Simon Manchester and Simon Roberts’ evangelism training series, entitled “Six Steps to Talking About Jesus” and published by Matthias Media, provides six group studies with accompanying DVD to prepare a group of people to think about reaching out to others with the gospel message. The studies touch upon important considerations, such as attitudes, prayerfulness, points of contact, practicalities of invitation, and the message itself.
Overall, the course provides a good introduction to evangelism, and I can see it working well in a small group context. The treatment of Christian freedom in the study entitled “connect” is a highlight of the course, powerfully connecting the freedom we have in Christ with the call to choose to use it in love for one another. The DVD segments are short and help support and consolidate the teaching within the workbook, and are of definite benefit to course participants.
If the course were to be lengthened, it would be beneficial to spend an additional study or perhaps two looking at the gospel message itself in more detail, particularly so that the participants are better equipped to answer questions related to the need for (and meaning of) the penal substitutionary atonement, and the significance of imputed righteousness for Salvation.
The methodology which the course models combines a gospel presentation and a personal testimony, a pattern which is in fairly common use. Were I designing such a course, I would likely give less of an emphasis to personal testimony (probably ommiting it entirely), and more focus on the gospel presentation; however, that is not to say that the method as presented is invalid.
Overall this is a useful series for small group studies, and I am sure that many small groups will be challenged by and benefit from going through it together.