Andrew Palau: My Top 10 Books on Evangelism
Evangelism is a beautiful and rich practice—sharing the deep love, compassion, sacrifice and cleansing power of our Savior, Jesus Christ. In addition to beauty and depth, there’s also a wonderful simplicity to it that should excite and empower each of us, no matter our background, education or eloquence.
As an evangelist, I often find myself in conversations with pastors and church leaders about the relevance of evangelism in our post-everything culture. Yet I’m constantly reminded of the words of Paul in 2 Timothy 4:5, “Do the work of an evangelist.” To be a disciple is to be in community (church) and incorporated in a call to make new disciples (evangelism) and invite others into community. This is the clear instruction of the Great Commission, and it includes, but is not limited to, preaching (Mark 16:15). While the call to evangelism is not dependent on the positive response it generates, it does involve personal engagement.
But I find that few words can consistently cause such varied reactions globally as the word evangelism, especially in a post-pandemic world. Perhaps more than ever before, we need to embrace and unleash the power of God in the regular practice of evangelism. Christians need to reaffirm their commitment to evangelism as a priority in their faith. Irrespective of our feelings regarding the word itself, sharing one’s faith is an important aspect of being a believer in Christ.
There is a common fallacy that pastors and evangelists are the only means of reaching people with the good news. Yes, God does gift the evangelist specifically, but we are all called to share our faith with those around us (Acts 1:8; Col. 4:6). Even pastors are called to do the work of an evangelist. In fact, we all should be carrying the load of evangelism together, as one body.
The practice of evangelism and the reality of being a disciple of Christ are inseparable. Evangelism is not a side activity for a busy church. Evangelism is the fuel your church needs to ignite a movement for God. It is biblical and is a natural outworking of our faith. And it is necessary for Christ-centered, Spirit-filled and Bible-believing Christians. Sharing the gospel is a good practice for those who care deeply about their neighbor, city and the world.
My father, Luis Palau, served as an evangelist for more than 60 years. My passion for evangelism emanates from reading God’s Word and is affirmed in the experiences of our ministry. If you are finding your personal excitement for the Lord waning, evangelism may be the spark you need to ignite a movement of God in your own heart and life.
Here are some books I would recommend for further study in the area of evangelism:
Reimagining Evangelism: Inviting Friends on a Spiritual Journey by Rick Richardson (IVP) provides insights on how evangelism has changed over the years, and what it’s like to share the gospel today.
Contagious Faith: Discover Your Natural Style for Sharing Jesus With Others by Mark Mittelberg (Zondervan) introduces five approaches to evangelism to help readers determine which best fits with their personality and style.
Organic Outreach for Ordinary People: Sharing Good News Naturally by Kevin Harney (Zondervan) helps readers shape their personal approach to sharing the good news.
The Soul-Winner: Or How to Lead Sinners to the Saviour by Charles Spurgeon (various publishers) offers his personal thoughts and admonishments into “that most royal employment.”
Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out: Evangelism the Way You Were Born to Do It, Second Edition by D. Scott Hildreth and Steven A. McKinion (B&H) shows what evangelism looks like when it is part of ordinary, everyday conversations.
The Complete Evangelism Guidebook: Expert Advice on Reaching Others for Christ edited by Scott Dawson (Baker) is a comprehensive resource on everything a person needs to know about sharing faith.
The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever (Crossway) answers the basic questions about evangelism while helping readers develop a culture of evangelism in their lives and local church.
If Jesus Is the Answer, What Is the Question? Ten Simple Questions for Dynamic Evangelism by Ben Jack (Equipping the Church) introduces readers to five questions to ask themselves and five questions to ask the world that will help them share their faith with boldness and clarity.
How to Revive Evangelism: Seven Vital Shifts in How We Share Our Faith by Craig Springer (Zondervan) shares the often-overlooked evangelistic approaches of Jesus himself and demonstrates how returning to these fundamentals are key to reviving evangelism in the 21st century.
Out of the Saltshaker and Into the World: Evangelism as a Way of Life by Rebecca Manley Pippert (IVP) offers peace and power to anyone wanting to share about the love of Jesus.