101" by Tim Baker is refreshing. Many churches, he says, tell us that witnessing
is more of a speech told at people. Tim Baker says it is more about a long-haul
relationship in which a person intentionally share their faith, and in doing so,
is more honest, loving and accurate.
He takes standard ideas on sharing
one's faith and presents them in a way that can be understood by junior high school
age and above.
punchy language indicating he is hip to what it means to be a teenager, Baker
shows he is current with what today's youth are dealing with in their Monday-Saturday
lives. I wish he translate this book into something we 30-somethings can readily
understand, as the ideas here are no different that will be found in any solid
adult evangelism program.
goal is to remove the barriers that teens have in sharing the gospel effectively
with their friends. He honestly explains how it is easy to irritate others by
being a know-it-all, how there is no need to cuss just to be connect with someone,
and how tempting it is to follow those friends into parties or cults experiences
and wind up in terrible trouble.
theme Baker keeps returning to is the teen's testimony. He explains that there
is no such thing as a boring testimony, and to avoid embellishing it to make it
sound more exciting. He provides several exercises for thinking through and outlining
what a testimony should and shouldn't say.
challenge that runs through the text is to ask ourselves what stops us from sharing
the Gospel, and how can we get past that. Do we need to know everything about
theology? No. Does tolerance mean everyone gets into Heaven, even those who despise
Christ? No. Will we be ready for every question the other person has in response?
No. Will God help us? Yes.
gets into a chapter on what the Gospel is, and what it isn't, and the core truths
we know of God. He lists several commonly heard lies about God, like "The
earth is God," and "There are many paths to God." Similarly, he
lists lies about Jesus, Heaven, sin, Satan, salvation and humans. Fans of Josh
McDowell or Norman Geisler will connect with these chapters.
thinking of what to say to whom, he suggests the following questions, followed
by why they are important to ask:
Who (pick someone)
* Are you their friend?
* What do they already know?
What do you need to say?
* Before, during and after, after, after...
are based on being a real friend, and considering who they are before trying to
tell them what you think.
discourages dating nonbelievers, and explains why. He makes his point while describing
the pitfalls of justifying dating as an opportunity to build trust. The pretense
is false and dangerous on many levels, and so Baker cautions accordingly.
Baker depends on Scripture. Bible verses are quoted and referenced to for every
point, always bringing Christ as the focus. He writes humbly, noting his life
and troubles, as well as how his faith developed. He tells the story about he
was the kind of person who fell through the cracks, and was easily ignored, thanks
to being dyslexic and having ADHD. Someone took the time to love him despite his
mistakes, and now he is a youth pastor and author of several award-winning books.
other books written for the teen market, Baker steers away from dropping cultural
references that will be forgotten in five years. This book should have staying
power for a few more years than some others.
fully recommend "Witnessing 101" by Tim Baker. Students can use this
in a weekly meeting, or on their own. Not only will they learn what sharing their
faith means and how to do it, but they will also gain insight about living a life