The very word makes palms sweat and images spin: buttonholing in a city park, knocking on neighborhood doors, being conscripted into evangelistic campaigns, to say nothing of that annoying religious neighbor or coworker.
We have met the evangelists—and they are not us. If evangelism is the welcome door to faith, why does it grate open on rusting hinges?
Mark Teasdale has met these challenges and more. They come in the shape of students in his evangelism class. In Evangelism for Non-Evangelists he sympathizes with the perceptions and discomfort we bring to evangelism. But he also opens up a nonthreatening space for us to weigh what we believe the evangel of evangelism—the good news!—to be. And he helps us navigate our way toward expressing the gospel in a manner true to what we believe, authentic to who we are, and attractive and even compelling to others.
For pastors, seminarians, church leaders, and lay people, here is a refreshing, practical, and companionable look at evangelism. It might even chart a course toward your own authentic evangelism.
"Dr. Teasdale has written an immensely insightful book helping individuals and local churches rethink and reframe conversations around evangelism. This book provides a set of best practices as a starting point for authentic evangelism that invites people into the good news of who God is and how he is at work in the world. While written from a thoughtful theological and academic perspective, Dr. Teasdale's own personal experiences and obvious passion for evangelism make the book powerful and practical for every reader, from pastors to seminarians, church leaders, and lay people."
"As one who strives to teach and practice authentic evangelism, I am always on the lookout for resources that are at once richly theological and uncompromisingly practical. Mark Teasdale's Evangelism for Non-Evangelists is such a book. It rescues evangelism from surface methods and dehumanizing formulas as it helps the faithful to navigate the waters of genuine gospel encounter."
"Evangelism for Non-Evangelists stands apart from other texts offering best practices and programs of evangelism. Mark Teasdale unpacks some of the negative baggage associated with evangelism and challenges the reader to reflect deeply on their beliefs and evaluate whether their evangelistic practices authentically flow out of their understanding of who God is and what God is doing in the world. This is a must-read for seminary students, pastors, and lay leaders as they seek to share and embody the gospel in their communities and throughout the entire ministry of the local church."
"Mark Teasdale navigates the topic of evangelism in a way that includes a wide variety of theological perspectives. His approach helps many persons find an authentic way of living out 'a bias for the good news.' This is a very helpful book for all who want a deeper and more practical approach to evangelism."
"I would certainly recommend Teasdale's book for an introductory course in evangelism in any mainline seminary or divinity school. The author's passion for encouraging instruction that is more effective is to be applauded and celebrated."
"Teasdale challenges readers to be authentic, to avoid cookie-cutter approaches, and to consider the context in which evangelism takes place."
1. Evangelists Are Taught, Not Born
2. Finding a Better Starting Point
3. Looking Inward to Look Outward
4. Putting the Good News in Context
5. Fashioning New Wineskins for the Old, Old Story
6. Evangelizing Yourself, Evangelizing the World
Appendix: What I Wish I Knew When I Started Seminary
Postscript: How to Use this Book