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Evangelism Without Additives: What if sharing your faith meant just being yourself? Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (April 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400073774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400073771
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for
a.k.a. “Lost”

“Jim Henderson is a voice for normalized evangelism–heretofore an oxymoron. Henderson has given value back to each Christian’s ordinary attempts to simply shine the light of Christ in our everyday encounters, encouraging us to act in faithfulness and put the results in God’s hands.”
–Lynne Marian, executive editor of Outreach Magazine

“I can think of no other book that rings as true with what is really happening in the post-Christian generations. Jim Henderson writes from the vantage point of being among the very people most Christians have distanced themselves from and don’t understand. Get several copies of a.k.a. ‘Lost’ and share them with people in your church.”
–Dan Kimball, pastor, author of The Emerging Church and Emerging Worship

“If you have a heart for extending the kingdom of God, this book will both challenge and encourage you to make a difference on planet earth for eternity. And it will take your thinking and turn it on its ear.”
–Steve Sjogren, conference speaker, author of Conspiracy of Kindness

“Jim Henderson has said it well: Ordinary attempts are never ordinary when they are done in the name of Jesus Christ. This truly is a movement–a movement that will result in extraordinary results as God uses us in our everyday lives to bring home the people He misses most.”
–Dr. David Foster, senior pastor of Bellevue Community Church, Nashville, Tennessee, and author of Accept No Mediocre Life

“By reading a.k.a. ‘Lost,’ perhaps you’ll become the answer to somebody’s first fledgling prayers: ‘God, please help me find someone to talk to about my questions and doubts...’”
–Brian McLaren, pastor, author of A New Kind of Christian and The Church on the Other Side

“Jim Henderson hopes to help Christians become the kindest people on earth.
Those who read this delightful, honest, and funny book will be taking a good
first step. Those who take its wisdom to heart might just get there.”
–Christine Wicker, award-winning journalist, author of God Knows My Heart: Finding a Faith That Fits

“In his journey into real conversations with real people, Jim Henderson has come to some fascinating and useful conclusions. Check out a.k.a. ‘Lost’ to join the journey and get some great, down-to-earth, practical advice.”
–Todd Hunter, national director of Alpha-USA, former national director of Vineyard-USA

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

BOLDNESS IS
OVERRATED
Try Free Attention Giveaways
Witnessing. Few words strike more fear into the heart of the average Christian.

What is witnessing, exactly, and how do you do it? What happens if you forget what to say or get tongue-tied or don’t know the answer if the person asks you a question?

I know the feeling. I became a Christian at age twenty-one during the Jesus movement. Witnessing? Wasn’t that something you did in court?

“Don’t worry,” my long-haired Jesus-people mentors told me.

“We’ll show you what it’s all about.”

They showed me the ropes of evangelizing as we witnessed our way through clouds of cannabis smoke at an outdoor rock concert. Just a few weeks earlier, I’d been part of the “target audience.” Now I was the targeter. I was told that this is what it meant to be a Christian. If you weren’t finagling a way to steer the conversation toward Jesus, you were “selling out.” If you weren’t feeling uncomfortable at least once a day due to your boldness for the cause of Christ, it was doubtful that you were really saved.

When I was a new Christian protected by my closed hippie-Christian culture, it all seemed so simple. Go out, witness to as many people as you can, come back to the bible study, and tell everyone about your exploits. When you do this, you’re rewarded with kudos and assurances that anyone who rejected you rejected God. You can shake that experience off like so much dirt on your shoes. Their blood is no longer on your hands. On to the next target!

In time I became a professional Christian and started acting like one. Pastors learn not to do radical things, such as walk up to people on the street and ask them for a few minutes to explain Jesus, God, sin, and hell. Instead, we find culturally appropriate ways to “present” the gospel. We do it at special church programs, or we sneak it into the talks we give at weddings and funerals. We don’t want to come off like the door-to-door guys. We become more sophisticated in the way we go about sharing our faith. And sadly, many of us stop altogether.

