February 22, 2010 (Wheaton, IL)—On Friday February 19th, Outreach Magazine named Jerram Barrs’ Learning Evangelism from Jesus the resource of the year in the evangelism category. The Outreach Resources of the Year is a celebration of the best books, DVDs, and curricula produced to help the Church and Christians reach out in areas such as evangelism, compassionate service, and cross-cultural ministries.
Outreach editors narrowed the nearly 160 resource submissions to a final 110 nominees. The magazine then enlisted the help of an expert for each category to evaluate the resources in his or her area of expertise.
In Learning Evangelism from Jesus, Barrs studies Jesus’ conversations with diverse people in his day and draws lessons and principles for attractively communicating the gospel to unbelievers in our day. While our culture may tempt God’s people to conform, retreat or be silenced, Jesus exemplified how to attract people to the gospel. He modeled how to initiate spiritual conversations full of grace and truth. Christian evangelism, then, both in theory and practice, must be shaped by this pattern.
"Jesus had no set formula, no particular method, no one technique that he applied in every situation. I did not discover Jesus manipulating conversations to ‘close the deal’ as quickly as possible," Barrs explains. Barrs found that the example of Jesus was an experience of grace rather than of judgment. He encourages readers that "Jesus sets us free to be ourselves, rather than to have to change our personality to become an ‘evangelist’ type. He encourages us to speak to people where they are at, in the strengths, weaknesses, joys and sorrows of their lives. He teaches us to be gracious, vulnerable and respectful and calls us to be discerning about the deep idols of the heart."
Crossway is an internationally-recognized, not-for-profit publisher of Christian books, the ESV Bible (English Standard Version), and gospel literature. For more information on Crossway, visit www.crossway.org. For more information on the ESV Bible, visit www.esv.org.
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