Becoming a Contagious Christian

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by Kiffin, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. Kiffin

    Kiffin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have heard good and bad about the book Becoming a Contagious Christian - Bill Hybels, Mark Mittelberg. Does it offer helpfull ways to evangelize or is it simply another seeker friendly marketing book? Anyone familiar with this book?
     
  2. All about Grace

    All about Grace
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    0
    Based upon the way you phrased your question, I would say you probably will not like the overall thrust of the book. In my opinion it is a good book and can be used to teach effective lifestyle evangelism. People can squabble over Hybles' methods, but you cannot argue that the man does not have a deep passion to reach people. For that, I respect him.
     
  3. Kiffin

    Kiffin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hybels and Rick Warren often seem to want the Church to not offend the world or to become like it. I however do respect both men though I strongly disagree with seeker sensitive services and think some of their ideas are based on pragmatic principles rather than scripture. The one strong point of Hybels and Warren has been a emphasis on REAL Lifestyle Evangelism and there may be something to gain from their ideas on this even if you disagree with many of their other ideas. Many believe that Randy Pope of Perimeter Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Atlanta, wrote a book The Prevailing Church: An Alternative Approach to Ministry that is more Biblicaly balanced than Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Church idea.


    Here are 2 reviews of Hybels and Mittelberg's books at Amazon.com. One Pro and one Con.

    Pro.
    "This book is about making an impact in the lives of the spiritually lost for ALL eternity. It's about being compassionate to them and sharing with them the good news of Jesus Christ. To share our faith with others, we should have an authentic genuine faith ourselves first. Then we must get out of our comfort zones, have compassion for the lost, rub shoulders with "irreligious" people, build opportunities for relationships, making sacrifices, and communicating our Message (the gospel) to them. This book gives us some practical advices just how to do these. It offers us some tips on how to start spiritual conversations and how to make our Message clear.

    There's a chapter devoted to the different approaches of evangelism: Confrontational, apologetics (answering questions that're barriers to faith), testimonial (sharing how God works in our life), interpersonal (friendship), invitational (to church), and service. A style may suit you better than another. Each individual is different. We have different personalities, different temperaments, and different traits. God made each of us unique for a purpose and He can use each of us to reach a particular person out there.

    We are one the instruments that God uses to point others to Christ. People are saved because of the grace of God. What an awesome privilege to be used by God in changing others' life for ALL eternity! "

    And another reviewer stated,
    "Did you grow up thinking the only way to win people to Christ was to go door-to-door and shove a bible in their face? Chances are if you did, you weren't very successful. Bill Hybels book Contagous Christian gets to the meat of the matter of how to win people to Christ, and guess what? It's fun, it's easy and it comes so naturally! The greatest point in the book is the chapter about "Barbecuing First", which talks about how we should concentrate our lives on making deep real relationships with people and enjoy being with them instead of approaching complete strangers and quoting scripture to them. It is only natural for people to enjoy each other, and as hard as we may try we cannot win souls to Christ without Christ first working in their hearts to prepare them. Aside from the great points on how to make these relationships, Hybels gives great illustrations on how to describe salvation to people who are not familiar with biblical terms like "Washed in the Blood", etc. I found that even as a seasoned Christian, there were things I learned about my own salvation that were shown in the simplicity of his explanation. This is also a great book to lead a youth group in studying. It clearly illustrates how we must live to maintain a genuine witness and uses the scriptures to underline each illustration. Great book"

    There were not many CONS which is interesting. Rick Warren's THE PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH had plenty of trashing at Amazon.com. Hybels and Mittelberg get only a few CONS.

    The CONS
    "About four years ago I found this book simple, fun and encouraging. There are some good ideas here and there. A barbeque (mmmmmm...) where both Christians and non-christians mingle seemed to be a revelation to me at the time. I even went through the workbook with a 'Willow Creek' styled CRC church-plant here on Oahu. The main critique I had at the time was the need for more scripture references and biblical principles. I've since read more literature on Christianity and society and find it, though with well intentions, almost if not completely unnecessary.

    There is a huge assumption in this book: that the reader is completely convinced of and adheres to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That said the mindset and marketing techniques advocated in this book may as well be received from a far more superior expert on the subject like Thomas Stanley ('The Millionare Next Door' and 'The Millionare Mind') or Bill Gates. The need for the day in the Church is not pragmatic but instructional and theological. The term 'Biblical/Christain worldview' is foreign to the vast majority of Evangelicals. Hybels would agree with me that you can only replicate what you already have. From what I've read, seen and lived through (at least here in Hawaii), ministers and 'christian' ministries are increasingly man-centered and doctrinally compromising. A shallow, weak and humanistic form of Christianity is replicated. The expansion of God's kingdom greatly increases when the Word, Sacrament and Chruch discipline are reforming and faithfully administered in subjection to what God has clearly revealed in the Old and New Testement."

    Another Reveiwer stated,

    "Question: What does the message of Bill Hybels have to do with
    kneeling before the cross of Jesus Christ?

    Answer: Absolutely nothing. "

    I plan on buying the book next week. I neither endorse or condemn it but will approach it with a open mind.
     
  4. All about Grace

    All about Grace
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    0
    Even though I am more "Calvinistic" in my theology, I love Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. While I do not know of one person with whom I completely agree, I try and learn something from those God has used in a powerful way. I read almost everything these guys write. They have made an impact and we can learn from them.

    I used to be one of the stereotypical "criticize everyone different than me" type Reformed guys that blasted Warren, Hybels, and anyone else like them. God has led me out of that mindset. And part of my deliverance was simply a result of hearing them speak in person and seeing their undeniable passion to reach the lost.

    I am reading Hybels latest book on leadership right now. His "the local church is the hope of the world" drive is challenging.

    As I have stated many times before: since God uses people on all sides of the methods debate and the Calvinism/Arminianism discussion, that lets me know we are often far more concerned about those things than God is.

    The Contagious Christian can help someone if they do not read thru rose-colored glassed from the start.
     
  5. td

    td
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2000
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    A few years ago, a minister from another church gave us a seminar on 'Contagious Christian'. I hadn't heard much about it nor really read much about Bill Hybels. The whole presentation was basically about witnessing to friends in everyday situations and leading them to a saving knowledge of Christ. One of the tools was the diagram of the cross bridging the gap of eternal death between man and God.

    A couple of days later I was at a prison with an evangelism group. I was having breakfast with an inmate and he had a hard time understanding this concept. I sketched it out for him on a napkin. He kind of nodded and put the napkin in his pocket. Two days later he told the group that the sketch finally helped him see that he'd been separated from God and he decided to turn his life over to Christ. It blew me away! No deep theological discussion. No sermon. I didn't even have a Bible with me. Just a simple little sketch on a napkin.

    Now, I hear folks trashing Hybels and Rick Warren all the time on this board about their so-called 'humanistic' approaches and all of that. I say bunk to all of them. No, their way is not 'the way' or by no means the only way to evangelize. It is simply one of many. A carpenter doesn't use only a hammer to build a house. He uses lots of different tools. The Hybels and Warren methods are merely tools to help one get the job done.

    This morning I was at another prison counseling an inmate about career choices after prison. He was half Lakota Souix. In our conversation, I learned that he like to draw, and was unsure of his religious beliefs. I asked him to draw something for me. He started sketching and drew a very ornate cross. Guess what I did next...
     

Share This Page

Loading...