The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission
This book comes out of years of reflection, failures, and some successes in the task of reaching out to others with the gospel.
Many Christians think of the task of mission as an entirely verbal activity, when perhaps the best kept secret of New Testament teaching about mission is that it involves a whole range of activities that explicitly promote Christ to the world and draw others to him, and only a few of them involve speaking. Without diminishing or downplaying the importance of speaking the gospel, John Dickson shows that, on the other hand, downplaying the range of activities that promote Christ to the world has its own set of problems. It can make those who are not confident about speaking—of anything, let alone Jesus—feel inadequate and self-conscious in the task of reaching out to others. Equally, it can make those who do have a flair for speaking feel as though they are fulfilling Christ’s mission just by talking. But the reality is that the Lord wants our whole life, not just our lips, in the task of bringing the gospel to the world. Every facet of our lives can be used by God to promote the news of his power and mercy.
In this practical guide to the biblical art of sharing your faith, John Dickson offers refreshing insight into the ways that all Christians can and should be involved in spreading the good news of Jesus. While not all Christians are called and gifted to become evangelists, we are all called to promote the gospel through a wide range of activities—prayer, financial partnership, good deeds, godly lives, public worship, daily conversation, etc.—with and without our lips.
As readers engage with this book, grapple with its arguments and hear the stories of people coming to faith, they will be inspired to see the whole of life as significant for bringing the gospel to the world, and they will be liberated out of guilt and self-consciousness in evangelism into becoming perfectly natural promoters of Jesus Christ.
Table of ContentsIntroduction: Confessions of an Evangelist
1. The One and the Many: Why Get Involved in Mission?
2. The Many and the One: The Challenge of Pluralism
3. Following the “Friend of Sinners”: The Missionary Mind of the Ordinary Christian
4. The Hidden Mission: Promoting the Gospel with Our Prayers
5. Partners for Life: Promoting the Gospel with Our Money
6. Being the Light of the World: Promoting the Gospel through the Works of the Church
7. Being Beautiful: Promoting the Gospel through Christian Behaviour
8. What Is the Gospel? The Message We Promote
9. The Few and the Many: Evangelists and the Local Church
10. Heralds Together: Promoting the Gospel through Our Public Praise
11. The Apt Reply: Promoting the Gospel in Daily Conversation
12. A Year in the Life of the Gospel: Bringing It All Together
Appendix 1: Gospel Bites
Appendix 2: A Modern Retelling of the Gospel