Gary McIntosh, Seminary Professor, Speaker, Church Consultant, Church Growth expert, and prolific author has written another book which should prove invaluable to pastors and church planters: Growing God's Church: How People Are Actually Coming to Faith Today (BakerBooks, 2016).
As we read through the New Testament, Especially the Gospels and ACTS, we notice how often significant religious discussions are held at the table. Food is involved. Throughout the book McIntosh uses ''Dining with Jesus as a metaphor for engaging our family, friends, and associates with the gospel of salvation" (16). And then he highlights what he sees as a problem in Christian Churches: "While churches are becoming more missional in their thinking, they are becoming less evangelistic in their practice; that is, they are less involved in helping new people dine with Jesus" (p16,17). And this is definitely a book about evangelism.
The book is conveniently broken into 3 sections I: the Church Today, II: Faith Today, and III: Evangelism Today. Part I asks us to look at the story of Jesus and then at our church. What's our mission, our priority, our role, our focus and our context. Then we're asked to put them in the context of the biblical mandate to make disciples. In Part II the reader is asked to reflect on his or her on faith journey: who led you to Christ? What method influenced your decision" Why did you start to attend church and why do you stay at the church that you're at? And then the part that pastors will groan at: the pastor's role in evangelism. In Part III, McIntosh Shares some tips for effective evangelism and a chapter called "inviting Others to Dine with Jesus". Throughout the book we find charts and statistics based on several years of research done to determine what it is that makes a compelling argument for Jesus and His church in the 21st century when so many different world views are competing for their share of the market.
Mandatory Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.