How do we communicate the message of the Cross to those who do not know? While there are no substitutes for personal conversations, there are a number of excellent (and very affordable) resources you can incorporate into your evangelism. Here are just two…
For Your JOY, by John Piper ($0.25 – $1.00 each)
This little 40-page book can be kept in your pocket. It begins with C.S. Lewis’ famous question: Is Christ a liar, lunatic or Lord? It gives the typical elements of the gospel – providing an understanding of God’s holiness, the nature of sin, that God judges sinners, and the precious death of Christ as the sinner’s substitute. Also included is a clear call for the reader to consider and act upon these things personally.
Then, in typical John Piper style, he expands the scope of the gospel to show the reader that their eternal happiness is also at stake. “The gospel of Christ is the good news that at the cost of his Son’s life, God has done everything necessary to enthrall us with what will make us eternally and ever-increasingly happy, namely, himself” (p. 29).
The entire book can be read in about 30-45 minutes. An excellent overview of the gospel!
ESV Outreach New Testament ($0.50 each)
As a college ministry leader in Omaha, I tried to get an ESV into the hands of each student that did not own a bible. First, the ESV is both a literal translation of the bible and is literally superb. And second, it looks like a book you would sit down and read. For some reason, outreach bibles are typically the least creatively formatted, lacking all the imagination and readability of a typical book you would find at a bookstore. The ESV has always printed bibles that use various fonts, paragraph breaks, clear section markers and book introductions. This new outreach edition of the ESV New Testament is no different.
It’s 222 pages of fairly small and tightly formatted text. But it is also a book that someone can sit down and comfortably read through (provided they have fairly good eyesight. This version is promoted for “Nursing Home Residents.” I would find another edition for that use.)
The extra features of this small and inexpensive bible are impressive. How should I read my New Testament? is a short article helping readers trust in the illumination of the Spirit and encourages the reader to find a good local church. Then there is a topical guide to the bible for passages concerning sadness, anger, temptation, the nature of joy, pride, forgiveness, etc. A 30-day reading plan to read through some of the most important sections of the NT follows. Then a short introduction to the New Testament explains how the NT is comprised (gospels, letters, prophecy). Each book of the NT has a very brief (but very helpful) introduction.
The outreach edition closes with a gospel presentation that wonderfully points the reader back into the text of the NT. And finally a second reading plan lays out a schedule to read through the entire NT in six months.
Both the booklet by Piper and the New Testament by the ESV are wonderful helps for our evangelism efforts. They are both clear, concise, concrete and affordable.
0977328600, 9781581348354, 1581348355