the book by addressing unhealthy evangelism practices that are ineffective in leading people to Christ. The book discusses several common follies of our age, such as ordering church services to pander to unbelievers, prioritizing entertainment over preaching truth, and relying on showmanship, laser lights, and smoke machines. The author explains the role of the church in evangelism and highlights the primary role played by church members. The book includes testimonies and stories from the author’s experiences in church and ministry, all of which demonstrate the effectiveness of Biblical evangelism. Stiles criticizes the idea that elders are solely responsible for evangelism or that it is the church’s primary function. Instead, he suggests that church members should establish an evangelism culture within the church. Using biblical exposition, the author emphasizes the importance of preaching the word during church services rather than solely focusing on evangelism or reaching the lost.
This book is an exceptional resource for both church leaders and lay members. It offers a comprehensive and insightful view on the priority of elders, as well as how to effectively teach and lead churches in evangelism. Moreover, the text offers a wealth of biblical theology and numerous examples, which explain the reasons and methods behind evangelism.
Notably, the book also offers guidance on creating an organic culture of evangelism within the church, making it an invaluable resource for lay members. The text spans 126 pages and is written in a clear and concise style. The author’s use of real-life examples is engaging and thought-provoking. Its almost unique congregational perspective on evangelism makes it a timely and highly recommended book.
This book can be purchased here.