Going Public with the Gospel
In some circles public evangelism has fallen out of favor. Many churches are daunted by the prospects of reaching the unchurched out in the open, beyond the walls of their sanctuaries. And many Christians assume that the days of mass public evangelism have passed and instead rely on outreach through private, individual efforts.
But the gospel of Jesus Christ has always been a matter of public proclamation. From the earliest days of the church, in every age, the growth of Christianity has been tied to the public preaching of the good news.
In this landmark book, evangelists Lon Allison and Mark Anderson issue a stirring call for the revival of public gospel proclamation. They show how God has used evangelistic preaching in the past and how it can be practiced with relevance and effectiveness today. Recovering public proclamation, they argue, is key to the vitality and ongoing mission of the church.
An essential resource for evangelistically minded Christians from the local church to specialists in international missions organizations, this guide offers hope that Christianity can again reach the masses in the public square.
"This book is for every potential proclaimer who has lost urgency or wondered about their calling to preach the gospel in a postmodern age. This book is also for the whole church, helping us all recover a theology and practice of communicating the good news which is God's power for salvation. Timely, practical and challenging, it will help you communicate the unchanging gospel in ever-new cultural forms, not just to individuals, but even to whole nations."
"This book is long overdue! Anderson and Allison remind us of the tremendous power of the gospel message as they urge us not to neglect its public proclamation. Their insight on the content required to preach the gospel biblically and their challenge not to neglect communicating the whole gospel--particularly the uncomfortable parts--is desperately needed in our self-focused age. Their stories are moving; their styles of communicating Christ are creative and inspiring. This book is not just for those gifted to proclaim Christ publicly; it will help anyone who longs to communicate the gospel with passion, fire and accuracy."
"Never buy a book on evangelism by someone who doesn't do it! That is what I advocate to emerging Christian leaders. Lon Allison and Mark Anderson are practitioners--in the language of Isaiah 52:7--they have 'beautiful feet.' Going Public with the Gospel needs to be required reading in the development of Christian leaders. These gifted communicators have allowed their passion for proclaiming God's truth to permeate this book--to ooze out of each page. Going Public with the Gospel communicates in a way that will force you to rethink ideas that you have never questioned before about proclamation evangelism. May it serve as a great encouragement to call out many new voices to proclaim the Good News and re-ignite the pilot light of evangelistic preaching in our desperate world."
"Are my words getting through? Are they making a difference? In a world with hundreds of competing voices and thousands of high-tech distractions vying for the attention of our hearers, we have good reason to wonder. What a shot in the arm this book is! Grounded in solid thinking and filled with real-world examples, Going Public with the Gospel is a rich reminder of God's delight in using the simple spoken word. Lon and Mark bolstered my confidence, offered many practical suggestions and reinvigorated me for the task."
"Lon Allison and Mark Anderson's combined decades of 'in the trench' experience in evangelism around the world make them uniquely qualified to challenge the global church to better utilize the gift of the evangelist, a calling so woefully underutilized in many parts of the world today. Their ability to combine passion for the subject with positive ways forward makes this book worth reading for anyone with a heart to see God's kingdom advanced in our generation."
"Weaving together personal narrative and biblical insight, this book passionately pleads for Christians not to neglect the public proclamation of the gospel in today's world. A much-needed corrective to those who think evangelistic preaching no longer works or should be relegated to the gospel ghetto. In the footsteps of St. Paul in the marketplace of Athens, Allison and Anderson want us to proclaim Jesus and the resurrection in the 'naked public square' of contemporary culture. And let the church say 'Amen!' "
"In this book Allison and Anderson provide an important reminder that the oft-maligned evangelistic preaching is still a powerful and effective method for gospel proclamation."
"In a world where so many say the role of faith in our lives should be private, bravo for two friends who challenge us to make it public! Resourced by an enormously effective career history of proclaiming Christ in the most innovative ways possible, Lon and Mark illuminate the way forward for proclamation of the good news. It is a must-read for anyone wanting to live seriously the Great Commission of Jesus. The stories, hope and tools in these pages give me courage and insight for a life of bold witness, and their challenge comes at a critical time for our world."
