Evangelism doesn't have to be frustrating or intimidating. Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg believe that effectively communicating our faith in Christ should be the most natural thing in the world. We just need encouragement and direction. In Becoming a Contagious Christian, Hybels and Mittelberg articulate the central principles that have helped the believers at Willow Creek Community Church become a church known around the world for its outstanding outreach to unchurched people. Based on the words of Jesus and flowing from the firsthand experiences of the authors, Becoming a Contagious Christian is a groundbreaking, personalized approach to relational evangelism. You will discover your own natural evangelism style, how to develop a contagious Christian character, to build spiritually strategic relationships, to direct conversations toward matters of faith, and to share biblical truths in everyday language. This landmark book presents a blueprint for starting a spiritual epidemic of hope and enthusiasm for spreading the Gospel.Publishers Description Evangelism doesn't have to be frustrating or intimidating. Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg believe that effectively communicating our faith in Christ should be the most natural thing in the world. We just need encouragement and direction. In Becoming a Contagious Christian, Hybels and Mittelberg articulate the central principles that have helped the believers at Willow Creek Community Church become a church known around the world for its outstanding outreach to unchurched people. Based on the words of Jesus and flowing from the firsthand experiences of the authors, Becoming a Contagious Christian is a groundbreaking, personalized approach to relational evangelism. You will discover your own natural evangelism style, how to develop a contagious Christian character, to build spiritually strategic relationships, to direct conversations toward matters of faith, and to share biblical truths in everyday language. This landmark book presents a blueprint for starting a spiritual epidemic of hope and enthusiasm for spreading the Gospel.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.6"
Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date May 2, 1996
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
Availability 3137 units.
Availability accurate as of Sep 22, 2017 10:12.
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
|Catching the Passion May 31, 2006|
|Becoming a Contagious Christian is a welcome study on lifestyle evangelism! This book that does not put everyone into a cookie cutter mold. The authors present six very different styles of evangelism. Readers will learn that they can communicate their faith in a style that fits them. They do not have to be Billy Graham or anyone else. They can be a first rate version of themselves, as God designed them to be! This is a very freeing book!|
Harlan D. Betz, author of "Setting the Stage for Eternity"
|Breath of Fresh Excitment in My Own Ministry With Jesus Mar 13, 2006|
|This book is fantastic...or maybe the timing for me to read this has come to be and I just about ate it up. Every Christian should be mandated to read this book. By the end of the book, I had marked so many words in yellow to remember. Go out and buy this book. You will not be sorry. It is just the tool you need to give you your breath of fresh excitement!|
|Catching the Christian Love Dec 2, 2005|
|"Only as we begin to value those outside our Christian circles will we be truly fulfilled and functioning according to God's purpose for us" (15).|
Hybels and Mittelberg speak out on spreading the gospel message of Matthew 28:19 by building personal relationships with others, but more importantly by applying a general equation (HP + CP + CC = MI, where HP = Highly Potent, CP = Close Proximity, CC = Clear Communication, and MI = Maximum Impact). The outline of their book follows this equation in design and is thus divided accordingly.
The first part of the equation is being highly potent. Hybels uses the illustration of salt that is very powerful, yet must be taken out of the shaker in order to be effective. This is a good illustration since it is Biblical and also very much practical.
Towards the second section of the book, the application of proximity is emphasized. This is because salt in a shaker can be powerful, but it should be taken out of the shaker or else it is just a waste of space in a container. How interesting this illustration is when compared with how Christians often bottle themselves up or keep themselves restricted to "bubbles" away from non-Christians.
When a Christian wants to communicate, it had better be clear and effective! This means using words and images that people are familiar with and can understand. This is not easy, but being an effective communicator is the key to reaching a lost soul.
If a Christian wants to save a soul, he has to "make a sale." Every sermon in the world is good in some way, but none matter if none have a practical application. While Hybels chaffs a bit with the "sinner's prayer of confession", I have to give him credit for emphasizing the role of action taken on the part of a sinner. However, any prayer at this point should be to ask God for strength to obey what God has ordained as the birth of a Christian, the end result of the "birth" is baptism, but the life in Christ only begins there.
