Book review: 101 ways your church can change the world (by Tony Campolo and Gordon Aeschliman)

Title: 101 ways your church can change the world

Authors: Tony Campolo and Gordon Aeschliman

Publisher: Regal Books

In a nutshell, this book is about evangelism, reaching out to the society and world. First, the authors stressed the need and importance of evangelism. Then they identified some groups of people the church can reach out to eg the poor, the sick, the prisoners, the elderly, the immigrant, the disabled and so on. For each group, the authors suggested some approaches the church can adopt. The approaches add up to 101, thus the title. The last section of this book is a set of lesson plans to help Sunday school class teachers teach the materials to their students.

One of the groups mentioned is the sick. Suggestions in the book include establishing a team of volunteers who would be willing to help the sick person in areas such as cooking a meal, cleaning the house, or running errands; visiting and praying for them. The authors mentioned that these suggestions were already implemented by some churches and with satisfactory results.

Though the main objective of this book is about evangelism, the authors reminded us that we should aim to build a long-lasting relationship with the people we are reaching out, and they must not feel that our concern for them is mixed with ulterior motives. The authors assured us that the opportunities to aid them in their walk with Jesus will “flow naturally from the genuine love and care”.

After reading through this book, I think the suggestions presented are indeed feasible even though I am living in another part of the planet from the authors, eg collaborating with some Christian organizations that are already doing work of similar nature. The authors even provided the contact details of these organizations. Unfortunately this book was published in 1993, and the contact details might be out of date by now. If there is a newer edition, I believe it should include the use of social media.

PS: I received this book from the church. I have not received any form of compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the publisher or author mentioned in the post.


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