In Organic Outreach for Ordinary People: Sharing Good News Naturally, author Kevin Harney sets out to show us a way that ordinary people can do evangelism.
The book offers
- solid theology of appropriate Bible passages
- specific actions steps one can take after each chapter,
- Questions for personal and group reflection.
Kevin looks at relational evangelism through the lens of a journey process, using the agricultural analogies of
- preparing the soil,
- planting the seed,
- nurturing the seed, and
- harvesting the seed.
What is “organic outreach?”
Here is how he answers that by defining his terms.
It’s organic – “living the kind of life that naturally draws people to Jesus.” This involves speaking and revealing the presence of a loving God and loving people in a genuine way.
It is outreach – where people live and communicate their faith in a way that lets people know there is a God who loves them and sent his only Son to open the door to a restored and wonderful relationship with them.
It is for ordinary people – everyone, including those who find personal evangelism intimidating or scary.
“My desire is that you will find this book to be hope-filled, optimistic, and practical. I don’t spend much of my time critiquing outreach methods and programs. . . It’s not a system or a program. It is a collection of simple and biblical practices that Christians can incorporate into their lives.”
If you’ve been doing a lot of reading in the field of relationship evangelism, you’ll
- recognize most of the favorite passages used in the book,
- enjoy the personal illustrations of those passages
- appreciate the easy read and renewed passion you’ll feel for sharing your faith.
The book has study questions and accountability questions for use in small groups and I think this is where it’s strength is – small group material for beginners.
The One Degree Rule
I think the most important contribution he makes to the discussion on evangelism is in Chapter 4, entitled the 1 degree rule. What is the level of passion that burns in your heart for those who don’t know Christ?
Here is a video to explain it.
He refers to a the Christian’s personal evangelistic temperature – can be hot, colde, or somewhere in between, but the Christian witness has the responsibility to keep it hot.
The purpose of the scale is to provide for self-examination: To honestly evaluate yourself and ask “how can I raise my evangelistic temperature by one degree today?”
The issue is not the current number, but the effort you make to raise it by one degree.
Ways to Raise Your Evangelistic Temperature:
Kevin gives us three ways, which many of us will be familiar with:
- Regular Prayer for non-believers.
- Regular Proximity unbelievers
- Regular Personal Testimony – stories of Changed lives.
“How much time do you spend in a normal week with people who are not yet followers of Jesus? What can you do to increase this amount of time?”
I’ve taught a similar principle in my workshops, and have written about this area before. It’s refreshing to see it spelled out in a book in a simple manner like what he’s done here.
Order from Amazon: Organic Outreach for Ordinary People: Sharing Good News Naturally