As difficult as it is to summarize a 221 page book in short space, this bare-bones assessment of the text does give all of the routes that Hybels takes. But, the book is rich with many lists of helpful information that should be examined personally. This book is a practical tool to help sharpen the saw of evangelism.
|Leaves Some Basic Questions Unanswered Dec 25, 2004|
|I got this book hoping for information that would help me decide on a faith to follow, but I think this book is more for people who have already bought into the Christian god concept, not those of us who are seekers. The author writes pretty clearly, but some of this Jesus stuff is too out there for me.|
|More Good Than Bad Dec 10, 2003|
|This book really contributed to the seeker friendly evangelism and worship craze that is still prevalent in many megachurches in America. Thousands of church leaders have attended leadership conferences at Willow Creek designed to equip churches to reach out to secular people relevantly. While there are several problems I have with the Hybels approach in this book, in the end, I think more good than bad has come from the methodology and mentality proposed here, and hence, I'm giving the book a cautious 4 star rating.|
Someone looking for an academic theology of evangelism will probably not be satisfied with this book. The book is heavily weighted toward practical application and personal empowerment, and this is quite deliberate. The Hybels model stresses individual evangelism both in daily living, and even within the institutional church. The Hybels model, as I've seen it practiced, can turn the entire church top to bottom into an evangelistic enterprise, with lay leaders and volunteers in the church doing most of the heavy lifting. This model naturally tends to work best within the context of churches that shun an extensive ecclesiastical heirarchy, and instead have a pastoral staff that believes in and even welcomes change, adaptability, and flexibility. This intense emphasis on preaching and ministry that are ultimately evangelistic in nature has resulted in astounding church growth in more than a few churches, and in this respect, the Hybels model is to be applauded. But it also comes with dangers as I will discuss below.
This book is loaded with practical application that Christians can almost immediately put into practice. In addition, the book offers helpful tips on sharing your faith in succinct and compelling ways, and really hammers home the theme of 'authenticity' and evangelism as a process, rather than the gospel raid approach that presses immediately for a decision and commitment to Christ without doing much of what is needed to truly resemble authentic and caring evangelism. These contributions are welcome and are things that evangelicals of all theological stripes should pay attention to and generally adopt. Hybels calls for flexibility in evangelism that is person and even situation specific, and while this might rub some people the wrong way, I do think a good case can be made that effective evangelism cannot be reduced to a standardized approach that refuses to interact with the uniqueness of each person we encounter.
Now for the bad stuff. Tops on this list is Hybels egregious paraphrasing of Scripture throughout much of the book. Hybels is blatantly guilty in here of recasting and rewording the Bible to make it fit the points he wants to make. I have long said that the tendency of evangelical preachers to minimize the importance of the actual words in Scripture through reworded paraphrases that may or may not be Biblically faithful is a direct assault on the notion that the Bible was divinely inspired not just in the ideas presented, but in the words used to express those ideas. It is impossible for me to understand how Hybels could so thoroughly engage in this practice if he affirms verbal plenary level inspiration. Either he doesn't affirm this, which is a big problem, or he does and he doesn't take it seriously, which is also a big problem. Either way, the reader should be extremely discerning when Hybels makes his arguments from Scripture by rewording what the Bible says so radically, and also speculating on what the Bible does not say and then uses these speculations as an integral part of his argument. Bad theology, bad hermeneutics, bad teaching.
The other major problem is the fact that Hybels, more then once, seems to imply that evangelism is at root, an activity powered more by human effort than the power of the Holy Spirit. Any book on evangelism that talks in great length about human action while giving the power of the Holy Spirit a passing nod is one that employs a theology that severely flirts with work-based religion. This is particularly dubious in Hybels' case since in his gospel summary section, he states (very correctly) that religion is about what people do to try to gain God's favor, while Christianity is about what God has already done that we could not do. In my view, what Hybels gets right here, he gets wrong throughout most of the rest of the book.
So it is a mixed bag, but as I stated at the beginning, because the book deals heavily with application, and since many of his application points are valid and very good, the book is more good than bad. However, I would strongly urge the reader to employ a heavy dose of discernment when reading this.
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