You Found Me
Pastor’s Bookshelf - Welcome to my bookshelf! Each month I will discuss a recent book that I’ve finished. This month I’d like to talk about You Found Me:
New Research on How Unchurched Nones, Millennials and Irreligious Are Surprisingly Open To Christian Faith
By Rick Richardson
There is a terrible narrative out in the world that all the people outside of the church are either afraid of or very angry with the people inside of the church. Many Christians have given up on any efforts of evangelism (given up, without actually ever even trying!). It’s created a very sad state of affairs in the church, where we have this amazing good news of God’s love shown in Jesus – and yet we never tell anyone about it!
Into this situation steps Rick Richardson and the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. They did an enormous amount of study and survey collecting to find out how people ACTUALLY feel about evangelism and people sharing their faith. The first chunk of the book is painting an incredibly positive narrative where most folks are actually very receptive to hearing about Jesus if someone is willing to share respectfully. The reality is almost the exact opposite of what most people assume.
From there, the study dives into helpful methods sprinkled with interview stories and useful testimonies about how we can share the faith we have with those who do not know Jesus. One of my favorite pieces of the book is towards the end, where they tell the story of the growth of the most successful denomination in America at the time - one that grew like wildfire following the civil war. That denomination was the Methodist Episcopal Church (a parent denomination to United Methodists, Free Methodists, and Wesleyans). It was inspiring to see how powerful and life changing evangelism can become when it is based on truth instead of rumor – and relational connection instead of fear or legalism. This book gave me a strong sense of hope, but also a realization of how much we have to learn and adapt our methods to the modern world.