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Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel
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Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Many think evangelism is rooted in a method. It is rooted in something much deeper. It is found in what makes us whole and healthy messengers of God's truth about Jesus. Mack Stiles has lived the life of the healthy evangelist in homes and coffee shops, at universities and farms. He has lived out and spoken about the gospel to Kenyans, Koreans, Arabs and North Americans. W ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published April 26th 2010 by IVP Books (first published March 26th 2010)
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Mark Loughridge
Nothing wrong with this book - basic, helpful. It was ok.
Justin Tapp
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: church
I'd heard (via podcast) Stiles preach at churches in Kentucky and the Middle East before coming across this book at a local Goodwill. Like all of the 9Marks books, this is succinct and thought-provoking. It is not an anti-evangelism book but Stiles is against the mentality that most efforts toward evangelism have cultivated. This is not a how-to guide with steps on what to say and do or scripts to follow-- you're not selling insurance. Stiles begins with encouraging the reader to ask "Christian, ...more
Jeff Short
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: evangelism
This brief book is an excellent practical guide to personal evangelism. Stiles points out some things that have gone wrong and do go wrong. I appreciated the space he took clarifying the Gospel message that we should share and the examples he used. He gives us a good push where we need to be pushed to be more active and faithful in evangelism. Reading books on evangelism is one way we can improve. I highly recommend this book.
C.J. Moore
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, for-page
If I have to recommend one book to those in ministry, it's this one. Do not forget the power of the gospel!
Justin Low
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting tale on the principles of evangelism
Amy Morgan
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved a book about the gospel as a book about missions.
Jacob Coldwell
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Marks of the Messenger

“People need to see the depth of their sin so that they come to a fuller understanding of the depth of God’s grace.” (p. 31)

There is a beauty about this book. J. Mack Stiles takes the mystery of evangelism and ruins it for us all. He not only removes the excuses we have fabricated to avoid being messengers, but encourages the proper handling of the gospel message. Page after page, the logic from the foundational stones of scripture remove any doubt that Jesus has not only s
Jared Totten
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Marks of the Messenger is not a how-to guide to evangelism, it's not steps or strategies to gaining more converts. Instead, this excellent little book by J. Mack Stiles lays the groundwork for a life that is gospel-centered and naturally evangelistic. For example:

I'm convinced that the greatest obstacle to healthy evangelism is pragmatism: "doing evangelism"...Success drives pragmatic evangelism. Pragmatic evangelism never asks the question "Who are we to be as an evangelist?" Pragmatic evangel
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: evangelism
Mark Dever ranked this book among Packer's Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God and Metzger's Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People, so of course I was very interested. In this truth is more about the evangelist, than evangelism itself - what it means to be a healthy evangelist. And so the three books have different perspectives, but an overlapping emphasis on the power of God through the gospel and the sovereignty of God in evangelism.

Chapter 3 by itself made t
Gene Helsel
Jul 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stiles ends his excellent book with this, "Evangelism is not a duty to perform. It's a privilege we're granted. The privilege is ours. The greatest thing about evangelism is that we get to do it - you and me. Somehow the great Creator God allows us - protplasmic specks in the universe - to partner with Him in His grand design. It's a wonder and a mystery. To be healthy - really healthy - not just in evangelism, but in all our spiritual life, is to have a glimpse of what it means to take hold of ...more
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book is about evangelism, but more than that, to rephrase the forward by Mark Dever , the author has restored the evangel (the Christian Gospels) back into the essence of evangelism. Consequentially, the focal point of the book is NOT ‘how to spread Christianity’ but who WE are to be as “messengers” of Christ. In one aspect, it confronts the fear and timidity in Christians about spreading the Gospel, and on other instances, it talks about the inclination of some of us to twist the Gospel mes ...more
Aaron Schmid
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any Christian
Recommended to Aaron by: my dad maybe?
Almost 5 stars! The message deserves 5 stars, but I found Mr. Stiles' writing a little confusing at times (because it's so conversational) and a little contradictory in just a couple places.

But overall I think that this book is one of supreme importance to Christian society. It's so important that we align ourselves with the Gospel as we go and profess its redemption.

