How to be Evangelistic without being Religious

Graham Horsley is the Connexional Evangelism and Church Planting Secretary for the Methodist Church in Britain and this booklet is based on his 2005 Headway Lecture of the same title, given at the time of the Methodist Conference in Torquay.

How to be evangelistic without being religious brings together much of the contemporary thinking in respect of evangelism within the British context today in a concise and helpful way. Graham Horsley starts by explaining the challenges facing evangelism today, particularly focusing on the perception common to many that church is ‘religious’ but not ‘spiritual’. The rest of the book provides a framework for addressing the work of evangelism today.

A key to success in this venture is the recognition that British society, indeed the world in general, has radically changed from what it was 50 years ago, when many of our existing members came to faith. These changes are explored under the following headings:

~**From being religious to being spiritual*~~*From organisation to organism*~~*From joining to joining in*~~*From living in a single community to living in a multitude of networks*~~*From seeking explanations to seeking experiences*~~*From truth to truths*~~*From Christendom to post-Christendom**~

Recent publications, including Mission-shaped Church (reviewed in Headline, Autumn 2005) and Equipping your Church in a Spiritual Age (reviewed in this issue) are the foundation behind much of Graham Horsley’s thinking, together with references back to the methods used in the first-century church.

This is a useful booklet for all involved with mission and evangelism and, at £3.00, will not break the bank. On the other hand, because it is constrained by the timescale of a single lecture, it is necessarily concise and does not explore the issues raised in any depth. However, it summarises the material well. Churches wanting to move forward from reading the booklet would do well to follow closely the steps that Graham Horsley sets-out in his closing section, 'From Principles to Practice', alongside reading the associated research material mentioned above.

I believe the issues raised in this book are too important for churches to brush aside and, even if they feel uncomfortable with the suggestions made, they should at least explore them. Many people in society are craving for spirituality but are not looking to the church - it's time we reversed that trend and Graham Horsley's book will help people to become motivated in this direction.