UK Christian Bookshops Directory: Christian Book Reviews: Unlocking the Door
Unlocking the Door Unlocking the Door
Evangelism in the Real World

Ruth Adams and Jan Harney
ISBN 1850786453 (9781850786450)
Authentic, 2005

Category: Evangelism & Mission

Unlocking the Door is a beautifully presented and surprisingly thorough evangelism resource intended to give us all a helping hand to build meaningful relationships and share meaningful conversations with those outside of our church circles.

It begins with a number of short pieces encouraging us to think clearly and biblically about: the various steps which people tend to take on the way to making a commitment to Christ; our cultural context in modern Britain; our local community contexts; our attitudes towards evangelism and those we want to reach for Christ; Jesus' approach to reaching the world.

The authors then get down to brass tacks and creative evangelistic ideas — set in the context of some astute social and cultural analysis — start flying. The authors theme their suggestions around the rooms of a home. In all they refer to twenty different rooms from the lounge to the kitchen, to the granny flat, out into the garden, even up to the bedroom (where, by the way, they make a good case for, shocking your girl friends and running what you might term a 'sanctified' lingerie party!)

Just one of the ideas in the book will have to suffice to whet your appetite. Recognising that if a Dad is the first member of a family to become a Christian, 93 per cent of families follow (compared to a figure of just 17 per cent if the Mum becomes a Christian first), Adams and Harney suggest the following:

Open QuoteToddler groups are popular in every town and village throughout the country, but the dads might like to consider a different take on the traditional group. One mum in Kent asked, "Why isn't there something like a toddler group for dads to give us a break now and again?" and "Just Daddy and Me" began. Meeting on one Saturday morning a month, as many as thirty-six dads have attended in a week. It gives mums a break, it's a place where young dads can meet up with other dads can meet up with others in a similar position and where they may observe their little ones interact with other children in a way they don't usually have the opportunity to do. Close QuoteIt's an opportunity to build bridges and friendships through which there's sometimes an opportunity to share the good news of the love of Jesus. (p.89)

Some will consider some of the suggestions to be too 'this', or insufficiently 'that'. That's fine. This is a resource book which will throw-out some 'misses' alongside the real hits. This is a book to keep on that easy-to-reach shelf, a book to dip-into from time to time, a book to lend out, a book to stimulate your own creativity and passion for sharing the best thing in your life with those you know and love… and maybe even those you know you ought to love!

Andy Partington, October 2005

Andy Partington is a former tutor at London School of Theology where he taught Evangelism and Public Speaking and served as Director of Training. In 2006 he left LST to take up a pastorate at Trinity Union Church, Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

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