Sure, in public we keep it up. We still remind the “troops” to go out and share the gospel with their neighbors. We read the latest demographics so that we know where our target markets are located. We even hold seminars and commit a few weeks every year to teach on evangelism. But we pretty much know that nothing is going to come of it.

I speak not as an outsider but as one who has been there and done that. I was a busy pastor, preaching, leading meetings, and coming up with mission statements. Yet I couldn’t make myself stop thinking about evangelism. I couldn’t live with it and I couldn’t live without it. So I buried that voice.

But still, I could hear it call to me. I’ve been intrigued, frustrated, and energized by the issue of evangelism all of my Christian life. I’m not an evangelist. I am more a student of the game we call evangelism.

It may be because it’s one topic that’s guaranteed to irritate both Christians and non-Christians. I have been told that one of my spiritual gifts is provocateur, which may help explain the connection.

I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t succeed in my thirties or forties. As I turned fifty I had a slight inkling as to what I wanted to do when I grew up. I took heart in studying the lives of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Harry Truman, and Mother Teresa, all of whom really got started around age fifty. The sense of mortality has a huge upside: It helps you stop worrying about trying to become something you aren’t and get on with being who you really are–warts and all–because this is as good as it’s going to get.

Someone has said, “We change when the pain of changing is less than the pain of staying the same.” I finally realized that my evangelism fixation wasn’t going to go away. I had buried the memory of it, but it was buried alive, and it was rising from the dead to haunt me.

You’re Not Brave? Great!

Some of us are born salesmen. Most of us aren’t. Some of us are born leaders, taking our place at the front of the charge and ready to accept the casualties. But again, most of us aren’t. So it’s a good thing that connecting with the people Jesus misses most doesn’t require a Type A personality.

In his counterintuitive book Leading Quietly, Harvard professor Joseph Badaracco steers us away from the well-worn leaders-as-heroes path and onto the road less traveled, where ordinary people get things done. Delving into the decision-making experiences of several quiet leaders, Badaracco takes a closer look at their thinking. “The most effective leaders are rarely public heroes,” he writes. “These men and women aren’t high profile champions of causes and don’t want to be.”1

The book of Joshua opens with these startling words: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you…” (1:2). Just as Joshua had to learn to lead in ways that differed significantly from Moses’s approach, we have to learn to connect with the people Jesus misses most in our own way. I’m sure Joshua wanted Moses to stick around just as we want those who are more gifted than we are to go ahead and do the work of evangelizing others. But eventually it falls to us to get it done, in our own way.

Even though Moses got all the press, Joshua may have been a better leader. Moses did stuff for others; Joshua did his work through others. Moses led the Israelites across the Red Sea; Joshua followed them across the Jordan River. Moses saw the Promised Land; Joshua lived in it.

People Prefer Prayer

Fortunately for those of us who lack boldness, it’s not all that hard to connect with the people Jesus misses most. If you can pray, you can preach. John from Mount Vernon, Washington, tells about a time he and his wife resorted to prayer: Thirteen years ago my wife and I moved to Portland for a job. We didn’t have a place to move to, so my brother offered to put us up while we looked for a house.

My brother didn’t sound too hopeful [about us finding a place], especially since my job didn’t start for a couple of weeks. We went out anyway and fell in love with the first place we visited. The landlord was inside painting. He asked me about the job and also asked if I had ever done that type of work before (I hadn’t). He was very skeptical, but accepted an application anyway, telling us he had several other applicants, all of which he said were better prospects as tenants.… Taking applications for rentals wasn’t a common practice where I came from, and I was quite intimidated by the whole process.

Anyway, we had a feeling about this, so Jeanette and I prayed that God would bring us to this man’s mind every time he looked at the applications. The next morning we received a call; it was the landlord telling us he had decided to rent to us. He set up a meeting for later that morning. When we arrived, he said we would have to make arrangements for the first month’s rent and deposit. We had the money to meet those requirements! Then he told us that each time he looked at the pile of rental applications, he was drawn toward ours, even though he was inclined against it from a logical point of view.

