Book Review: Servant Evangelism


I recently decided to try out Kindle Unlimited for a month.  I had read several reviews that gave vastly different feedback about the books that were available, so I decided that I’d just have to dig in for myself.  January is a great time for this as the weather is too cold to be outside much (especially with all our snow in Georgia this year!) and I’m putting in lots of time on my exercise bike (thank you New Year’s resolution!).  I was super pleased to run across Servant Evangelism by Alvin Reid and David Wheeler in the Kindle Unlimited store.  I have always had a great deal of respect for Alvin Reid as both a pastor and seminary professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, so I knew this one would be worth reading for sure!

Reid and Wheeler have done an excellent job making the case for the need for Servant Evangelism in a post-Christian culture.  People are often suspicious of Christians and Reid and Wheeler are calling us back to a New Testament winsomeness in the way that we approach evangelism.  It’s not about winning the argument as much as it is about earning the opportunity to reason with people by serving them first.  This book is solid theologically and offers a ton of practical ideas that you could put into action even today!

I highlighted several things while posting and have pasted those notes below…

  • We must look afresh at ways to connect believers to the beauty and the wonder and the glory of the Story of the Gospel, and help believers to show and to share this Story in their everyday lives. The question is not whether we should attack or terminate current methods. The question is how we will reach 1) the masses of people who do not respond to these approaches or are hardly ever touched by them; 2) the cities, which teem with masses of unchurched and accelerated secularism; and 3) the younger generation who we have demonstrated an alarming inability to reach. p. 2
  • By showing how the Gospel has changed us, we create a space where others want to hear more. p. 4
  • Bottom line, if we won’t clean bathrooms in the world we probably won’t wash the feet of hurting people either. p. 6
  • Servant Evangelism involves intentionally sharing Christ by modeling biblical servanthood. p. 7
  • Servant Evangelism: a combination of simple acts of kindness and intentional personal evangelism. p. 7
  • We have found that by showing intentional kindness to others that lost people are at least twice as likely to allow a Gospel conversation. p. 8
  • Surveys show that only three to five percent of believers consistently share their faith. p. 11
  • The Bible provides numerous examples from Jesus’ ministry, and that of the disciples, where they effectively combined service with the proclamation of the good news. p. 13
  • The Bible teaches that saving faith is best communicated through the avenue of genuine compassion and a spirit of Christ-like service. p. 15
  • We must recapture a vision for showing and sharing the good news out in the culture where people live . . . every day! p. 15
  • The Bible teaches that Christians should be the incarnation of the Gospel they proclaim. p. 16
  • Those participating must be intentionally evangelistic. p. 17
  • Service without evangelism equals social ministry without a biblical purpose. p. 17
  • Those participating must genuinely care about the needs of people. p. 18
  • Eventually, those participating must be equipped as personal witnesses. p. 20
  • what do the lost perceive our message to be? What does the unsaved person think about when they are confronted with Christianity and the church? p. 27
  • Servant Evangelism at its core demonstrates grace in order to proclaim truth. p. 28
  • Servant Evangelism will improve the way the culture views Christianity; and the way the Church views Evangelism p. 30
  • As Christians, we need to be willing to step out of our comfort zones and interact with cultures that might not be the same as ours. We need to go where the needs are most apparent. p. 35
  • The first thing we must acknowledge is the basic need to plow the fields through prayer.  As Psalm 126:5 says, “Those who sow in tears will reap with joyful shouting” (NASB). p. 38
  • According to First Corinthians 3:6, while others may “plant” and “water”, it is God, and Him only, who gives the “increase”(KJV).  Our call as believers is to be faithful in plowing and planting, always ready to share when the Father draws the net for the harvest. p. 40

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