The Word’s Out by David Male and Paul Weston
A warm, enthusiastic presentation of ‘principles and strategies for effective evangelism today’ - a book for every Christian
The Word’s Out (Principles and strategies for effective evangelism today)
By David Male and Paul Weston
Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF)
ISBN No: 978 0 85746 8161
Reviewed by: The Revd Dr Martin M’Caw
Some books are written for a specific readership, be they historians, railway buffs, music lovers or whatever. The target readership for The Word’s Out is the Christian world at large. Its purpose is to stimulate evangelism as an integral part of the Christian life as the Archbishop of Canterbury states in his foreword, the authors ‘have performed a service to the church.’
The Word’s Out is far from being a dull teach yourself text book. It’s a warm, enthusiastic presentation of ‘principles and strategies for effective evangelism today.’ In doing so there is a historic summary of evangelism in terms of the big evangelistic campaigns of Moody and Sankey in the 19th century or Billy Graham in the 20th, when most men and women in the street had a smattering of Christian knowledge in stark contrast to our contemporary second and third generation unchurched society.
The authors present a pattern of evangelism that is rooted in the ministry of Jesus and the activities of the New Testament church. They recognise there is a role for the specialist evangelist, but the key to the heart of evangelism has to flow from ministers whose role is necessarily pastor/evangelist, teacher/evangelist leading and encouraging their church members to grow in their love for the Lord so that evangelism becomes not ‘a stand alone activity distinct from the rest of discipleship but that natural overflow of an authentic Christian life.’
The encouragement to develop evangelism as an integral part of discipleship is well set in the over-used context of post-modern society which has ‘a wider cultural phenomenon of institutional dislocation.’ Paul Weston’s analysis is that contemporary society is not so much secular as one in which ‘belief is drifting away from orthodoxy…disconnected without an anchor’ to a smorgasbord of religious and world views.
This is a book which encourages Christians to go with the flow in the love of God, stimulating the passion and drive to grow in the Lord, and looking to help overcome their crises in confidence when talking about the faith. It’s an encouragement for fellowships that are demographically challenged by dwindling numbers and a wake-up call to those Christians who only come to church to be fed with a three course sermon.
This is a book for every Christian. Have you heard? The word’s out so let’s get on with it, to be it and do it so that our evangelism really becomes part of our daily discipleship.
The Revd Dr Martin M’Caw (Retired Baptist Minister. Wing Chaplain No2 Welsh Wing RAF Cadets