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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Being an Effective Witness in the Workplace,
This review is from: Going Public with Your Faith: Becoming a Spiritual Influence at Work (Paperback)This is a very practical and extremely helpful book on being a witness in the workplace. Dr. Larimore is co-author of "The Saline Solution: Sharing Your Faith in Your Practice", a course that has been widely used in the medical profession to help doctors become effective witnesses in their practices.
The authors emphasize the need to focus on being a witness and not on "witnessing", quoting John Fischer in "Fearless Faith": "Salvation is God's thing and is out of our control. Saving people is God's part, ours is being a witness." The book places a healthy emphasis on relational evangelism, because, "We believe that the bubble has burst for an aggressive, non-relational approach to evangelism."
According to the authors, this book is based on four simple, but big, ideas:
1. "Evangelism is a process. The journey of faith takes place over the course of time as a person makes many small, incremental decisions that lead to the big decision of trusting and following Jesus."
2. "Our job in evangelism is to discover where God is already at work in a person's life and to join Him there, not to force a conversation or persuade someone to pray a prayer he or she may not be ready to pray."
3. "Being a person of spiritual influence is every Christian's calling, not just the responsibility of a gifted few."
4. "More so than the inside of a church building or a foreign mission, the workplace is the most strategic place of ministry for most Christians."
This is a very practical and pithy book, in part because the authors give a one-sentence summary at the end of each chapter. It should prove to be of immense help to anyone who is serious about being an effective witness in the workplace. It combines many of the principles in other helpful books and tools, such as "Living Proof", "The Insider" and "Becoming a Contagious Christian" and applies them to the workplace. I can recommend it highly.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars take someone with you to Heaven,
This review is from: Going Public with Your Faith: Becoming a Spiritual Influence at Work (Paperback)...
Going Public with Your Faith: Becoming a Spiritual Influence at Work flies in the face of almost everything you've ever read or heard about evangelism. Forget mechanical, aggressive styles of witnessing that treat evangelism as a one-time event. Real evangelism is a process. It's organic-a lot more like farming than selling.
In every part of the world, people are looking for spiritual answers and resources as never before. But you don't need to travel to some exotic foreign mission field to find hungry hearts. You spend hours every day in the most strategic place of impact in the world-your workplace.
Going Public With Your Faith offers a proven model for evangelism that respects the unique relationships you have with your coworkers, clients, or customers. It shows how you can be authentic instead of artificial when sharing what you believe, build trust with even the most skeptical person, and cultivate caring connections with those who have not yet come to a saving faith in Christ.
If you've ever wanted your life to count for the kingdom, "Going Public with Your Faith" will show you how your God-given gifts and talents can easily and naturally draw customers, clients, and coworkers to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Biblical View of Evangelism,
This review is from: Going Public with Your Faith: Becoming a Spiritual Influence at Work (Paperback)I will not attempt a thorough review of the book. Here are a couple posts from my blog that I put up as our elder team was going through it:
First post: We are concerned for a greater external focus in our congregation. The chapter we read last pm is entitled: "Earning the Right to be Heard." Whereas many evangelistic texts or theories begin with an evaluation of the target audience, the authors are quite clear that evangelism begins with a change in our hearts. Since this book is focused on being a spiritual influence at work, the emphasis is on the kind of person we are at work. The author(s) note:
"Will rational arguments pacify negative emotions? Will preaching biblical exposition reduce anger or bitterness? Will persuasion penetrate a hard heart? Perhaps, but not as often as you may wish. However, a nonmanipulative relationship with you--where a non-Christian respects you and experiences love and acceptance--can plow thorugh even the hardest soil. The groundwork for this day-to-day ministry in the workplace always starts with the condition of our own hearts--not the hearts of our coworkers."
This chapter emphasizes five areas that require our utmost attention if we are going to build a trusting relationship in which we have the right to be heard:
1. competence: the pursuit of excellence in one's daily work
2. character: even if people hate what we believe, they will be attracted by Christ's character in us
3. consideration: how we treat people--authentic communication (free from gossip and criticism), careful listening that seeks understanding, and a life that exhibits grace
4. communication: wisely speaking the gospel to ready hearts, not ambushing the disinterested. Share your faith when it 1) arises out of relationships naturally built around your work with another person, 2) naturally fits into the topic of conversation, and 3) when you are asked
5. courage: "The desire for safety stands against every great and noble endeavor" (Tacitus)
Easily read, harder to live. Get a copy and read along.
Second post: Last night our elder team completed the fifth chapter in "Going Public with Your Faith" by Peel and Larimore (Zondervan, 2003). The chapter, entitled "Keep it Simple," emphasizes engaging in common courtesy in the work place versus adopting techniques and strategies in order to share one's faith.
The authors point out that scripture commands us "to be a witness," not to engage in "witnessing." The first viewpoint implies the results are up to God (we live the faith), the second that results are up to us (we try to convince others). The text quotes John Fischer (Fearless Faith): "When witnessing is a verb, it becomes something we do or don't do. We turn it on or we turn it off. It becomes a segment of the spiritual compartment of our lives, as in prayer, Bible study, going to church, and witnessing--a very small segment. It's something we are supposed to go out and do, and poor, unsuspecting non-Christians often have to bear the brunt of our spiritual obligation."
