Tag: Gospel-centered

Three Strand Evangelism

“Most gospel ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality.” Evangelism is often presented as a program or something for professionals. It is neither. Growing out of a radical call to love other people in the way of Jesus, Total Church authors, Timmis and Chester argue for a refreshingly simple model of evangelism that is rooted in gospel and community.Three Strand evangelism includes: 1) building relationships 2) sharing the gospel 3) introducing people to community. This approach has most influenced our approach to “evangelism.” Regarding the role of the community the authors comment:

Not everyone can think on their feet. Some people are simply not good at speaking to strangers and forming new friendships. One of the practical benefits of the three-strand model of evangelism is that it gives a role to all of God’s people. By making evangelism a community project, it also takes seriously the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit in distributing a variety of gifts among his people.

Applied three-strand evangelism includes forming authentic relationships with others, inviting them into your community through dinners, movies, hearing bands, parties and so on, allowing them to witness the power and presence of God in people who aren’t afraid of culture and genuinely love others.

The World We All Want

In search of a biblical-theological, culturally relevant, simple evangelism approach I came across Tim Chester’s The World We All Want. Here is a description of this course:

We all dream of a better world – a world of security, plenty and friendship. Christians believe that God promises just such a new world. The Bible is the story of God making that promise and keeping it. The World We All Want is for people who are interested in the message of the Bible. Developed by the Crowded House, The World We All Want is an evangelistic Bible overview.

One of the key points that Tim has emphasized is beginning our gospel “presentations” with new creation, not with sin. I the Austin context, this is pretty crucial. Beginning with sin smacks of legalism and self-righteousness, but beginning with what we all long for—and what God promises—a world put to rights, full of joy and justice connects with the longing of every human heart. It mines the seed of religion in the heart of man and graciously leads him to repentance over looking to lesser things for fulfillment of this longing.

I just ordered the accompanying book, so more to come. Tim has also graciously posted the pdfs of the session summaries for Alpha course like presentations.

Top Books for 2007 (that I actually read)

Here is a sundry list of things I read that made a particular impression on me this year. They were not all published this year. They are not necessarily my favorites, and they include fiction, non-fiction, previously read, etc. In no particular order…


  1. Falling Man, Don DeLillo.
  2. Harrison Bergeron, Curt Vonnegut
  3. Central Themes in Biblical Theology, ed. Hafemann & House
  4. Seeing Through Cynicism, Dick Keyes
  5. Total Church, Chester & Timmis
  6. Paul: A Fresh Perspective, N. T. Wright
  7. n + 1. a twice-yearly print journal of politics, literature, and culture.
  8. How Children Raise Parents, Dan Allender.
  9. The Moral Vision of the New Testament, Richard Hays
  10. Disciples of All Nations, Lamin Sanneh


  1. Converts or Proselytes?: The Crisis Over Conversion in the Early Church,” Andrew Walls IBMR 28
  2. “Anaesthetic Ideology,” Mark Greif n+1 vol. 5
  3. Things I Wish I Had Known When I Planted My Church,” Next Wave