Gospel Gift Books
Every church should give
Baptism presents to help
prevent church dropouts
A recent study by LifeWay Research found that 70% of young Americans who attended a protestant church regularly for at least one year during high school, stop attending church for at least one year by age 22. It also found nearly 45% will never again become regular church attenders.
After many years ministering to students on campuses in eight states, first as a staff member of Campus Crusade for Christ (now CRU) and then as the pastor of Grace Bible Church, in College Station, Texas, I have strong opinions on why many young adults dropout of church. Click here to read them.
When Americans are asked about their religion, the fastest growing segment of our population is those who now reply, “NONE.” This shouts:
America. We have problems!
George Gallup has found that we are ”a nation of biblical illiterates,” and Christian pollster George Barna has concluded, ”the Christian body in America is immersed in a crisis of biblical illiteracy.” Having interacted with hundreds of students in college coffee shops, I agree and believe:
The #1 problem is biblical illiteracy!
After teaching the content as a Bible study I developed and taught repeatedly in my ministries with CRU, and Grace Bible Church, and after my pastorate as a home Bible study series in homes and for student groups on the Texas A&M campus, I put it in a book and titled it, The Master Plot of the Bible.
When friends asked me if I was going to write another book, my first response was, “It took me thirty years to write my first one. I don't think I have another thirty years.” But using stories from my thirty years of sharing the gospel with students and others, I wrote a second book to teach and motivate personal evangllism. It's titled, As You are Going... Make Disciples.
For many years, I though it was a mistake to self-publish them. I NOW know, my Lord lead me in that decision so Amazon Prime Members can borrow and read them at no cost (not possible if I had another publisher), and others can get them as low cost eBooks for only $3.00.
Twenty years after writing The Master Plot of the Bible, I read it myself, and realized that it is a good book to help prevent church dropouts by getting churches to give it as BAPTISM PRESENTS and high school GRADUATION PRESENTS to those who did not get it when baptized. Four paragraphs from its first chapter explain its title, and how it will attack the Bible illiteracy problem:
A common response to the title of this book is, “What do you mean by the Plot of the Bible?” Webster has several definitions for the word plot, including “the plan or main story of a literary work” and “a secret plan for accomplishing an (often evil or unlawful) end.” As we proceed through the Bible, we will see its plot is not secret, evil, or unlawful, but is more than just “the main plan or story of a literary work.” The Bible’s plot definitely includes the concept of: “an intelligently planned course of action designed to accomplish an end or purpose.”
While the human authors of the Bible were unaware that their writings were going to become a part of a larger book with a central plot, God chose to progressively reveal His plan through the writings of men whom He selected and inspired. The result is a “Book of Books” written by many men from several centuries. This book of many books has an amazing unity, and one central plot that begins in Genesis, and flows through the Bible to the book of the Revelation.
To prepare you for the rest of this book, the foundation for the Bible’s plot rests on certain covenants and prophetic promises that God made in the Old Testament, which provide the basis for His action on our behalf -- actions recorded in the New Testament. Understanding these promises, and God’s work to fulfill them, helps us understand the Bible’s plot. When the plot is understood, the individual parts of the Bible, that rest on the primary message, become much more meaningful.
Like the opening of a rose bud, the Bible’s plot unfolds gradually. When the full bloom is viewed, it is a magnificent creation. It is because of this gradual development, within a very long book, that the plot is often missed by many believers. In this book, we will skip over much of the material that rests on the main plot, not because it is unimportant, but to help you, the reader, grasp the main flow of biblical truth. Then you will be prepared to joyfully appreciate the many “buds” that spring off of the “main stem.” Please be patient as we begin -- the flower will gradually reach full bloom.
It is not an end-all for Bible illiteracy, but I believe The Master Plot of the Bible is a good starter. I selected that title, because a plot is, “An intelligently planned course of action to accomplish an end or purpose,” and I believe the Bible is God's revelation of His plan of actions, and how it has been fulfilled for our benefit. His revealed purpose is very GOOD NEWS.
