(BNC) — In a single sitting, I read Lance Mosher’s book, Conformed, Reborn, Transformed, the story of his conversion. He starts with early influences and moves soon to the days before his baptism into Christ as the crucial point in the story. With clear writing, a fast pace, and good dialogue, Lance takes the reader behind his eyeballs to accompany his struggles as he came to accept the truth of the gospel.

The electronic formats of Lance’s book are free, an encouraging offer, considering his purpose. Print versions are for sale.

At the end of the book is included an “Overview of Studies” that summarizes the main points of the gospel message presented in the book.

The book was published in 2013, giving the author a decade of perspective on his experience. That experience enriches the reader, both in and out of Christ.

Lance appears to have a similar purpose to Michael J. Shank’s 2011 book, Muscle and a Shovel. Both recount the process of teaching by which the author’s come to a knowledge of the truth. Both are effective in their presentations. Both show how they were taught the gospel by loving, knowledgeable Christians.

 Read also:”The most compelling conversion story I’ve ever read.”

They are not the first, of course, to use this method of first-person story to share the gospel.

In 1986, for example, Gospel Advocate Company published Joanne Howe’s account of her conversion in A Change of Habit. She has since written two other books.

And while it’s a fictionalized account, Tim Hall utilized the story form, in 2005, of two couples to teach the gospel in Discovering the Kingdom of God. A form of his book is also in DVD format, published by World Video Bible School.

A few years ago, Forthright Press also published “Conversion Stories” online as an encouragement to disciples and as a prompt for those outside of Christ. (See our short list of such stories on WiseBible.)

Though it may be too early to predict, it’s just possible that the story form may be the medium of choice in the 21st Century for the communication of the gospel.

In the 20th Century, Leroy Brownlow’s book, Why I Am a Member of the Church of Christ, was the best-seller and go-to choice to share with friends and neighbors.

Electronic media such as DVDs will no doubt grow in popularity. WVBS is doing a bang-up job in this area, especially with the “Searching for Truth” effort.

But for detail, it’s hard to substitute print, or at least, the book format. And for dealing with detail in our virtual world of short attention spans, the story form manages to provide the human drama to lighten the transmission of teaching that necessarily includes numerous biblical texts and involved explanations.

The brotherhood reacted in the past against the denominational personal testimonies in church meetings, and rightly so. In these first-person accounts, however, we have an excellent medium to use, among so many others, to help people find their way out of religious error in order to discover the simplicity of biblical faith.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

8 thoughts on “Evangelists turn to first-person stories for sharing the gospel

  1. Oh no, you mean he…dare I say it….he Testified? How shall we over come the potential of possible error down the path?

    I think that is great. If telling someone what it took for you to have your Damascus road experience, then go for it!

  2. “The brotherhood reacted in the past against the denominational personal testimonies in church meetings, and rightly so.”

    I know that in the Church of Christ we have always been against testimonies but I have never understood why. Can someone explain that to me? It seems like they could be very effective in bringing others to Christ.

    1. Generally, it’s because when the “testimony” idea was floated, it was being done during the church assembly, and it was very VERY similar to the Baptist doctrine of demanding a testimony of proof that you were saved before they would then vote on you as a member or not. Unfortunately, good brethren also decided to reject anything that was in any way remotely similar.

  3. The apostle Paul told the story of his conversion in Acts 22& 26. It may be a new trend now, but it is not new.

  4. Amen. Just because we have never done something in the past doesn’t necessarily mean it is wrong. As was said Paul shared his story. Why can we? As long as we incorporate it into the preaching of the gospel and not as a substitute for the gospel why not?

  5. I was going to comment in a similar way as Roger as well. Informing others of the Providential work of God in your life, and how you came to obey the gospel can be very compelling and encouraging to those not yet saved. The major problem with the denominational concept is that it doesn’t lead to truth, and focuses highly on experience and feeling, rather than submission to truth. As long as the highlight of the account is how a person is led to obey the true gospel, it can be quite impacting in personal work especially.

  6. Enjoyed Lance’s book very much. I would recommend that it be sent to friends and family as a gift. Lance is doing a good work in the Lord’s Kingdom in New Zealand.

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