What’s up, everyone?
I’ve got a special feature for you today. A while back, a handsome friend gave me two copies of a book I had never heard of,Revolutionaries, by a guy I had never heard of, Matt Brown. It turns out, the book blew me away. It’s a collection of stories of the most shock and awe inspiring Christians in history. And it turns out that Matt lives up to his name by being incredibly awesome. He’s a big time evangelist traveling across the country, and you’ll want to see what we talked about.
I’m giving away these two copies of the book too…reluctantly. I wish I got to keep one.
First of all, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your ministry?
My wife Michelle and I have been traveling and speaking evangelists for eight years. We worked for Franklin Graham for part of that time, and now we speak once or twice a week at churches and outreach events. A few years ago I started blogging about evangelism.
Okay, about the book. To me, it’s a bit like a mini version of “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs,” except not so gruesome. What value do you hope the book gives to readers?
I worked on Revolutionaries for about five years. I read a hundred biographies and Church history books as part of my research and ended up sharing short stories of fifty-five evangelistic people in Church history.
Many Church histories have gaps of up to 1,000 years. Revolutionaries covers every century since Christ and shows how we went from 0 to 2 billion people.
What makes someone a “revolutionary?”
I decided on that term for one reason: the revolutionary impact these Christians had on their societies. Many people don’t realize that Ireland used to be cannibalistic, Germany worshipped idols, and England has a long history of barbaric civil wars. Much of the good in the world today resulted from revolutionaries who carried the light of Christ in much starker times.
Most people don’t think of themselves or their opportunities as extraordinary. Can an ordinary person be a “revolutionary,” even if there won’t be a book written about them?
“Revolutionary” doesn’t mean something extraordinary. “Revolutionary” best explained the phenomenon of the Gospel being preached and transforming cultures. God has a long history of using the insignificant.
The truth is God does most of His work through un-trumpeted workers. My hope is that after reading the book, people will begin to see how big their God is and how much he thrives in working out the impossible and improbable. Just look around and ask God how you can serve. You’ll be surprised at how He uses you.
The vast majority of the “revolutionaries” are called “evangelists” in your book. Many people want to be “revolutionaries,” but are scared to be “evangelists.” It conjures ideas of street preaching and door-to-door witnessing, and other frightening things. How can a person be a “revolutionary” who’s scared to be an evangelist?
There is no underestimating the power of leading one person to faith in Jesus Christ. I have a relative who shared her faith in Christ with a lady in the parking lot of a grocery store at three in the morning eleven years ago. That woman left a life of pain, abuse and addiction, joined a local church and has now written a book about the change Jesus brought to her. She has shared her story on many Christian TV networks as well as Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. She shared the Gospel with Oprah’s best friend, Gayle King, over the air!
It’s okay to be afraid to share our faith. Even the godly church leader Ananias seemed afraid in Acts 9:10-16. What’s not okay is letting fear stop us from obedience to God’s call to share his message with those around us.
Most people don’t come to the Lord because some street preacher convinced them the end is near. The majority of us come to the Lord because our friends or family cared enough to share the truth of Christ or brought us to a place where we heard.
Any of us can be revolutionary. Even more importantly, to live a life that looks increasingly like Christ and to spend our lives serving those around us paints a beautiful portrait of the salty Gospel that causes people to thirst for more of what we have found in Christ.
How does someone get started being a revolutionary?
Dawson Trotmann, founder of the Navigators said, “Soulwinners are not soulwinners because of what they know, but because of the Person they know…”
Time with the Lord in prayer, growing obedience to the Scriptures and community with believers is where all the fruits of the Christian life spring from. Two keys to effective evangelism are having God’s heart for those without Christ and learning to be led by the Holy Spirit in our witness. Both of these spring from prayer.