I picked up this book because I was looking for a "front end" to a disciple-making program for my local church. I found a few things I can use. While Barna's passion is well-founded, he chooses to make the same arguments that has lead to a spiritual dichotomy: 84% of American's claiming a "Christian" faith while our society and culture crumble. It seems we have the evangelism part down, but we lack the proof that what we preach works in our own lives. (Barna briefly hits on "disciple-making" in this book and goes on to write a great book on the subject, "Growing True Disciples"). If the energy and resources put into evangelism were put into disciple-making, Christianity would have a profound impact on ourselves, our families, churches, neighborhoods, and world. Barna doesn't make this argument, so I my opinion, this book falls short in identifying "Evangelism that Works".
This book provides many good ideas but falls somewhat short on presenting how-to items succinctly.
What I was looking for was a book I could use to teach a class on relationship evangelism. Furthermore, my ideal is a book that addresses post-modern people (especially Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers) with their common aversion to embracing any exclusive or absolute truth. This book worked very well, but I had to work harder than I would have liked in creating my own group study guide.
This book, like most on the subject, takes a narrative approach to each chapter. What I would have liked but did not find were:
1. Discussion or review questions at the end of each chapter
2. Application exercise(s) at the end of each chapter, focused on building lifelong habits.
The content is there, but not split out in a clear, action-oriented recap. Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry & Mary has similar strenghts and weaknesses.
A promising new book that I may use is Evangelism Outside The Box (Rick Richardson, 2000).
Older books that have worked very well for me in teaching others are: (roughly in order of preference): Power Evangelism (John Wimber, 1992), Witnessing Without Fear (Bill Bright, 1987), Out of the Salt Shaker (Rebecca Pippert).