This book has selelcted passages form 74 chapters in the Old Testament and 79 chapters from the New Testament. All of the scriptures are included in the text of the book in bold print, because they need to be read, and time restraints would prevent many people from looking them up in their Bible. Click here to read a summary of each chapter. They will give you a quick overview.
It will only cost $3 per new believer to have Amazon send it as Baptism Presents. None of your high school graduates should go to secular colleges without first reading this book, and having it in their digital bookshelf.
The first month after believers are baptized is vital for their spiritual growth. There may never be another time in their lives when many of them will have as much hunger to learn about the Bible. This book will jump-start their understanding of the Bible, and give them a desire to learn more
Then follow-up the gifts with e-mails (monthly for a few months, then annually), to remind them the gift eBook is in their Kindle library, and to encourage them to read it or to review parts of it. If prompted, many young people will read it on their phone.
Will that prevent any church drop-outs? That depends on the answer to one vital question, “Will reading that eBook help make a disciple?” When a pastor reads it, he may respond, ”There is nothing new in this book. I learned all of that in seminary.” But...
I did not write it for pastors
When the people in the pews read it, some will respond like a Bible teacher, who commented, ”Where was this book when I was a new believer?” Many will have their New Testament faith strengthened, because it will enrich their comprehension of the Gospel's Old Testament roots.
Your church can start its due diligence before giving it as Baptism Presents by having the pastor read those chapter summaries. Some of your leaders should read the complete book (at vocalizing speed it can be read in six hours).
Click here to borrow or purchase them from Amazon.
Click here for info on getting some paperbacks.
Making disciples is the imperative Jesus gave your church in the Great Commission. It starts with “Baptizing them.” The process is continued by ”teaching them,” and Good Teachers give reading assignments. So giving all of your members a reading assignment to read this book is more than a good idea. One way to motivate readers is to ask all of you members (and church attenders) to read The Master Plot of the Bible, and to give feedback about the possibility of giving it as Baptism and Graduation Presents. Don't be surprised if that leads to more baptisms.
Biblical illiteracy is like a debilitating hemorrhage in America. Getting people to read The Master Plot of the Bible, can help stop some of the bleeding. This is a national problem, so please send a link to this web page to your friends in other churches, and ask them to share this strategy with the leaders in their churches.
The #2 problem in America:
Most believers never witness!
Before looking at a book that will teach and motivate personal evangelism, please consider a unique strtegy that uses The Master Plot of the Bible as a lure, bait and a hook for Jesus. While this strategy is for believers going on mission trips, it can be employed by any believer for other opportunities. Your church should make sure those going read “How to be a missionary on your mission trip” to learn a way to help fulfill the Great Commission by making disciples as they are flying. It's at:
Note: I taught my bible study series, two times, for the Christian Vet Society at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. The professors and students all agreed that shepards do not give birth to lambs. Its the sheep that have the lambs.
As You Are Going... Make Disciples
That's the title for my second book. I wrote it to help churches deal with the #2 problem in America. That title is a short literal translation of the Great Commission. It uses entertaining stories to teach and encourage personal evangelism. If your church gets some paper copies, it's a good loaner for supplemental reading in evangelism classes to encourage personal evangelism.
Some will want to purchase the eBook version that has extra chapters that work like flash cards for memorizing 130 verses that focus on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Many believers will already know many of the verses, but can't remember where they are located in the Bible. Reading this book, and the memory work, will help prepare them to be more effective as personal witnesses for Jesus Christ. It's more than an entertaining book to read. It teaches, and it motivates.
Click to read endorsements by Dr. D. James Kennedy, Dr. Charles Stanley, Dr. Earl Radmacher, Oregon's Senator Mark Hatfield, and Young Life area director, John Wayland. All are also on the paper cover of As You Are Going... Make Disciples
You can get The Master Plot of the Bible and As You Are Going... Make Disciples, for $3.00 as eBooks, and Amazon will include a personal note if you send them as gifts. A free updated sample of how I personally present the gospel is at www.datewithgod.com. Anyone can use it in any way.
