"Going Public With the Gospel: Reviving Evangelistic Proclamation" by Lon Allison, Mark Anderson
3 out of 5 stars
This book makes many wonderful points, and at times is very exciting to read. The authors make very good points about many things concerning the gospel, prayer, discipleship, etc. The exhortation to take the gospel public is very strong, and I don't think many could have it put it much better. There is also a brief history of the public proclomation of the gospel that is a nice feature to the book that makes everything more well rounded.
However, the book has some horriable short-comings. One thinks that this book is leading up to an encouragement to go do some old-fashioned street-corner soap-box preaching. However, about half way through the rug is pulled right out from underneath you, and the rest of the book for the most part, turns into plugging/advertising various Mass-Evangelism Organizations and preachers. Instead of being remotely practical, the book essentially turns into a big book on holding Crusade-Style-Evangelism, where one is pulling Billy Graham style events involving an all star cast of performers: staff/directors/cordinators, muscians, artists, volunteers who do ushering, counseling at the altar calls, and follow-up, etc. In this book, the author states 45% of any such event will be prep work, 45% follow-up, and only about 10% proclamation of the gospel. In all that time of prep-work of negotiating with various churches to help you in the work, renting out baseball stadiums, printing flyers, training volunteers, etc., one could have probably preached the gospel to many more throngs of people on a street corner or through friendship evangelism.
Granted, I must show much respect for the author exhorting preachers to give strong messages that don't get folks trapped into easy-belivism, and reminds us at the same time that we must demonstrate the gospel in the supernatural, as well as compassion ministries.
Sadly, this book just isn't very practical. One can glean many things from this book, but I think it's focus is off. The authors seem to have lost touch of the real world to some degree, as they have forgotten to come down from the mountain top of mega-churches where they have ministered much of their lives and mass-crusades, where most churches simply do not have the option of doing 95% of what is suggested in this book. (they even bring in the mega-church's bad vocubular of meeting things like 'felt needs' and 'being relevant'; Get some books by Philip Kenneson and Os Guiness which nicely show the errors of mega-church thought.)
I still would recommend you read this book.