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Irresistible Evangelism: Natural Ways to Open Others to Jesus [Paperback]

By Steve Sjogren (Author), Dave Ping (Author) & Doug Pollock (Author)
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Item Number 8304  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.12" Height: 0.49"
Weight:   0.69 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2003
ISBN  0764426265  
EAN  9780764426261  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Release your fears about reaching out to others and try the easy ideas found in this book. Each author holds a different view on effective evangelism, but the result is a synthesis that wins hearts.

Publishers Description
Release your fears about reaching out to others and try the easy ideas proposed by three authors who know what works. Each holds different views on effective evangelism, but the result is a synthesis that wins hearts. You'll learn how to genuinely love your friends and family members into an intimate and life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ without being pushy or obnoxious. Great primer for those who've tried servant evangelism and don't know what to do next

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More About Steve Sjogren, Dave Ping & Doug Pollock

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! STEVE SJOGREN and his wife, Janie, have planted churches in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Oslo, Norway. Steve writes, speaks, mentors church planters, and in February 2008 launched a church plant in Tampa, Florida. He is the author of "Conspiracy of Kindness, Changing the World through Kindness," and "The Day I Died," and has written articles that have appeared in "Charisma, New Man, Discipleship Journal," and more. Steve and Janie have three grown children.

Steve Sjogren currently resides in the state of Ohio. Steve Sjogren was born in 1955.

Steve Sjogren has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Designed for Influence

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General   [31520  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General   [0  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Such a Deal! More Clubs for Your Golf Bag  Mar 30, 2006
I / we wrote this important book with the idea in mind that far too many of us who passionately care about sharing our faith in Christ (studies show that aournd 3% of all Christ-followers will at any point share their faith with anyone in their lifetime) - that of that very small percentage, the vast majority confine their style of sharing to just one approach. Outreach effectiveness is all about us just being ourselves. It's not about us putting on, as they say, "Saul's armor," but just being who we are, being 100% naturally who we are.

The mainstay of Irresistible Evangelism is the introduction of a number of creative approaches ("golf clubs" to follow the analogy) that have worked over several decades for us in naturally connecting with people who are "not-yet believers." We, probably like you, are completely skeptical of programs that are designed to take someone through a certain number of weeks of learning this or that and that promise that at the end of that trail of memorized conversations, verses, etc... "YOU TOO WILL BE EFFECTIVE AT SHARING YOUR FAITH!" Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt... but unfortunately programs just don't work... Never have, never will. People are far too complex to boil down into a programatic approach and then predict how they will respond. Anyone over 30 years old should be able to see that truth. If the people who put those programs together were to actually talk to not-yet believers they would discover that those people can detect a "program" that is being sprung on them from a mile away and they close up instantly. Hello? Anyone out there? Am I right? I talk to, no kidding, on the average, of 5 or so not-yet believers a day (I get out a lot). I've been doing this for many years. It's just the way I live. I call it "seed flinging" (ala Matt. 13 and the farmer). This simple little book is the condensing of lessons I and my two friends have learned from flinging our seeds over the past couple of decades - not programs, but natural bridge building skills that will help anyone - introvert or extrovert alike - to become a better "golfer."

Here's the deal with this book: If you read it and find it a waste of your time and money I will personally pay you back for your purchase of the book. I am not allowed to put my personal information on this site, but if you put my name into Google you can find my info pretty quick. Either call me or email me - I'm good for it.

On the other hand if this is helpful as I believe it will be - don't just buy one, buy several and pass them out to decision makers in your circle of friends / leaders / speakers / pastors / teachers / you get the drill.
Irresistible Evangelism: Natural Ways.....  Oct 28, 2005
Absolutely the best book ever written on individual evangelism. Very concise and easy to follow. Filled with helps and ideas in presenting the Gospel. Excellent book.
Evangelism in a post-modern world  Aug 26, 2005
This book gives you nothing new or radical. It simply shares, with great stories and illustrations, the fact that evangelism involves loving people where they are, not dragging them to where you would like them to be. This book takes seriously the fact that no two people are in the same place in their spiritual journey and that each person comes to a relationship with God by a unique path. As evangelists, we are not answer-givers or persuaders, but merely witnesses to what God has done in our own lives. Sometimes we may be called upon to pray with a person as they make a commitment to Jesus Christ, but only when they are led by the Holy Spirit to that point.

The book begins with brutal honesty. Evangelism as it has been practiced most often in our culture has probably driven more people away from God than it has brought to God. We still suffer from the "Gospel Blimp" mentality in most of our churches and wring our hands in bewilderment when no one responds or worse, no one takes us seriously. It confronts us with the seven deadly sins of evangelism (which made me fall on my knees screaming "mea culpa!" more than once). Then the three authors gently begin to put us back together by helping us to understand that we can repent and even recover from these sins, and with a little Biblical understanding we can actually be "effective" witnesses for the gospel of Jesus Christ in this strange place we live in called the Post-modern World.

Also, if you are using this book to teach discipleship or evangelism in your churches, the golf club analogies makes far more sense than some of the other models that have made their appearance from time to time.

For me, this is the best book of its kind. I highly recommend it to churches serious about evangelism.
A balanced approach to evangelism  May 2, 2005
Steve Sjogren has written extensively on his experiences with Servant Evangelism, a style he characterizes as "High grace, low risk." In this book, Irresistible Evangelism, he teams up with Dave Ping and Doug Pollock to consider the broader picture of evangelism, showing how servant evangelism can fit into the total evangelistic ministry of the church.