I told him we had prayed that very thing would happen. My landlord, it turned out, was something of an agnostic, but he laughed and told us that took the responsibility off him, he supposed. Anyway, we visited our landlord and his wife when we were down in Portland last summer. They invited us for a meal, and they prayed beforehand. It seems they had left some of their agnosticism behind.

Here’s one thing John’s story tell us: The people formerly known as “lost” prefer prayer to preaching. John and Jeanette weren’t preachers, but they did know how to pray.

If you’re not a bold evangelist, you’re in the majority. In fact, you’re in great company–including Saint Peter, the ultimate Green Beret who became the world’s biggest Christian chicken. Under pressure he uttered curses and denied that he even knew who Jesus was (see Mark 14:66-71). At that point he had hit bottom (see Mark 14:72; Luke 22:62).

Peter was the man who boldly declared his willingness to die for Jesus (see Luke 22:33). But after the Crucifixion, he began using his leadership skills to lead the other disciples back into the fishing business. Jesus was dead, and Peter didn’t know what else to do. At least fishing was something he understood.

Peter was out on the lake in a boat when he heard that familiar voice: “Come and have breakfast” ( John 21:12). Immediately he knew it was Jesus. Once onshore, Peter steeled himself for Jesus’s seminar on the eternal fate of compromisers and backsliders. But it never came.

Instead, Peter walked in on a three-part series titled “Do you love me?” Like the brilliant preacher he was, Jesus repeated himself over and over again. Some read a rebuke in these words, I assume because of the repetitive use of the phrase “Do you love me?” But if you hadn’t been taught that interpretation by someone who knew ancient Greek, I would suggest that you might not have come to that conclusion. Perhaps my point of view is too hopeful, but I see it this way: When Jesus found Peter, he didn’t rebuke him; he reminded Peter that they loved each other and that Peter’s life had purpose and meaning in serving others. Peter already knew what he should be doing. Jesus gave him the hope and motivation to do it by giving him what he needed rather than what he deserved. Cowards make great leaders when they’re loved. Finding the ...

More About the Author

Jim Henderson is acclaimed by USA Today for having "blazed a new path as an innovator, author, church evaluator, self-professed subversive, and leader in the creation of new ways to be publicly and persuasively Christian in the twenty-first century."

Jim is a speaker, author, and producer. His most subversive act to date was buying an atheist's soul on eBay and then sending him to attend and review several churches. On the heels of that project, Jim hired another atheist (Matt Casper) to join him at various church services and share his feedback. Together, they recount their unique findings in a book titled Jim and Casper Go to Church (Tyndale, 2007).

After twenty-five years as a pastor, Jim formed Off the Map, an organization that produced live events designed to help people recover the lost art of being "unusually interested" in others, especially Outsiders.

Today, Jim's company, Jim Henderson Presents, produces live events and television projects that look at the important role of religious spirituality in our lives. Jim is known for asking the questions others skip.

Jim holds a Doctorate in transformational leadership and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fox News and This American Life with Ira Glass.

Customer Reviews

My convictions seem to be validated and made clear by this book.
Dawn B.
Not just another "how to" book, but a readable reassurance that the work of evangelism is really fun, and meant to be enjoyed by every believer!
pastor jody
This book is great on practical suggestions for ordinary people to do evangelism and has a great spirit about reaching the lost.
Daylon L. Welliver

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Julie on August 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
(PLEASE NOTE THAT WHEN I READ THIS BOOK IT WAS UNDER THE TITLE "aka LOST", that is why I call it that in my review. My page numbers below reflect the page numbering in aka Lost.)

What I think that a lot of the reviewers on amazon.com miss is that Henderson plays with a lot of unscriptural ideas. My review is divided into positive and negative sections, and much of it is quotes from the book. I will not take time to explain why I have listed each item under positive or negative but if you don't understand my concern, feel free to comment.

