Re: How evangelism can be fun
Mark is unique in his ability to equip people to ‘preach’ the gospel through real-life stories of folly and faithfulness—this is again demonstrated in this exceptionally helpful book.
Mark, your storytelling experience learnt from Jesus provokes me to think of how wisdom in Africa was easily conveyed through stories, parables and riddles.
We in Africa seem to be losing this as we adopt more formal education and theological training particularly for Christian Ministry.
I have found out that stories retain messages in our memory.
I still remember the story that brought about my conversion experience and every time I tell it, it captures more attention to my audience and others experience their conversion through it just as I did. My Dad who was a pastor (now late) is
remembered for how easily communicated the Gospel in stories and parables. He was good evangelist and counselor.
Coming back to Mark’s observation telling a story and asking questions is just great. As for the case of Jane Mark’s story and questions achieved two results: 1) They helped her to open up within her assumption and 2) Gave Mark a penetrating point to share the gospel.
The traditional mode of sharing the gospel does not give persons room to open up within their own assumptions and does not also get in at good penetrating point. I have learned a lot from Ravi Zachariah on the importance of asking good questions.
I am glad Mark and Ravi are putting these tools into good use, I am not sure I am doing that.
Through such encouragements we may also learn to do.
Thank you so much Isaac for these reflections from an African perspective. They are so helpful and I am very glad you appreciate how my storytelling approach to evangelism encourages people to think about their beliefs (modernist or postmodernist etc) as they listen to gospel truths in a non-threatening and imaginative context.
Thanks for sharing with me, Mark. I'm always amazed and intrigued by your wonderfully imaginative stories, that I know from your videos, writings and listening to you in person (on too few occasions, unfortunately). I'm reminded of Wilberforce's practice of creating what he called "launchers" for dinner party conversations. And listening for/connecting with people's worldview assumptions (presuppositions, as Schaeffer et al. would say), rather than imposing a view from without, is fundamental to engaging in an authentic conversation. A "narrational" rather than a "rational" (or "paradigmatic" approach, in Bruner's terms) is the only way to connect with people's lived reality and for anyone to effect personal change (for themselves).
Mark's approach using imagination, story and bread and butter language to engage with the thinking and questions of the contemporary 'western world' is both refreshing and spot on. He uses visual language and accessible examples to show how faith in Jesus is for ordinary people and addresses the key questions of life. Keep it up Mark!
Came across this excellent article just as I was finishing Harrison's " A Better Story" and though a book about believers telling a better story on specifically on sex, the princilples in the last two more general chapters on telling a better story and being a better storyteller are exemplified by Mark. Would that there were more storytetlers like him. If 'The Spy, the Rat ...' does as well as 'A Better Story' then perhaps there will be.
Re: Covenant and Church for Rough Sleepers
57 West is a great project addressing something important that is not being otherwise covered to anywhere near the extent needed - engaging with folk who typically don't associate with church, not just doing all the nice love you neighbor stuff expected of Christians but in the context of being associated with church and addressing the all important spiritual needed. My own review of Dan's book see: https://jrbpublications.com...
Re: Migrancy and the UK: three areas to consider
My impression is that the majority of Christians who are so keen to support a generous immigration policy - and brandish the 'racism' card at people who don't agree - are people who are shielded from the more negative aspects of large scale immigration.
Re: The two vital principles of spiritual gifts
A resounding AAAAMEN!