At the risk of sounding like I am talking out of both sides of my mouth [Check Previous Blog: When You Say Nothing At All], I want to be clear that there is nothing at all wrong with pre-packaged systems for personal evangelism per se. In fact, there is often much right. Any tool to help believers develop a succinct way of sharing the Gospel as well as the confidence to do so is certainly a win for the Kingdom. My concern historically about such systems, though is that many of them have tended to truncate the Gospel into merely one or two facets of Christ’s atoning work without providing a broader picture of the redemptive-historical context behind it. The result is that, in increasingly post-Christian and biblically illiterate contexts (not to mention the unreached third-world), most pre-packaged metaphors and acronyms just don’t communicate the way they once might have.
This concern was recently quelled, however, when I was exposed to Spread Truth ministries’ new material entitled View The Story. This material first caught my attention with its striking visuals. The artwork, photography, and a graphic design on these resources is second to none. But the beauty is not only skin deep, for once I was drawn in by the aesthetics I found myself even more impressed by the content. Not only does View The Story clearly present the message of Christ’s atoning work through the cross and empty tomb, but it sets this work firmly within the broader metanarrative of Scripture. Using the framework: Creation, Fall, Rescue, and Restoration, View The Story provides a biblically faithful and missiologically relevant resource for personal evangelism.
In addition to fantastic content, the folks at Spread Truth have also done an incredible job of mobilizing this program for local church and individual implementation. For the church, there is an entire line of study booklets, graphic presentations, and leader guides which makes this material ideal for small group training. For individuals, Spread Truth has taken yet another step in the right direction with its recent release of an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch ® application. I first became aware of View The Story through The Story booklets and website. But, in my opinion, the crowning achievement of this project so far is the release of this app.
With the same stunning visuals and well-crafted prose as the booklets, the app (available at iTunes app store) puts this Gospel-rich resource right at your fingertips. With brief, readable slides, The Story app’s “conversation tool” is an ideal way to incorporate the Gospel into real life conversations. One need not stuff his pockets full of booklets “just in case” such a conversation arises. Now, The Story is always as available as your nearest portable electronic device. This FREE app can also be shared (electronically) so that friends can access a “read the story” feature and learn about the entire story for themselves. The app boasts numerous other features such as pop-up Scripture references, on board video testimonies, social networking capabilities, and even an online The Story user database to help you stay up-to-date on new releases and developments as well as maintain a network of fellow The Story users.
Let’s be honest, there is no silver bullet that makes personal evangelism a breeze. Jesus did not ordain a publishing corporation to accomplish the Great Commission. This is the work of the church- individual people of God, filled with the Spirit of God, armed with the Word of God, preaching the Good News about reconciliation with God. But while evangelism is most certainly the mandate of individual believers, that doesn’t mean tools and resources cannot aid us in this endeavor. To that end I, on behalf of all the contributors at B21 heartily commend to you this excellent new resource that Spread Truth has provided for the churches in their View The Story resources
B21 Contributors Jon Akin and Nick Moore recently taught through this curriculum with their local congregations. Check out their sermons below: