If you are terrified by the idea of sharing your faith with your friends and even the strangers around you every day, then this book is not for you. However, if you are a Christian with a heart that desires to see the world embrace the good news of the gospel, then this book is a must-read.
Teter leads the reader on a journey from apathy to faithful obedience to the Great Commission in this rich, yet simple and easy-to-understand book. Using the 72 ordinary men and women sent out by Jesus to preach the gospel to various cities and towns of their era as his focal point, Teter gives a practical breakdown of the evangelism and discipleship process.
Rather than presenting this process in a prosperity-minded, overly-optimistic manner, Teter is unafraid to bring more difficult truths to light. He recognizes that whereas evangelism is necessary, it is not easy. He expresses the dire need for Christians to align themselves wholeheartedly with the poor and disenfranchised, and he challenges, even rebuffs, our modern-day ethnocentric, affluent view of what the Church should be. He also recognizes the reality of rejection and persecution, something often overlooked in many evangelism “pep talks” of our day. Teter instead recognizes that spiritual warfare is a reality, but he doesn’t let this bog him down. Instead, he rejoices in the fact that “our names are written in heaven,” just as Jesus told the 72. The enemy has no power when God moves in.
I truly appreciated Teter’s honesty and authenticity. His words are not only wise, but they also are tried and true. He draws often from personal successes and failures, wishing for the readers to have great success in their ministry while also recognizing it’s not about the numbers. He is also heavily reliant on Scripture, and especially on the core text of Luke 10:1-20. Whereas his personal narrative can at times be a bit cheesy (and very sports-related), I would highly recommend this book to any Christians wanting to challenge their faith and take their next steps into reaching the world around them. This book reaffirms the importance of evangelism and the responsibility to bring about the kingdom of heaven on earth. No man or woman is too insignificant for this, but God uses every one of his disciples to do this work.
THE POWER OF THE 72 was written by John Teter, InterVarsity Press, PB, 153 pages
Reviewed by Paige M. McNinch, a professional writing major at Taylor University.