Each week, the Flourish team would like to recommend resources that will help you on your journey of Church Renewal. While we don’t endorse every single idea from every single resource we are attempting to cultivate a useful resource list for you.
Resource: Tell the Truth, by Will Metzger
Background: Will Metzger (bio at the bottom of the review) was for over 45 years a campus minister with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Delaware. This decades long ministry with students who were becoming more and more paganized helped him develop a way of sharing the gospel that I (Matt) would term “holistic”. This is incredibly valuable.
Take-aways: There is no perfect way to share the gospel. Trevin Wax has some gentle and helpful critiques for example within his vast appreciation for Metzger's book. However, Metzger’s comprehensive approach (“the most content to the most number of people”) assures that all the important bases get covered and people don’t “pray a prayer of salvation” without actually understanding the wholesale worldview shift they’re accepting in coming to initial repentance and faith in Christ. An error of earlier evangelistic approaches (think Cru’s Four Spiritual Laws) was that they assumed too much about the one being evangelized and under-prepared people for what God was actually calling them into when they believed the gospel.
Additional Comments: Given that not only college students but the general population in America has continued to move towards a post-Christian condition, it’s possible (depending on the worldview of the person being evangelized) that Christian evangelists will likely need to take a step even further back sometimes before beginning Metzger’s helpful “Come Home” gospel outline. Peter Jones provocatively talks about seeing if the person you’re seeking to evangelize has even the same conception of the nature of reality. For a place to start engaging with Jones’ body of work, Pastor Dan Dodds wrote a helpful introduction to Jones’ conceptual scheme and an appreciative review of Jones’ One or Two for Ligonier Ministries. Look also for a new resource coming out soon from Flourish Coaching on Leading in and for Evangelism in the Local Church (working title).
Bonus content: Metzger (despite this book going through 4 editions and having sold many thousands of copies) is shy allowing his writing to be his expression of himself. You can read some of his story or watch him talk about it in the only YouTube video I could find featuring him.