Book Review: "Evangelism: How to Share the Gospel Faithfully"
Written by our team member AJ, The Banquet Network’s Administrative Assistant. This review is on a chapter of John MacArthur’s book “Evangelism: How to Share the Gospel Faithfully” that is dedicated specifically to reaching those with disabilities.
It is crucial for church members and leaders to have a biblical theology of disability and evangelism to those who are in the margins, as Jesus taught by example. Rick McLean, the pastor and author of chapter 16 “Compel Them to Come In: Witnessing to Those with Special Needs” acknowledges how often churches fall short from the mandate of sharing the gospel and discipling people with disabilities out of compassion and love rather than pity. McLean states that because of the fall of man, “from God’s perspective, all of humanity has been handicapped, with only one hope, the gospel of Jesus Christ” (225).
The chapter unpacked specific difficulties that people with disabilities and their families face in the community such as financial and emotional strains as well as troubles in seeking good relationships. This is where the Church can step in, combating misconceptions that bring fear and discomfort in engaging people with disabilities. Jesus took opportunities to teach the multitudes to minister to people with disabilities (Mt. 25:34-40) not only in practical ways of serving needs but also spiritual needs of communicating gospel hope to the soul.
McLean gives practical ways churches can take steps towards ministering to those with disabilities as well as providing the example of outreach programs Grace Community Church has such as “Grace Club” for adults with developmental disabilities and “Grace on Wheels” for adults with physical disabilities. Whether you are from a church with thriving ministries or a small church that desires to get your feet wet in reaching the marginalized, Christians should see evangelizing such a neglected population as an opportunity for obedience to bring glory and honor to Christ.
This book, and chapter 16 specifically, is a practical resource for Christians desiring to grow in obedience to the gospel mandate as well as pastors and church leaders in leading their people to take steps in reaching people with disabilities.