How to Talk About Jesus | Book Review

Most people come to Jesus because of the witness of family or friends. Ordinary believers, then, make the best evangelists. In this book, Simon Chan offers eight tips for effective personal evangelism, which center on building friendships and living authentically. “In addition to our deliberate efforts to do evangelism—to create opportunities for evangelism—we just need to be Jesus, and evangelism opportunities may well come and find us in unforeseen and exciting ways.” A useful book for church members…and pastors too!

Here are the chapter titles and subtitles, which summarize Chan’s eight tips:

  1. Merge your universes: Evangelism is a lifestyle choice.
  2. Go to their things, and they will come to your things.
  3. Coffee, dinner, gospel: Find creative ways to do hospitality.
  4. Listen: The Golden Rule of Evangelism: Evangelize the same way you want to be evangelized.
  5. Tell a better story: Make them wish that Christianity is true.
  6. Tell them stories about Jesus: Scratch their itching ears with Jesus.
  7. Become their unofficial, de facto chaplain: You are their connection with the sacred.
  8. Lean into disagreement: For such a time as this.

Chan is also author of the seminary textbook, Evangelism in a Skeptical World: How to Make the Unbelievable News about Jesus More Believable (Zondervan, 2018). That book focuses more on how pastors can do evangelism.

Book Reviewed
Sam Chan, How to Talk About Jesus (Without Being That Guy): Personal Evangelism in a Skeptical World (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2020).

P.S. If you liked my review, please click “Helpful” on my Amazon review page.

Monday’s Influence Online Articles

Today, over at

  • Christina Quick profiles Leila Ojala, who shares the challenges and opportunities of planting a church in Summit County, Colorado. Quick writes: “It’s an especially harsh environment for church planting. The population is overwhelmingly millennial, unchurched, and transient, with more than 10,000 young adults coming to the ski resorts to work each winter and thousands more arriving to play, party and smoke pot for a season. Even the year-round residents seldom stay more than two years. And only 4 percent identify as evangelical Christians.” Ojala isn’t deterred by the challenges. “How we measure success is based on what God is telling us instead of what other people are saying,” she says. “Success is seeing individuals become disciples of Christ, and disciple makers, as the kingdom of God grows in and through their lives.”
  • In an excerpt from their new book, Known, Dick and Ruth Foth write: “So the question is, How can we get to that place [of feeling fully at home] with loved ones, co-workers, or neighbors? Doesn’t it make sense that, if God designs us for relationship, real friendship is fed by a growing experience of God’s love? When we know down deep that we are loved, accepted, and affirmed by the God who created us and knows all about us, we are free to give ourselves to others.”

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