The authors recognize that many have set out to do evangelism - from a variety of motives - but have often found their work unproductive In fact, many of the things Christians do in their attempt to evangelize lead people away from Jesus rather than toward him. They identify 7 "deadly sins" in particular:
ý Scheming - Using slick marketing and "bait and switch" methods to bring people to Jesus
ý Scalp Hunting - Out for numbers; highly impersonal
ý Screaming - Self-righteously afflicting people with the gospel
ý Selling Jesus as if He's a Juicer - Jesus as a fix-it man for life's every difficulty
ý Stalking - Giving people no space; suffocating them with the blessing of your witness
ý Sermonizing - Offering all the answers before you hear any questions
ý Spectating - So paralyzed by fear you do nothing

If these are practices to avoid, what ought we to do? First, we ought to have a better understanding of what evangelism is. When I teach on the subject I teach that evangelism has three components: (1) What we say; (2) What we do; (3) Who we are - and each of these three components needs to be done by Christians as individuals as well as in groups. The authors say something similar. As they put it, "True evangelism is not merely proclaiming a message of good news; it is becoming a living representative of God's heart toward people." That is very well put. As a consequence of this understanding of evangelism, they emphasize that it is something we do not merely with designated unbelievers, but with everyone we encounter. God want to use us to help all people move closer to Him.

Once we understand evangelism as God's action through us, what next? The authors suggest that discover each person's "spiritual address." They identify four levels of needs: Physical, Emotional/Relational, Directional, and Spiritual. We all have these needs, but respond differently to messages and actions addressed to each, depending on the situation. They observe that, "we subconsciously evaluate whether what's being communicated connects to any of our basic needs. If it doesn't, we will choose to turn away and ignore it. If it does connect, we'll begin to turn toward it and give it more attention. Once we begin turning toward the message and have started to understand it somewhat, the second set of choices kicks in. Based on a largely intuitive appraisal of the potential threats involved, we'll choose either to begin to embrace or to reject the message." We usually only let these needs-meeting messages into our lives when we trust the messenger. Obviously, therefore, one of our primary needs as witnesses is to prove ourselves safe and trustworthy people.

Over the next several chapters Sjogren et al. address four methods to address these four kinds of needs:
ý Active Kindness (Servant Evangelism) - meets physical needs of people, showing them God's love in a practical way. Evangelists working at this stage need to avoid an instrumentalist approach: I'll love you if you respond to my love. Rather, true servant evangelism is done "with no strings attached;" it's offered freely. Does Servant Evangelism "work?" We pragmatic Americans always want to know if something works; too often we decide whether something is true, good, or to be done solely on the basis of whether it works. Sjogren's Cincinnati church provides strong evidence that Servant Evangelism is a factor in reaching people for Jesus. He says, however, that it doesn't work quickly. A church needs to keep at it at least a year before assessing effectiveness. He has three further suggestions for using it in the church: (1) Keep it simple so more people can participate; (2) Do it regularly - treat it as an ordinary part of the Christian life; (3) Be friendly - count the relational aspects as essential to the process.
ý Active Friendship - Learning to pay attention to people and engage with them; the varieties of Friendship evangelism come in here. Take time to get into their lives and discover what matters to them. If you find that they're sinners - with sinful desires and motivations - don't reject them. Seek to understand them and love them where they're at. Let friendship - loving them as Jesus would - be your main agenda item.
ý Active Wondering - Creatively looking at the message of Jesus and connecting it with people's lives. Apologetics fits in here, and can be mistakenly standardized in a one-size-fits-all approach. The key method they advise in this part of the process is asking open-ended questions (they provide 99 sample questions) probing their understanding of life in a non-threatening, non-judgmental way.
ý Active Sharing - Helping people discover the "how to" of becoming a follower of Jesus; an essential part of evangelism, but too often the only focus of training in evangelism. In their chapter on this part of the process, they look at how the sharing process works in different kinds of relationships.

The final chapter of their book, "An Arsonist's Guide to Evangelism," presents 5 "fuelish" ways to "ignite ordinary church members with a passion for introducing their family, friends, neighbors, and complete strangers into life-changing relationships with Jesus Christ." These five "fuels" include: Kindness, Fun, Generosity, Humility, and Prayer & Worship. At the same time we need to remove the "asbestos" items from the church: Fear, the idea that evangelism is something only for the experts, apathy and self-centeredness.

If you're looking for help in developing a well-balanced approach to evangelism in your church, this book would be worth considering.
Inspirational evangelism: Taking the scare out of share  Oct 6, 2004
Random acts of kindness have been popular since the 80s, but what "Irresistible Evangelism" provides is follow-up. The authors write about friendship, wondering questions and sharing your own story -- all steps in a new brand of evangelism that isn't about numbers, but about loving people; the new outreach strategy that defies the definition of strategy and is actually as old as the world.

Sjogren, Ping and Pollock spend the first half of the book decrying old, ineffective and just plain rude methods of evangelism in an attempt to shift evangelism paradigms. It works. With a subtitle of "Natural Ways to Open Others to Jesus," I was expecting to read a list of project ideas for bringing more people to church. Instead I was compelled to rethink my motivation for wanting people to come to church, and why I don't want to simply love them as much as I want to check them off my prayer list.

Sjogren, Ping and Pollock suggest that evangelism should be about relationships -- again, nothing new. But they go further to suggest unconditional love. Through their anecdotes the authors clearly show how effective love is, even without the happily-ever-after endings of someone praying the sinner's prayer (something that isn't in the Bible the authors point out).

If giving away free sodas yields no church growth, so what, the authors argue. The yield will be felt in the church anyway, in the discipleship of members to be more accepting of people -- all people.

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