"Is public proclamation of the gospel still important? Many argue that with the rise of postmodernism the end of evangelistic preaching is near. Before you bury the tried and true method of gospel preaching you should first weigh this well-written clarion call for proclamation powerfully linked with the incarnational witness of the church."
"This is a bold and provocative book. Against the conventional wisdom that mass evangelism is through, it asserts the ongoing priority of evangelistic preaching. Against the comfortable marketing mentality of much contemporary outreach, it calls for costly grace and radical discipleship. Against much timidity about supernatural acts it dares to say the Spirit is alive and well! You may not agree with all the authors propose to be challenged. It may shake our complacency. It may also, God willing, help to raise up a new generation of evangelists with the fire of God in their tongues, their heads and their bellies."
"Going Public with the Gospel gives fresh legs to the Pauline question, how can people find and develop faith without evangelistic preaching? It compellingly confronts the erroneous assumption that today's sound-bite generation rejects the God-ordained means for proclaiming the good news. This is an important book by practitioners whose perspective comes from time-tested experience."
"Truth never changes, but it must be packaged culturally and generationally to make it relevant. A fresh, new wave of public evangelism is urgently needed now. Going Public with the Gospel points the way."
"Like the apostle Paul, we have every reason to be proud of the good news of Jesus Christ. After all, it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes! But how will they hear if we don't go public with the gospel? I applaud Lon Allison and Mark Anderson for all their efforts to honor and enhance proclamation evangelism in our day."
"A challenging and engaging (evangelistic) call to arms. The inner section on evangelism and preaching is at the heart of the New Testament; here its huge implications for our day are fleshed out. I found the section on the content of gospel preaching especially sobering, the one on the power of God unusually uplifting."
"This is one of the most important books I've read on proclamation evangelism. Going Public with the Gospel is an unusually readable book with an urgent message. Drawing on Scripture, history and their own extensive experience, Allison and Anderson have written a book that should be required reading for evangelists, pastors, educators, parachurch leaders and every person preparing for Christian ministry."
"People sometimes say that proclamation evangelism is irrelevant today. Yet Billy Graham and Franklin Graham are having the greatest crusades in their history. We know that our adversary wants everyone to believe that the spoken Word is not applicable today, for he knows the power of the Word. Lon Allison and Mark Anderson have brought this premise back to the forefront of the church today, i.e., that proclamation evangelism is biblical, has a proven history, is blessed by God and is for today. The power of the Word has always moved entire cultures and societies. The gospel is the greatest incorporation of that power. In Going Public with the Gospel, Lon and Mark are simply stating a truth that our culture and our world needs. They know that as truth is proclaimed, it will never come back void, but will literally change souls."
"Lon Allison and Mark Anderson make a convincing case for evangelistic preaching. More to the point, they tell how to do it. Full of refreshing insights and contemporary applications."
"Going Public with the Gospel is a 'home run' that touches all the bases of proclamation evangelism. My good friends Lon Allison and Mark Anderson bring two unique perspectives to bear on this vital but sometimes overlooked aspect of ministry. A must-read for anyone who is interested in changing lives through evangelism."
"A valuable, insightful and thought-provoking book. A 'must' book for every preacher."
"I believe that this is a book that many of us have been awaiting for a long time. And Lon Allison and Mark Anderson are uniquely qualified to write it. Those who believe in public evangelism will be encouraged and better equipped to enable it. For those who have believed that the day for mass evangelism has passed, this book can revolutionize their thinking and their involvement in sharing the gospel with lost people of every generation."
1. The Power of Speech
Part 1: The Wonder of Public Proclamation
2. The Power of Public Proclamation
3. Biblical Foundations of Public Proclamation
4. The History of Public Proclamation
Part 2: What Happened to Evangelistic Preaching?
5. The Case of the Missing Evangelist
6. The Lost Gospel
Part 3: Let's Go! Taking It to the Streets
7. Preaching Christ
8. Seeking Relevance
9. The Demonstration of Truth
10. Spiritual Warfare
Epilogue: Faith and Vision--Who Will Hear and Believe?
Appendix 1: Rationale and Suggestions for Using the Five Points in Presenting the Gospel--Dallas Anderson
Appendix 2: An Overview of Follow-Up--Gary Cobb