Amazon Prime Members can borrow them
Click here for info about purchasing the paper version.
If a loved one is a church dropout
Taking content from my two main books,
I wrote a three chapter eBook titled,
You can Have a Great Date with God
He has spoken – His tomb is empty
My interaction with college student convinced me that most church dropouts and skeptics don't understand the gospel, and have never been confronted with compelling Christian evidences. So I developed a shorter book (in both English and Spanish), for internet evangelism purposes. Some of the content is from my first two books.
The first chapter has a clear explaination of the Gospel. The second chapter presents prophetic evidence that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah, and the third chapter has rock solid evidence that verifies the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When the Gospel and compelling Christian evidences are presented, most unbelievers have their faith reinforced when they see how strong the evidence is, and many skeptics will respond to God's offer and promise to give them eternal life.
For only $3.00, Amazon will send ...Have a Great Date with God... as an eBook gift, anyplace in the world, with a personal note from the giver. Suggested notes are in www.easterpresents.info.
Parents and grand-parents should give this book to loved ones who are church dropouts, or doubters at risk. It is also a good gift for skeptics who have never darkened the doors of a church. As with my other books, it can be borrowed and read by Amazon Prime Members, and anyone can read the first chapters in the free trials at www.amazon.com/Bob-Prall/e/B008ONE7MM.
If they know about it, many parents and grandparents, will give this eBook to loved ones who are church dropouts, or might become church dropouts. Please send them the link to this: www.gospelgiftbooks.com
While I call them Easter Presents, because they present solid evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you can give them any season, for any reason. More information about this eBook, suggested notes for gifts, and a link for its Spanish version, are at: www.easterpresents.info
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I believe God has uniquely equipped me for this ministry to help teach people what is in the Bible, to help prevent Church dropouts, and to encourage personal evangelism. Let me explain more by sharing some personal information:
In 1961, I was a twenty-five years graduate of the University of Oregon, had a real estate brokers license, and had served my country as an officer in the Infantry. I thought I had my life on cruise control. I had plans for a life as a real estate broker, or to turn pro and have a life as a professional golfer. As an amateur, I had played in the U.S. Open and had played, in one other tournament on the PGA tour where I would have been in the money if I was a pro.
But God had better plans for me. I trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior, and five months later, I enrolled at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland (now Western Seminary). In both summers between my three years in seminary, I won the Oregon Golf Association's State Amateur Championship. So golf was still an option. But when I graduated from seminary, I knew four things:
1. Christianity was declining in America
2. I was not going to be another Arnold Palmer.
2. I knew I was called to share the Gospel with students.
4. When God calls you should answer!
I really liked Bill Bright's strategy to help fulfill the Great Commission. So in 1964, I joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ (now CRU). It was then a young ministry, in about twenty states. But had a strategy to reach the world. Bill Bright started it at UCLA in California, and most of its early growth was in western states. After I was trained and had some experience, I was sent to lead the launch of Campus Crusade's ministry in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
During my eight years on Campus Crusade staff, my ministry included meeting person to person with hundreds of students (believers, doubters, skeptics, and atheists) in college coffee shops in eight states.
In 1972, I was called to pastor Grace Bible Church in Bryan, Texas, a small church with only 27 members. I still recall Bill Bright's phone call, when he asked me, ”Are you sure you are in God's will leaving the staff of Campus Crusade?” When I told him I was called to pastor a small church about three miles from Texas A&M University, Bill responded, “Good! You can reach the world from there.”
During my pastorate, God used my real estate expertise to relocate Grace Bible Church from Bryan to twin-city College Station, a few blocks from the Texas A&M campus. Bill Bright was right. Forty-five years and a few pastors later, it now helps support about 80 missionaries, scattered all over the world. Most attended Grace Bible Church when they were Texas A&M students – some when I was pastor.
