Wednesday, April 22, 2015

EQUIP shorts: Rico Tice, 'Honest Evangelism'

Evangelism can be like flossing

We all know that we should floss, but we don’t do it as often as we should. So when I picked up Rico Tice’s book Honest Evangelism, I expected to hear the same thing I hear from my dentist. I braced myself for the questions: “Have you been doing this regularly? No? Why not?”

But unlike a visit to the dentist, this book is not one long and expensive guilt trip. Rico’s book is excellent. It’s short, clear and engaging. Rico has a warm writing style and is happy to share many of his own experiences of evangelism with us in order to encourage and equip. Honest Evangelism is a refreshing look at not only how we can be sharing Jesus with others, but why we should.

As I read Honest Evangelism, I was both comforted by the things Rico said and incredibly challenged by them.

Comfort - we are all created differently by God, which means we all have different ways of evangelising. Rico observes the different people in the Bible and the way that Paul shares the gospel differently to Peter, who shares it differently to the blind man healed, who shares the gospel differently to the Samaratin woman at the well. God has made us all with different strengths, and so whether you are an intellectual ready for debate, or a storyteller sharing of the things Jesus has done, or a keen inviter asking people to come and hear about Jesus, you have what it takes to evangelise.

Challenge - God has made us all differently, but he has made us to all share the gospel with others. When we understand the glory of Jesus, the certainty of new creation and the grim reality of death and hell, we understand the necessity for all Christians to evangelise. If I am convicted that these are true, I am left with no other option but to evangelise.

After reading this book, I had to be honest with myself. Honest Evangelism caused me to ask some hard questions:
1. How much do I trust that God is sovereign? Do I trust that God has placed me in the networks and neighbourhood I am in for the sake of his name, and if yes then what am I doing to share Jesus with those around me?
2. How can I be more prayerful? Am I praying actively for opportunities to share God with the people I am surrounded by, and am I praying for conversations I have had? Do I make prayer a priority or am I trying to do it all with my own strength?
3.  How can I be sharing Jesus with people?

When it comes to evangelism, we are all on a spectrum ranging from super keen to scared. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, Honest Evangelism will encourage you from God’s word that evangelism is worth it.

By Tara Sing 

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