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April 1, 2021Leadership

Recommendations for Outreach Resource of the Year

A brief overview of Ed’s choices from Outreach Magazine’s Resource of the Year.
Recommendations for Outreach Resource of the Year
Image: Outreach Magazine

Each of the last few years, our team and I partner with Outreach Magazine to look through many resources on evangelism and apologetics. Once they have announced, I like to share a bit more here at The Exchange.

This year, I commended the following two books:

1.How to Talk About Jesus Without Being That Guy: Personal Evangelism in a Skeptical World by Sam Chan.

Sam Chan offers wise and practical advice on sharing Christ in our ever-changing, post-Christian world. Using pertinent biblical texts, encouraging real-life examples, and sociological and cultural information, Chan offers the reader a helpful way both to think about evangelism today and how to practice it. He writes with confidence in the gospel and personal humility. Building his content around eight "tips," Chan's approach is applicable for a pastor or layperson, for a church or individual, and for global contexts (his is Australia) and for the United States.

For example, tip 2, "Go to their things and they will come to your things," Chan describes being supportive of events that matter to unchurched friends. He shares a number of examples where friends and neighbors of he and his wife attended church after they attended events of their friends. This is a book a person can read and immediately begin to implement the ideas.

2. SENT: Living a Life That Invites Others to Jesusby Heather Holleman and Ashley Holleman.

The Holleman's work with Cru in Pennsylvania, where Heather teaches English at Penn State. This book offers numerous examples of how to make the shift to living as a sent person or family. A particularly helpful aspect of this book flows out of the married couple who wrote it: husband Ashley is the introvert, whereas wife Heather is the extrovert. Readers from either personality can gain immediate and useful wisdom from their honest retelling of their strengths and weaknesses.

As practical and helpful as Sent is, it's really not fundamentally about how to practice evangelism but understanding one's identity as a sent person. A number of accounts of people being won to Christ in the context of the Holleman's sent lives brings the reality of this important idea to life.

Also, we suggested two "Additional Recommendations."

1. Reclaimed: How Jesus Restores Our Humanity in a Dehumanized World by Andy Steiger with Sherry Hiebert.

Steiger offers a fascinating and helpful look at how dehumanizing people contributes to the outrage and division in our world, while seeing people as humans made in God's image totally reshapes how we see others.

2.Telling a Better Story: How to Talk About God in a Skeptical Age by Joshua D. Chatraw.

Chatraw's book brings together apologetics and the biblical story in a way that helps give the believer confidence and assists in witnessing and defending the faith to others.

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Recommendations for Outreach Resource of the Year