I gave up on evangelism
begins Mike Bechtles book that explores his journey to bridge his personality with a well-suited evangelistic methodology. Bechtle describes himself as an introvert who has been frustrated by extrovert approaches to evangelism. With a kindhearted and fatherly approach, the author shepherds and encourages the reader and the body of Christ to re-engage in the great commission.
In a cursory fashion, Bechtle delves into our fear of people and the excuses we use to avoid or minimize our evangelistic efforts, various misconceptions about evangelism, biblical principles of evangelism, several general principles of Jesus relational style, principles of the enemy, understanding the role of grace in witnessing, the difference between form and function in evangelism, and the role of personality as we evangelize.
Highlights from the book include Chapter 5, which is an excellent discussion and warning to look beyond mere forms and techniques of evangelism and discover the function or principles of a biblical witness. Additionally, nearly every chapter reminds the reader to witness with the proper balance of grace and truth. However, for the purpose of explaining differences between introverts and extroverts, the author draws a false caricature of the extroverted evangelist. Furthermore, this book introduces the unbiblical premise that there are introverted and extroverted personalities and methodologies to witnessing. I would suggest there are Christ-like and non-Christ-like motives, manners, and methodologies for witnessing whether you are introverted or extroverted. These terms draw our attention from the real focus of evangelism the gospel message! God does not want your personality to be introverted nor extroverted, but obedient and conformed to Christ and His message (Eph. 5:1-21).
Additionally, 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us how blind the unbeliever is to the gospel. If sinners are blinded to greatest light--the light of the gospel--your personality and introverted/extroverted methodologies are mere shadows unable to penetrate the blind unbelievers mind and heart. Furthermore, Paul in Romans 10:17, makes clear our priority to the Word in witnessing: that faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ. Witnessing requires each of us to reach out in sincere sacrificial love with a clear biblical message of repentance and forgiveness in Christ alone, with a lifestyle and methodology that does not contradict the biblical message for the love and glory of God, regardless of personality! I applaud Bechtles passion for evangelism and his desire to call the church back to evangelize more with sincerity and tenderness. Given the aforementioned concerns, I can not recommend this book. John Fallahee, Christian Book Previews.com