Back tracking, in the summer after my second year in seminary, I taught the college age Sunday school class at the First Baptist Church in Salem, Oregon. Beginning with that class, and during my eight years on the CRU staff, I developed a series of Bible studies to help students understand the Old Testament roots for their New Testament faith.
That series became my messages from the pulpit in the Spring of 1974, when Grace Bible Church was still in Bryan. By the end of the series, the aisles were occupied by Texas A&M students, and some had to sit on the carpet by the pulpit. Fortunately, we were already building our new church building in College Station.
I left the pastorate because it had grown to an attendance of about 500 (mostly unemployted tutition paying college students), and I was it''s sole staff member, and starting to burn out. When I resigned the Elders had me stay on as the interium pastor until a replacement was called). I stayed in College Station and continued to minister from the context of the business world. For many years I taught the content of those messages as an eight week series for student groups on the Texas A&M campus, for student retreats, in some churches, and in a lot of home Bible studies.
After teaching that Bible study series over forty times, and seeing how it impacted lives, I put it in a book, and titled it, The Master Plot of the Bible. It's the book I needed when I enrolled in seminary, five months after I trusted in Jesus as my Savior. I believe it is a book that will lay a biblical foundation in young believers lives, and help prevent church dropouts.
Grace Bible Church, in College Station, evaluated this book, and was the first church to decide to give it as Baptism Presents. I am trusting our Lord to lead many other churches to give this $3 eBook as BAPTISM PRESENTS.
The first chapters in all of my books can be read in Amazon's free trial at:
Amazon Prime Members can borrow and read them
Click here for info about purchasing the paper edition
Great Commission Business Cards
After I was commissioned by ROTC, I was sent to Fort Benning to be trained as an Infantry officer. An instructor told our class about a study the Army conducted on its soldiers during the Korean Conflict. The study found that only ten to twenty percent of our soldiers pulled their triggers in the heat of battle. That quite often, the entire firepower from an eleven man squad came from just one rifle.
Years later, I shared that with a pastor, and compared American believers with our soldiers in Korea. He responded, “If we had fifteen percent of our church members witnessing, we would have a great revival.” I agreed and added, “Too many of our Christian Soldiers are leaving their boots under their pews.” After writing the books I developed these business cards, and evangelistic web pages for links on the cards. Theu are a way your church can get more believers to pull some evangelistic triggers.
These cards will supplement, not replace, other evangelism programs in your church. These cyber-tracts can reach doubters and skeptics who never darken the doors of a church, but do carry cell phones and tablets.
I developed these six Great Commission Business Cards to give believers an easy way to plant evangelistic seeds. Each card sends readers to an evangelistic web page that can be read in five to ten minutes using a smart phone, tablet, or PC.
I don't sell the cards, just provide free layouts anyone can use when ordering cards from a commercial printer, and I host the web pages (paid for by eBook royalties, paid to a trust that will continue after I depart).
Your church's cards will cost less about $.02 or $.03 a card, and your church's name and web address can be included on cards. Last time I checked with gotprint.com, you could purchase 5,000 card for about $85 with free s&h -- if you send it to them printer ready. The focus of these cards is on the Gospel and compelling Christian evidences. Not on promoting a preacher, a church, or an organization.
When believers are challenged with the Great Commission, some will privately think, “I am to busy to GO, or I have responsibilities that will not allow me to GO.” But the word GO is a participle in the Great Commission, and should be translated, “As you are going.”
Most believers will be going someplace tomorrow. The leaders in churches should encourage them to take a few seconds here or there, and give a few people they meet a Great Commission Business Card. If hundreds of believers, from many churches, invest a few seconds several times a week to give someone a card, millions of evangelistic seeds will be planted.
Samples and a strategy for implementation are included at:
It's best to view this on a computer or to print it
If you learn better by listening
Much of the content in my books is also in audio mp3 albums. The set of four albums is titled: How to Share Your Faith if you don't have the gift of evangelism. It includes albums titled, How to Share Your Faith, Understanding Bible Prophecy, The Resurrection – His and Yours, and Yes but FAQ's.
