Thursday, August 01, 2013

book review: outreach and the artist

title: Outreach and the Artist: sharing the gospel with the arts
author: Con Campbell
publisher: Zondervan
date: 2013

Con Campell has written a great little book on outreach. It's not a book that fits the typical evangelical evangelistic model - but I liked it. I appreciated lines like:
"...I suspect that no one has been converted 'on the spot' at any of my 250 evangelistic jazz nights. That's okay with me, because that's not really what I'm aiming for..."  
Campbell who is a jazz artist (although his book is not restricted to jazz - although there would be nothing wrong with that!) suggests that his jazz nights are like a first date: 
"Aim for a first great date. Aim to spark someone's interest to find out more. Aim to provide an overwhelmingly positive experience of Christianity. Aim to move someone one step along the way..."
For those of us in parts of the world, other than the USA, it is nice having a book written from a non-America perspective (Campbell is Australian). 

  • The opening section of the book is about "outreach with the arts"; about how a church might use an arts event as an opportunity to speak a gospel message.
  • The 2nd section is about "outreach through the arts"; where the focus is on the medium not as a means to the end of sharing a message, but that the work is a good end in itself, informed and shaped by the message of Jesus. 
  • The 3rd section is about "outreach to the arts"; which includes how the church relates to artists and the temptation to make art an idol.

The church has not always had a good history with the arts. This book is a good corrective and conversation starter for any church that is genuinely interested in sharing the gospel with artists using a variety of art mediums. 

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program.
I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

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