Tag Archives: Alvin Reid

Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out by Alvin Reid

Reid, Alvin. Sharing Jesus {without freaking out} Evangelism the Way You Were Born to do it. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2017. 144 pp. $16.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction

Alvin Reid holds the Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism as well as serving as the senior professor of evangelism and student ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. More than teaching on evangelism, Dr. Reid (Doc) also serves as pastor to young professionals at Richland Community Church in Wake Forest, NC. He is interactive on social media and is always willing to help and instruct any who might ask him. Oh, and I would be remiss if I did not mention he one proud grandpa to whom this book is dedicated. You can find out more and get bulk discounts at http://www.bhacademic.com/sharingjesus/.

Way back in 2009, I reviewed Doc’s textbook Introduction to Evangelism.

Summary

Divided into eight chapters, Doc sets out to explain how he has found great success in his evangelism ministry. The answer is quite simple just from looking at the chapter titles. Chapter one discusses the importance of spreading the word without overcomplicating the message. Chapter two explains the message of grace and mercy over and above the message of anger that so many preach today.

The third chapter begins to deconstruct the walls we have built to evangelism by looking at the need for conversations instead of the sales pitch presentation. Continuing the conversation explanation, Doc moves in chapter four to show how you are vital to the mission of God even though you cannot do this in your own power.

As he continues to build the conversational model of evangelism, he turns to conversation starters and transitions that will help you to engage anyone with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The sixth chapter takes this even further by instructing the reader on how to let the other person help you. In other words, as you get to know them through a conversation, they will point you to their need of the gospel.

Once you begin to transition to the gospel, you will find that that you are able to talk more freely about the things of the Lord, but you will need to be careful as you must also talk with more than words. Chapter seven is devoted to showing the reader the importance of living out your faith in the context of sharing your faith.

The final chapter argues for making friends instead of making visits. Here, Doc wants you to have a plan of action before you go into any situation in order that you might effectively share the gospel more readily.

Review

BOOM!

This is just what the church needs! Yes, you can argue that we have the Bible and that we have many different methods of proclaiming the gospel, but the fact of the matter is, here in America, we are simply not doing what we have been commanded by our Lord and Savior. Doc Reid has been proclaiming the gospel for many years and, to be honest, has challenged me greatly in his success rate.
This is not to say that evangelism is all about success rates and models and strategies, but it is to say that Doc’s ministry is proof that the Word of God does not return void (Is. 55:11). As I been blessed to listen to Dr. Reid present a number of times in the state of Missouri where I live, I have learned much from his ministry. One area I find that has helped him to be more effective is the location of where he lives and ministers. His town of Wake Forest is larger than my county in Missouri.

That being said, as this book shows, it is not about the size of the community as much as it is about the size of the God who has commissioned you to this mission. Doc shows that the key to effective evangelism is having a strategy in place before you engage with the message. The key to evangelism is realizing you are engaging people not statistics.

In Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out, Doc explains that our mission is evangelism for the sake of seeing souls saved and not for the sake of numbers and statistics and honor at state conventions. Doc shows how sharing the message of salvation in Christ alone is natural to the one who has been born again because the new creation in Christ has a message to proclaim. Doc simply equips the new creature to do what God has enabled him or her to do.

Recommendation

Christendom owes a great debt to Doc Reid for his humility and accessibility as an academic thinker on the topic of evangelism. More importantly than that, he has modeled for the Christian what consistent obedience to the Great Commission looks like in the local context of evangelism. As the evangelism team leader in my association, I have been looking for a resource that I could give to my pastors that they would want to read and implement in their own ministries. I have found that resource. I highly commend this book to everyone who calls on the name of Christ as their Lord and Savior and who wants to be a better soul winner in their own ministerial context.

Introduction to Evangelism by Alvin Reid

Reid, Alvin. Introduction to Evangelism. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998. 362 pp. $17.99.  Purchase at Amazon.com for $12.23.

Introduction

Alvin Reid is the professor of evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina. He has written numerous books and articles. He also maintains a blog at AlvinReid.com

Review

Introduction to Evangelism is a text book written for the collegiate or seminary student who is serious about evangelism. Consequently, there are some “thick” parts that necessarily need to be “waded” through if being read by a non-seminarian. The book is divided into three parts. The first part is the convictional basis for evangelism.

In this section, Reid focuses on what we must know in order to evangelize a lost world. On one hand, if you are a Christian, then you can evangelize. After all, you were saved from your sins and therefore you (should) know something that can be shared with others. Still, Reid takes nothing for granted. He defines evangelism and offers a biblical understanding of evangelism. Next, he looks to evangelism throughout Christian history and finally discusses the theology (think absolute Truth claims) of evangelism.

In the second part, Reid offers the spiritual basis of evangelism. Here, he exhorts the reader to live the gospel so that you can share the gospel. Evangelism is then looked at as a Spiritual Discipline since Christ commanded it before ascending into heaven.

The final three chapters of the second section are the “nuts and bolts” of living an evangelistic lifestyle. We find a much welcomed, and I fear much needed, chapter on prayer and evangelism in chapter eight. In the last two chapters, Reid discusses the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing the unchristian to the light of Christ and the use of one’s personal testimony in evangelism.

Part three takes a look at the methodological basis of evangelism. This section may be the most controversial even though it is offered as an overview of various methods used in evangelism. Reid gives a lot of attention to personal evangelism and reaching the unchurched. He also looks at the pros and cons of mass evangelism and exhorts today’s students to become leaders in evangelistic efforts.

Recommendation

Even though this is a textbook on evangelism and is written to Bible school or seminary student, this book should be made available in every evangelical church. If the truth were told, many Christians would say that they do not evangelize because they feel they are not properly equipped. Alvin Reid takes that excuse away and offers an experienced and educated understanding of evangelism.

This book can be used in a discipleship class setting or even in a small group study. With application sections at the end of each chapter, the student (in the seminary or in the church) will be equipped and challenged to share his or her faith that week. I recommend this book to anyone seeking a biblical understanding of evangelism.