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. Nearly 45% indicated they will never again become regular church attenders.
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.
When Americans are asked about their religion, the fastest growing segment in our population is those who now reply, ”NONE.” This shouts:
America. We have a problem!
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 are permanent church dropouts. Click here to read them.
Our #1 problem is biblical illiteracy
After teaching the content of a Bible study series at least forty times 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.
For many years, I though it was a mistake to self-publish. I now believe my Lord lead me in that decision, so Amazon Prime Members can now borrow and read my books at no cost (not possible if I had a traditional publisher), and anyone can get them for only $3.00 as an eBook.
Fifteen years after writing The Master Plot of the Bible, I read it myself, and realized it is a good book to help prevent church dropouts by getting churches to give it as BAPTISM PRESENTS and/or high school BIBLE DYNAMICS PRESENTS (or whatever you want to call them).
This book is not an end-all for Bible illiteracy. But it is a very good starter. Four paragraphs from its first chapter explain its title, and how it will attack the biblical 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.
I selected that title, because the Bible reveals God's plot -- ”His intelligently planned course of action to accomplish His purpose,” and how He has fulfilled it for our benefit.
To help readers understand the Bible, this book uses selected passages from 74 chapters in 19 Old Testament books and 79 chapters from 20 New Testament books. All told, over 1,000 verses are included in the book in bold print (including all of Isaiah chapter 53 from the Jewish Publication Society translation, The Holy Scriptures). They are included them because most readers will not look them up in their Bibles, and I want the readers of this book to read the Word of God. The selected passages from those 39 book will help readers understand the Bible's plot, and provide its readers with context for understanding all of the Bible's books.
Click here to read a summary of each chapter. They will give you a quick overview of the book in ten to twelve minutes. After reading the summaries, a good plan of action is to purchase some paperbacks, pass them around in your church to get several trusted believers to read them, and give you feedback about giving it as baptism presents.
After examining the paperback, Amazon prime members can borrow and read it. Even some Prime Members will want to keep the paperback. Your cost is $7.00 a book with a six book minimum. Click for info. The cover price is $ 11.95, and the resale price is up to you. You should loan each copy a few times before selling it. I am confident the feed-back will lead to your church giving the $3.00 eBook as baptism presents. This book WILL help MAKE DISCIPLES.
It will only cost $3 per new believer to have Amazon send The Master Plot of the Bible as Baptism Presents
Like a new-born baby needing milk from it's mother, the first month after they are baptized, new believers need food from the Bible for vital spiritual growth. There may never be another time in many of their lives when they will have as much hunger for truth from the Bible. This book will jump-start their knowledge of the Bible's content, lay a foundation, and give them a desire to learn more.
None of your high school graduates should go to a secular college without having it in their digital bookshelf. As stewards of the resources God gives to your church, giving BAPTISM PRESENTS and/or high school BIBLE DYNAMICS PRESENTS should be a Great Commission priority.
Paper copies are still available -- click here for info. But I encourage churches to give the eBook that can be read using a PC, tablet, or phone, and be handy for future review. Young people read using their tablets and phones, it is digitally small, and can be kept in Kindle libraries for the rest of their lives.
An alternate plan is to give it to all of your high school students now as BIBLE DYNAMICS PRESENTS (or whatever you want to call them), and for each additional student when they enter your high school fellowship. The cost will be about the same as for one pizza party. If this plan is followed, you should still give it as baptism presents to people who trust in Jesus later in their lives. It's a must read for new adult believers.
Then follow-up the gifts with e-mails (a few in the first months, then at least one annually), to remind them the gift eBook is in their Kindle library, and to encourage them to read it or review it. It's easy to do using the internet.
Some prosperity pushers have abused it for personal gain, but “give and it will be given to you” is true (Luke 6:38). The $3.00 for each gift eBook is a small investment in a young life. But some may bring significant returns, both spiritually for the new believers and financially for churches.
Making disciples is the assignment Jesus gave to your church in the Great Commission. It starts with “Baptizing them,” and the imperative in the Great Commission process continues by ”teaching them.”
