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‘I think I can’ spread the Good News

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When it comes to reaching a lost world with the Good News, we may think such evangelism is for the preacher, other trained ministers or people (not me!) who are specially gifted.

We may feel that reaching others with the Gospel is a hill too steep, like the one in Watty Piper’s classic story of the little train engine pulling a heavy load.

We may tell ourselves, “I think I can’t, I think I can’t,” and abandon Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost and give up on his commission to make disciples.

Perhaps it is time to look for help, like the little engine did. This is where Mark Mittelberg’s book, “Contagious Faith,” comes along to help us see how God can use our own personal style to share the Good News of Jesus.

It might just be the help you need to conquer the hill.

“Contagious Faith” provides tools, examples and motivation to move from “I think I can’t” to “I think I can” by strengthening our trust that God can use us to spread his Good News with the gifts, personality and faith we already have.

“Contagious Faith” describes five personal styles for sharing the Good News, presents biblical illustrations of each, looks to Jesus as an example and caps each style with key skills that can apply to anyone.

Related: Can America be saved? Yes, say these Christians

This consistent format makes the book very readable and easy to follow. It guides us throughout to identify our own personal styles for sharing the Good News of Jesus, reminds us of resources God uses to move people toward Jesus and presents a variety of ways to reach out so that we can be our authentic selves as we share Jesus with others.

The book seems to lean heavily on inviting people to church events as a means toward introducing them to Christ. Given our current post-Christian culture, a more helpful approach might address how to reach skeptics and former church adherents — groups who are not likely to attend a church event.

Perhaps a chapter or so on how to offer a simple invitation to a personal Bible study or what discipleship looks like on a day-to-day basis would have been beneficial.

Also concerning for us, Mittelberg does not include baptism as part of the response of believers toward salvation. However, his book does provide simple ways to make connections so that the Good News of Jesus can be shared.

Related: Can Churches of Christ reach millennials?

When all is said and done, “Contagious Faith” does a good job of describing specific ways to use our own giftedness to share the good news of Jesus.

If you are in the mode of “I think I can’t, I think I can’t” when it comes to sharing the Good News of Jesus, “Contagious Faith” may be the help you need to shift to “I think I can, I think I can” and become “The Little Engine That Could” to scale the hill and allow God to use you to spread his Good News with the gifts, personality and faith you already possess.

ANDY AND ROSLYN MILLER are co-leaders of Reclaimed missional community in Orlando, Fla., where Roslyn is also an instructional designer for the University of Central Florida. Reclaimed is supported by the North Boulevard Church of Christ in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

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Filed under: Andy Miller book review Contagious Faith Evangelism Features Mark Mittelberg Missional community North Boulevard Church of Christ Reclaimed Reviews Roslyn Miller Top Stories

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