The first album teaches believers how to present and explain the Gospel person to person. But it is not a "My way is the only way,” or “even the best way." Rather it encourages believers to find and develop "a way that will work for you." The second and third present rock solid evidences that verify Christian faith.
When I ministered person to person to skeptical college students, I was asked the same questions over and over again. The last album, Yes but FAQ's, has my best answers for the questions and objections.
Listening to these mp3 albums during drive-time, exercise time, or whenever, will help you be more effective when you minister person to person.
If you are a adult leader of a youth group,
you should listen to these mp3 albums!
These audio albums are also good gifts for your young people and new adult believers. The complete set costs only $8.77 at:
Late in life, my goal is to help launch a Second Jesus People Movement. The first one happened during an era of great turmoil, with many political protest demonstrations. I believe that America is now being primed for a Second Jesus People Movement.
My boots were on the ground before, during, and after the Jesus People Movement. I now pass on what I learned in ministries that God has blessed.
I do not have an organization you can join or support with donations, and I do not have a program that will replace anything church members do when they are gathered.
Rather, my goal is to encourage scattered believers from churches all over America to share their faith "as they are going, whenever they are going, and for what ever reason they are going."
It can happen again. It will be
different this time. But it must
involve young Americans.
Time, Look, and Newsweek magazines all had cover stories about The Jesus People Movement, that included pictures of young people pointing one finger up in the air to proclaim, "There is only One Way to get to heaven."
That scriptural truth was a vital message during the First Jesus People Movement, and it must be proclaimed to have a Second Jesus People Movement. When "One Way" is removed from a witness for Jesus, faith is an empty shell. Keeping it may offend some people, but is important because it communicates a vital Gospel truth.
The Jesus People Movement did not have one primary leader. It was a movement, not an organization or a ministry. It was fueled by thousands of individuals sharing their faith, person to person, in many locations.
Most were young people, but others became part of the action. And it included believers from many diverse segments of our society. It was not organized or coordinated. It was a movement that was a dynamic happening.
I believe a significant part of “why it happened has been missed by historians. When I explained it to a professor at a Christian college who wrote his doctoral thesis on The Jesus People, he was surprised and responded, “Nobody ever told me about that.”
The first chapter, Lessons from the Sixties, in my book, As You Are Going... Make Disciples, explains what I believe is the vital why. It is a must read for everyone who has a burning heart for evangelism, because it has information that can help us have a Second Jesus People Movement. So please read that chapter.
It is part of a message that is nostalgic for seniors, and motivational for younger generations. I live in Houston (near IAH), am 81 years old, and don't want to travel. But, I will consider opportunities to share it, as long as I am healthy -- if it will be an opportunity to share my strategies with pastors from many churches. Contact info is below.
The first chapter is complete in Amazon's free trial.
Click “Look inside” to read it at no cost.
The Jesus People Movement erupted fifty some years ago. My stories will be nostalgic for seniors, and encourage younger believers that it can happen again, if they will help make it happen.
When I graduated from seminary, I committed myself to a Second Timothy 2:2 ministry. The Lord blessed that commitment in ways far beyond what I could have even imagined. My prayer is for this story to encourage others to also commit to a Second Timothy 2:2 mentoring ministry. Please click and read:
I do not have a staff or an organization anyone can join, and I do not seek donations. Royalties from my eBooks cover the expenses for hosting the free web pages. When eBooks are purchased through Amazon, authors do NOT get any information about the purchasers. So purchasing or giving my eBooks will not lead to any follow-ups. Royalties after I depart (I am healthy, but 81 year old) will be paid into a trust to keep the web pages active.
Bob Prall, M.Div., Author & Evangelism Encourager
Post Office Box 73486, Houston, TX 77273-3486
bobprall36 (at) gmail dot com – (832) 928-3658
At my age, I can't promise a response.
DON'T FORGET TO SEND EASTER PRESENTS,
ANY DAY OF THE YEAR -- FOR ANY REASON.
www . EasterPresents . info