"Reading Rainbow" – Week 1…Book 1

30Jun07


So here is the first post for the “Reading Rainbow”! I am very excited to inform you that I finished the first book. Trust me, this is a great day. So let’s get on with it.

This weeks book was, “The Coffeehouse Gospel” by Matthew Paul Tuner.

The focus of this book is the techniques that we as Christians use to share our faith. Matthew’s heart is that we as a Christian community often do not consider the effect we have on others when we share our faith. It is often programmed and taught in specific fashions that discount the feelings and even the value of those who do not know Jesus. Matthew made the statement, “It is a major fumble to speak the gospel in any way other than lovingly, mercifully and graciously.” This book speaks to the importance and even the necessity of relationship and story in the sharing of our faith. I loved another statement he made, “An invitation to become a follower of Jesus is a personal and intimate message. Not meant to be auctioned off nonchalantly or delivered by car salesman-like men and women who couldn’t care less what your name is or where you came from”.

This book really spoke to my heart, because I have always felt myself to be a failure at sharing my faith. Matthew was very encouraging and yet stressed with great importance our duty as Christ followers to share our faith with others. I love this statement from the book. “The art of evangelism is not one to be mastered; It’s more lifestyle than duty and more natural process than calculated function of necessity. It’s God’s resounding request for His followers to participate in His story”. This book challenged me to reevaluate both my process and my thinking in when and how I share my faith. It’s easy for me to freeze up when I have a chance to share. even a better possibility is that the chance for me to share will go right by without me ever noticing it. Matthew made this statement, “How many times have you felt God nudge you and you ignored it? I often wonder what I missed in the process. What would God have done in my life or the life of the man/women if I had simply said, ‘yes I’ll obey You'”.

I really appreciated Matthew’s ability to see things simply and then write about it in a practical easy to understand fashion. The book was easy to read and easy to apply. There were some great questions to ponder as well as opportunities to do some work on my end to dig into my own stories of faith and how then to share them. The 7th chapter was a great resource for what we should know as we take the time to share.

I encourage all of you to grab this book if you can. I look back in my life of growing up in church and there is so much deprogramming that needs to take place. Salvation is not a process of 3 steps and a prayer and we are good. Evangelism is not about me telling someone if they walk out that door and get hit by a bus that they are going to hell. Sharing my faith takes communication. It takes as much if not more listening than it does talking. I am excited to share my faith after reading this book. Not because I have a new faith, but I have a new confidence in Who’s I am and I want people to know about Him. I’ll leave you with 2 more statements from the book.

“Human beings do not evangelize. God is the one in the business of evangelizing. His people are the witnesses of His truth.” “It is a Christ followers goal to reach out to those who do not know the loving kindness of God!”

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3 Responses to “"Reading Rainbow" – Week 1…Book 1”

  1. 1 Simone & Marcus' Mom

    You mentioned feeling like a failure at sharing your faith and it immediately reminded me of an interview I had with one of the big wigs for the denomination I was a part of. He asked me how many people I had won to the Lord and I can remember my answer probably being not what he wanted to hear b/c he proceeded to give me examples of opportunites that I was probably missing. I am a shy person so to just plunk myself down and come up with why a person should be a Christian to a total stranger just isn’t my thing. Besides it wasn’t the way I became a Christian…those were the people I ran away from.

    I think that perhaps it is easy to come up with techniques to bring someone into the Kingdom…not that any of these are bad but I think that helping people respond to the rough patches in life is key. How we (people of Faith and Relationship) handle loss, etc and lean into all that the Lord puts on our path. People love watching people…we are all watching each other handle what is placed before us in this life. To let those who do not know that such thing as the loving kindness of the Lord really does exist but sometimes I think that we forget.

    Let me know if you or Tammy come across a book that deals with the subject of someone who was once so in love with the Lord (wrote worship songs, is a PK even) and now has gone in completely the opposite direction (not devil worship but just mindboggling behaviour). Sorry to monopolize but I just grieve about this b/c I think I am losing someone very dear and I guess I feel like a failure at sharing my faith when it comes to her…

  2. 2 bran muffin

    WOW that book sounds AWESOME. I want to read it but it makes me nervous too…. kind of in a “now you know better, do better” kind of way. It is interesting how this kind of parallels stuff going on in my life right now too. I like your “book report” 🙂 You get an “A” 🙂 Hmmm, I think I will have to pick this one up soon.
    Reeeeeeeading Raaaaaaaiiiinbow!

  3. 3 Brent Hodge

    Wow Cheryl thanks for being honest. I think that is exactly who we need to be to share our faith. We will feel like failures and yet we have the Creator and God of all on our side. I think you know exactly how to share with others. You’ve described that so well here. Please remember that of everything we can do or say, it is never our job to change people. God is the changer. All we can do is be faithful to displaying His love through us. I know it can be discouraging if people we love are not responsive, but be faithful. that is our duty…to be faithful. The decisions that someone else makes is never our fault or failure. God has said that we will all account for our own decisions and behaviors. Just be faithful. I’ll be praying!



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