This feels more like a book about general Christian living (under the gospel) than a book about evangelism, which is the perfect
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Marks of the Messenger" is unlike most books on evangelism that I've read in that Stiles encourages readers to live out the Gospel message responsibly, intentionally and joyfully each day. There are no gimmicks or 12 step programs, simply cultivating a mind and heart that is ready to share the Good News in word and action. His personal stories are powerful and he offers a refreshing, biblical take on sharing the Gospel. While I do not agree with some minor points that Stiles makes, particularly ...more
Leigh Hale
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was eye opening. It taught me never to assume the gospel and that only the gospel is the gospel. Many things reflects the gospel, flow out of the gospel, are inspired by the gospel, but they are not the gospel. Only the gospel is the gospel. And the relationship between evangelism and social justice is that the gospel itself transforms. Social justice is a byproduct of the gospel coming to a culture or a people. So we lead with the gospel, which changes people and their behaviors...
Luke Miller
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: evangelism
Excellent foundational book on personal evangelism. Warns against pragmatic (sales pitch) evangelism that only asks, "What will work?" and focuses on bold, authentic witness that asks, "Who should I be as a witness for Christ?" Stiles describes the marks of someone who is gospel-centered and others-oriented, and his perspective on personal evangelism is refreshing. For example, he talks about avoiding canned presentations of the gospel by consistently meditating on and rejoicing in the gospel. T ...more
Mike Knox
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This little book puts being evangelists before doing evangelism.

The process of losing the gospel (40):

* The gospel is accepted
* The gospel is assumed
* The gospel is confused
* The gospel is lost

I give this book five stars out of five. The fifth is for having a chapter on the church in a book on evangelism. The final chapter (A Manifesto for Healthy Evangelism) is also excellent. It is chalk-full of practical suggestions.
Johnny Mcclean
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sat in a car with D A Carson and a group of pastors heading to a conference. Asked for a recommended book on evangelism. Without pause Don Carson recommended this book. He said it was the best book on evangelism he had ever read. Having read it myself, I agree. Heart warming, focussing on the character of the messenger and the message...not gimmicks and 10 'how to' type drivel. Buy it, read it, be inspired by it.
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book! It is a very easy read and just over 100 pages but is a rich resource. I easily finished it in two days. The book isn't so much about "how" to evangelize but more of the heart and motivations of the person evangelizing. In fact, I liked it so much that my husband and I are going to make it required reading for any interns that work with us. It is a must read for anyone going into ministry or missions.
Dec 25, 2012 added it
Shelves: theology
This is a really helpful and challenging read. I think I need to read it again so it all sinks in properly. Mack Stiles helps us think through the ideas that make up healthy evangelism, how we think about it, so we can share the gospel in the way which is most beneficial for those around us.
Aaron Choi
Feb 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: evangelism
Stiles' book is a helpful encouragement for those seeking a holistic approach to evangelism. His emphasis that a certain foundational basis is required for effective evangelism is a helpful reminder that the messenger is an integral part of God's salvation process.
Gene Cornett
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“This is now my favorite book on evangelism. It is absolutely free of the kind of hype I sometimes sense when people talk about evangelism. I wish I could insist that everyone read this book. I particularly was thrilled to read his thoughts on the importance of the church to personal evangelism.”
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In true Mack "Stile" :-), his writing is engaging and real, like hanging out with him over a meal. His passion and experiences in personal evangelism add wonderfully to his biblical wisdom about keeping hold of the gospel in our hearts and in our interactions with those who are not yet Christians.
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Best evangelism book I've read- I'm going to read it again and then share it. It's not just a "how to".... But more of a "why" explanation on sharing your faith. By the end of the book it made me feel bolder- invited my neighbor to our small group...still waiting for an answer;)
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
A great little book on evangelism. The author describes it as "a book about basic ideas that make up healthy evangelism before we ever share our faith". The chapter entitled "Be Bold - Slaying the Fear Factor When Sharing Our Faith" was the one that I needed the most.
Marcus Lynn
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: discipleship
Stiles' earlier work "Speaking of Jesus" is my favorite book on personal evangelism. This book is a great accompaniment to evangelism's larger issues and certainly isn't a regurgitating of the earlier book.
Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Kara and I read this for one of our church's Sunday School classes on evangelism and apologetics. This book was the one for the evangelism section. Tim Keller's book The Reason for God is the one for apologetics.
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book really got me pumped for my mission trip that's coming up in a week. I'm praying that God will help me to lead a child to Him. It's simple and easy to read, but still shows the importance of Jesus's command to us. I recommend it to all.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. His theology is clear and succinct, and his stories are some of the most moving I have ever heard. He never divorces the theology from the method. This is all about taking the gospel seriously and seeking true conversion through the power of the Holy Spirit. A must-read.
Jennifer Drake Johnston
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
very good book on knowing, living and speaking the gospel. particularly effective (convicting) chapters on boldness and on how, in our culture, we often do not present the full gospel (taking from or adding to...)
Andrew Klausen
Excellent read on what it means to understand and embody the good news of Jesus as gospel-people.
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J. Mack Stiles is CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions and general secretary for the Fellowship of Christian UAE Students (FOCUS) in the United Arab Emirates. He has worked for many years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in the United States.