How to Revive Evangelism: 7 Vital Shifts on How We Share Our Faith

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


How to Revive Evangelism: 7 Vital Shifts on How We Share Our Faith


Craig Springer (foreword by David Kinnaman)


Zondervan Reflective

Publication Date:

February 23, 2021




208 pages


In 2019, Alpha USA partnered with the Barna Group to do a study on what millennials across America felt about evangelism. The report produced a shocking statistic that many millennials believe that evangelizing non-Christians is wrong, but also that millennials are deeply interested in sharing their faith. Craig Springer argues that at the heart of the problem is the fact that many millennials are cynical about evangelism techniques that are impersonal. He outlines seven traits that are seen in Jesus’ ministry that American Christians will need to emulate as evangelists to the new generation:

  • Hungry for More, Not Just Hoping for Many
  • Conversation, Not Just Proclamation
  • Belonging, Not Just Welcoming
  • Experience, Not Just Explanation
  • Fruitful, Not Just Factual
  • We, Not Just Me
  • Unity, Not Just Uniformity

As he explores each trait, Springer mines his experiences leading Alpha USA and the Alpha-Barna report’s findings to consider why each one matters and what changes they each make possible.

Springer says in the first chapter that he’s not trying to present new methods, but to point leaders back to timeless ideas from Jesus’s Ministry. Throughout, he does a great job of showing how these ideas are rooted in Scripture and are vital to doing ministry well, even though they’ve often been overlooked in favor of snappier, easier methods. Since the book is built on the Alpha-Barna report, Springer refers to it frequently, but he integrates the statistics in a way that makes them feel connected to the rest of the book. His references to Alpha aren’t quite as well-integrated, but he uses them as examples rather than as a “join Alpha” ad. He also works to describe these traits in ways that any group can use, so readers don’t feel like they’re being pressured to join Alpha before they start utilizing the ideas.

Even though the book uses statistics from Barna and reads a little like the books that Barna routinely produces (UnChristian, You Lost Me), Springer makes sure this isn’t all about facts and strategies. He highlights the need to know God as well as to know about God, to combine experience with intellect. Readers are left with the sense that while these strategies are important, the most important part is to go when the Holy Spirit says “Go!” Evangelism is not a mechanical strategy to engage the intellect alone; it is an invitation to discover God deeply.

Perhaps most helpfully, Springer uses nuance when describing what ministries have missed. Routinely he points out an idea that has been overdone or misused, affirm that it’s not a bad idea itself but that it needs to be paired with other things. For example, he talks about doing more than just proclaim the gospel to people, not because proclamation is bad but because it has to fit with a lifestyle that involves serving people well and cultivating relationships. So, he makes it clear that Christians need to reconsider how they’re doing ministry, but without throwing every old idea out. Rather, ministry leaders need to recognize that the old familiar ways are only part of a puzzle, and there are other elements which must be added.

This book hits that sweet spot between describing facts, teaching ideas, and unveiling the personal element in faith.

Rating (1 to 5 stars)

4.5 stars

Suggested Audience

Ministry leaders interested in evangelizing to millennials or to American culture at large in an increasingly secular context.

Christian Impact

Springer shows how each of his ideas are based in the Bible and how they fit orthodox Christian theology, which makes them all things that churches should pursue.

Note: Readers who enjoyed this book may also enjoy Springer’s previous book How to Follow Jesus. To read ECLA’s review of that book, go to:

Sharing Your Faith Like Jesus: 7 Critical Shifts to Revive Evangelism in Our Time

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