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.
About the Author
John Dickson (PhD, Macquarie University) is an author, speaker, historian, and media presenter. John is author of more than 20 books, two of which became television documentaries. He also cohosted the documentary For the Love of God: How the Church is Better and Worse Than you Ever Imagined. John teaches a course on the historical Jesus at the University of Sydney, Australia, and researches the origins of Christianity in the Roman empire. He is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Sydney, a Visiting Academic in the Faculty of Classics at Oxford University (2016–2021), and Distinguished Fellow in Public Christianity at Ridley College Melbourne. John presents Australia’s no.1 religion podcast, Undeceptions, exploring aspects of life, faith, history, culture, or ethics that are either much misunderstood or mostly forgotten.