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Preaching a Christ-Centered Message for a World in Crisis
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A Book Review by Karen Pearson
 
Adventist evangelistic preaching may be in danger of becoming a lost art, according to Russell Burrill, veteran soul winner and evangelist. Best known for his passion for connecting people and nurturing their growth in Christ, Burrill’s new book, Adventist Evangelistic Preaching is a powerful resource written for anyone who wants to learn how to effectively reach people with the message of Christ’s soon return.
 
 
Drawing from decades of personal experience, Burrill shows how to develop a logical progression of sermon topics; how to construct the evangelistic sermon; how to prepare listeners for future subjects; and how to appeal for decisions persuasively. An over-arching theme is the importance of keeping Christ firmly at the center of every outreach message, sermon, and series.

Many sincere, but campaign-weary, believers are jaded by the images of beasts, trumpets, and seals of traditional evangelism. Burrill’s response is, “If we could hear our pioneers, we’d grasp this most crucial point: The beasts were simply an excuse to talk about Jesus. Adventism is the most Christ-centered message the world has ever heard. If we turn it into a message of gloom and doom we have missed the point entirely.” Burrill longs for the church to return to its roots as a Christ-centered movement and be known once more as “the people who can’t stop talking about Jesus.”

Dale Galusha, Pacific Press president and an evangelist for many years, says “Whether you’re preparing for your first series of meetings, or you’re a seasoned evangelist, this book will strengthen your evangelistic preaching. Pastors and lay members alike will find this book enriching to their ministry and outreach activities.”

In his conclusion, Burrill stresses that the compelling reason for evangelistic preaching is to reap lasting decisions for Christ in this crisis hour of earth’s history. “You aren’t just presenting a topic for people’s information,” he reminds readers, “you’re preaching truth so people will choose to follow Christ in all His ways. So don’t just preach a topic, preach for decisions.”

Adventist Evangelistic Preaching is available at Adventist Book Centers. It is also available as an e-book.

Karen Pearson is director of publicity and public relations for Pacific Press Publishing Association