I came away with a couple observations: 1) this is a tremendous relief for believers who think they need to engage in a "gospel sharing" conversation in order to be an effective witness; and, 2) this is an incredible call to seamless Christian living at home and work--living that is genuine, deliberate, and committed to demonstrating our faith over the long haul of relationship building.
Here is a list of common courtesies the author's recommend:
-remember an employee's, customer's or client's name--and their spouses too
-remember an employee's, customer's or client's birthday or anniversary
-sincerely listening to the response when you ask someone, "How are you?"
-asking a fellow employee if you can get them something (coffee, etc)
-leaving a larger-than-expected tip for the waitress who regularly serves you
-helping a co-worker fix something at home
-sharing your knowledge with someone who needs it
-going out of your way to express appreciation to others
-asking meaningful questions about things important to others and then really listening to the response
These are small things, but they help build a relationship of trust. God may allow us to share out of that relationship our faith in Him.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real life tips for evangelizing,
for relieving my guilt for not moving my co-workers to "ask me the right
questions." For years I have raised faith flags and told faith stories
but felt guilty that I couldn't seem to get to the gospel presentation
in one-on-one situations - oh, I given the quick overview in groups but
that hasn't borne fruit, that I have seen, anyway! Now I see that I
have been depending on and blaming myself too much. It is in God's
timing, not mine. I have been doing the right things. It is their
decision to ask me more.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, gentle, respectful, effective evangelism,
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book worthy of it's title,
5.0 out of 5 stars Good service!~,
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5.0 out of 5 stars Going Public with Your Faith,
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Going Public With Your Faith,
In their book, _Going Public With Your Faith: Becoming a Spiritual Influence at Work_, Peel and Larimore restore a high view of the workplace. I emphasize the word restore, because work always used to occupy a place of importance and eternal significance. After all, long before evangelism was necessary and before the Great Commission was given, God decreed that men and women were to work (Genesis 1.28). Work and the workplace are not curses of the Fall. Not only that, at least 75% of the men and women in the Bible that Christians consider heroes worked in secular vocations (e.g. Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Jesus; Peel and Larimore, 2003, p. 32). If this weren't persuasive enough, there is the explicit teaching of Scripture itself (e.g. Colossians 3.22-5), which ascribes dignity and respect to the workplace as a venue where Christians can do the "Lord's work" and worship God in so doing.
Peel and Larimore explain the primary reason why many Christians hold to a low view of the workplace (cf. 2003, pp. 34-5). The culprit is the sacred-secular split, which originated in Greek philosophy and crystallized later in the heresy of Gnosticism. This dichotomy, which is alive and well in the minds of many Christians today, states that reality is divided into two worlds: God's world and the real world. The former sphere, which is spiritual, includes activities like prayer, Bible study, meditation, worship, and evangelism. The latter sphere includes activities like recreation, finances, and work - which are obviously worldly and not spiritual according to the gospel of the sacred-secular split.
In debunking the sacred-secular split, the authors reinforce the importance of Christians in the workplace, referring to the work environment as perhaps the ripest mission field in today's culture (Peel and Larimore, 2003, p. 11). This creates a natural lead-in to the main thrust of their book, which is evangelism in the workplace.
Peel and Larimore emphasize over and over that evangelism is not to be thought of as an event but as a process; evangelism is not so much mechanical as it is organic; evangelism is not so much about witnessing, but about being a witness; non-Christians are not projects, but persons, and so on. As is often the case in the New Testament, evangelism is analogical to a process much like the agricultural time cycle. First, there is the cultivation stage (which is the most time-consuming), then the planting stage, followed by the harvesting and reaping (multiplying) stages.
Peel's and Larimore's book is really written around this biblical perspective to evangelism. Biblical evangelism is not about "cold-contact," or trying to start a fire in the rain. It's not about "selling Jesus" and "closing off the deal." Sadly, many Christians operate this way. Rather, evangelism is a process and the first step is cultivation. Christians must establish and develop trustful relationships with non-Christians. The emotional barriers that many non-Christians have toward Christianity must be removed. In the planting and harvesting stages, the intellectual and volitional needs of the non-Christian respectively are addressed. Finally, the reaping stage of evangelism refers to the discipleship of the new convert. Although Peel and Larimore address all four stages of evangelism, their emphasis is on the cultivation stage since this stage is underrated in most books on evangelism while the harvesting stage receives all the attention (2003, p. 154).
In a very readable style, Peel and Larimore explain how this agricultural model of evangelism is lived out in the work place. For example, they teach the reader how to raise "faith flags" and "faith stories" among colleagues and how to be judicious when doing so. They also warn against certain approaches to evangelism, which are neither wise nor conducive to sharing the gospel naturally. Every so often, the reader is treated to a poignant real-life story illustrating these points.
As a Christian just entering the workforce, I cannot adequately describe what a gift from God this book is. Peel and Larimore have inspired me to take a high view of the workplace to my own work environment and to be conscious of what God is doing in the lives of those around me. True evangelism requires that Christians be involved with non-Christians for the long haul. And what mission field is more conducive to that than the workplace where most Christians spend a large portion of their lives?
If I were to collate a list of Christian books by topic, which have been most helpful to me, _Going Public With Your Faith: Becoming a Spiritual Influence at Work_, would be at the top of the evangelism category.
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Going Public with Your Faith: Becoming a Spiritual Influence at Work by William Carr Peel (Paperback - September 21, 2003)
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