Organic Outreach for Ordinary People by Kevin G. Harney

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If you are looking for a practical and encouraging book to help nudge you toward sharing your faith with others in genuine and helpful yet unaffected ways, this is a good book for you.  In a time when some want to water down the idea of evangelism, Kevin Harney is well-grounded in the key doctrines of Scripture, yet his approach is based on love and grace.    He suggests that our attitude should be that we are grace-bearers for Christ.   As such we will be described by reckless love, generous forgiveness, sacrificial sharing, and open hearts that embrace people different than ourselves (pp. 36-38).  

One of my favorite parts of the book was the chapter called “The One Degree Rule.”  His concept is that all of us can rate our passion for sharing our faith with others on a one to ten scale.   Then we can make it our goal to raise our “personal evangelism temperature” one degree.  Ways to help this happen include prayer for those who need Jesus, spending time with people far from Jesus, and celebrating when someone “takes a step forward in faith.”

Pastor Harney affirms that if we are to talk to others about our faith, we need to do so in a way that is natural to us (pp. 83-86).  Some reach out to others through service, others through intellect and still others through friendship. There are as many ways as types of people.   The key is that we allow God to use our personality to express his concern for others.  

Another highpoint of the book was the suggestion to pray with others and invite them to pray.  I also have found that nearly everyone you offer to pray for will accept.   And when you invite others to pray, if you will lead and provide the words, often them will pray with you.    Prayer with people can be a powerful ministry. 

I appreciated the balance in the book regarding engaging with the culture we live in.  On the one hand, Jesus has called us to go into the world, but it is easy to use that command as an excuse to cover unhealthy viewing or indulging in experiences or places where our purpose is not redemptive but spiritually unhealthy curiosity (pp. 132,133).

I highly recommend this book to any Christian who wants to be encouraged to share their faith wisely, graciously and naturally with others. 

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