Positive Aspects
I have heard a lot of people talk about passing out tracts or street evangelism. I enjoyed reading a different and much more natural approach--befriending unbelievers. In Henderson's words: "The church has spent enormous amounts of time and energy planning programs for reaching the unchurched. We've redesigned church parking lots, reprinted our brochures, repainted our Sunday-school rooms, and even gotten flashy Web sites up and running, but the battle isn't happening in our buildings. It's in our backyards."

The following was one of my favourite quotes in the entire book. One of my other favourites I already quoted here."When I sense that one of my missing (unsaved) friends now trusts me or when that person initiates a conversation with me about life or Jesus, I feel as if I just won the lottery." (p104-105) I feel the same way!

This book reminded me of the importance of consistently showing love and concern for unbelievers. Doesn't the Bible say that as Christians, we will be known by our love? That should be our quality that stands out. Some Christians see no value in spending time with unbelievers if we aren't explicitly sharing the gospel in words every time. I cannot agree.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By William C. Herzog on March 10, 2008
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I loved this book. I enjoy the way Jim looks at reaching people. I have been using a lot of the ideas in the book and I ma having a blast. I have been a big Steve Sjogren fan and his book " Servant Evangelism" and this is just as good if not better. Over and over he talks about learning to listen to people. Counting conversations and not conversions. Well written and fun. I would recommend this book to anyone who is frustrated by all the pressure that is out on us to share our faith and to close the deal.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Warren on August 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'll admit I'm at a loss sometimes when it comes to sharing my faith. With this book evangelism becomes just as simple as talking to a friend. Jim Henderson gives great advice, and he follows it up with a thirteen week study. The writing is clear and easy to understand. He stresses that we do better, if we just try to be ourselves, to talk to others, instead of talking down to them. A good handbook that will help the reader do a better job of teling others about spiritual things without turning them off. If you shy away from sharing your beliefs, then give Evangelism Without Additives a try.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Daylon L. Welliver on February 5, 2008
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This book is great on practical suggestions for ordinary people to do evangelism and has a great spirit about reaching the lost. It is light on scripture and I think does not give enough weight to the possibility that the Holy Spirit may give people the right words and boldness to speak out more than they might ordinarily do. But I don't think that it is a big problem given the limited focus of the book, and it more than adequately meets its goal of aiding those of us who are "ordinary" in our efforts to talk to the lost among us.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Helton on June 27, 2007
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This was an enlightening and reassuring book for those of us Christians who are not sure how to share our faith with others and help bring those who are far from God into a relationship with Him.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Fritz on September 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I agree with Julie's review and appreciate that she took the time to list several quotes from the book. I am glad that Henderson is highlighting the idea of conversational evangelism through this book (which is why I give one star), but I feel that he is trying to redefine evangelism (and other words/ideas) to make it more palatable for those who shy away from it, which is not necessarily a good thing.

The idea that "praying behind someone's back"; telling someone in the grocery store that you will pray for them if you overhear a concern they have; "just being yourself"; or being unusually attentive/interested in a nonbeliever "counts" as evangelizing is misleading, to say the least. What about the fact that evangelizing, by definition (def.: "to preach the gospel to"), requires communicating the GOSPEL to the lost? Does doing these "doable" things in everyday life communicate that Jesus Christ condescended to the form of man to willingly die as the one acceptable atoning sacrifice to save us from the wages of sin (death) and eternal separation from God, that He was resurrected, thus defeating even death, and that He still lives and even now intercedes for us in heaven? I think it would be awfully difficult to interpret the gospel through only these "doable" acts. These "doable" acts can be STEPS leading to evangelism--they alone are not evangelism. We should use acts of kindness/service and conversations with nonbelievers to discover how to best communicate the gospel to them, asking that the Holy Spirit help/intercede for us when we're not sure what to do next.

I would recommend not buying this book, but rather checking out the works of Ravi Zacharias and those who contribute to his ministry if you want some good examples of how to evangelize without leaving out the most important information (the gospel--a.k.a., "additives") in today's world.
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