Good teachers give homework assignments
When I asked a school teacher (a life-long church attender) if she ever gave her students a homework reading assignment, she answered, “YES.” When I asked her if she had ever had a preacher give her a homework reading assignment, she responded, “NO.”
Giving all of your members and attenders a homework reading assignment is a good way to help make disciples. Amazon Prime Members can borrow and read The Master Plot of the Bible at no cost, and anyone can get it as an eBook for less than the cost of one BigMac. Some people prefer paperbacks, so you many want to purchase some and offer them at your $7 a book cost.
A pastor can preach on the texts in each chapter in a series of messages. But I recommend that it be used as a supplemental homework reading assignment. On average, American church attenders are in our pews half as often as they were twenty years ago. So getting them to read the complete book as homework is a good way to teach them. I believe biblical knowledge will encourage regular attendance.
This book uses over 1,000 verses (some are a complete chapter, and some are repeats) from 39 books to help believers understand the context for the other books in the Bible. (All are in bold print, so readers will know when they are reading verses from the Bible). Reading this book will also enrich many sermons, because understanding the Biblical context for a message will improve and reinforce the listener's comprehension.
One way to motivate all of your members (and church attenders) to read The Master Plot of the Bible, is to ask them to read it and to give feedback about your church giving it as Baptism and Graduation Presents. You can use the one page printable flier at www.gospelgiftbooks.com/evaluate to encourage them. Hint: When people are involved in a decision, they are more likely to help support it financially. But even more important: If you get some feedback, testimonies might encourage others to also read it.
When soubters read this book, they will read over 1,000 verses from the Word of God. In Isaiah 55:11, God promised, “It shall not return unto me void.” So don't be surprised if getting church attenders to read this book leads to more baptisms.
To help your church's leaders evaluate these discipleship strategies, I encourage your church to purchase some paperbacks of The Master Plot of the Bible, and two of As You are Going... Make Disciples (only $7 a book in this link). Then get some discerning believers to read them and give your leaders their evaluation. Loan each book a few times, and some readers will want to buy and keep them. But you might want to keep one of each title for your church's library.
Follow this evaluation plan, and I'm confident that your church will give BAPTISM PRESENTS, or high school BIBLE DYNAMICS PRESENTS to help prevent church dropouts. And I would not be surprised if you pastor gives The Master Pot of the Bible as a homework reading assignment. I don't need a report. I will find out what happened in heaven
Biblical illiteracy is la national problem, so please send a link to this web page to your friends in other churches, and ask them to share it with the leaders in their churches.
Click to borrow or purchase these eBooks from Amazon.
Click here to purchase paperbacks using PayPal.
How to be a missionary on your mission trip
Please consider a unique strategy that uses The Master Plot of the Bible as a lure, bait and a hook for Jesus. While this strategy was developed for believers going on mission trips, it can be employed by any believer for many other opportunities. Your church should make sure those going on short term missions read ”How to be a missionary on your mission trip,” so they will help fulfill the Great Commission as they are flying. It's at:
The #2 problem in America:
Most believers never witness!
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 shepherds do not give birth to lambs. It's the sheep in the flock that have lambs.
One of the reasons for the growing number of Americans answering NONE when asked about their religion, is that many members of the flock don't ever witness. Some assume it is the responsibility of preachers to give birth to new believers. But Jesus did not give us a “come and listen” strategy. The Great Commission is for all believers to “go and tell” – whenever and wherever they are going
Using stories from my thirty years of sharing the gospel person to person, I wrote a second book to teach and motivate personal evangelism. This book is titled:
As You Are Going... Make Disciples
That title is a concise literal translation of the Great Commission. (The Greek word for go is a participle). This book uses entertaining stories to teach and encourage personal evangelism. The Great Commission is not a “get people to come and listen” strategy. It is an “as you are going, whenever and wherever your are going strategy.” It was given to everyone in the flock.
While some people prefer paperbacks, the eBook version of this book 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 have many of them memorized (from reading or hearing them), but can't remember where they are located in the Bible. Reading this book, and doing the memory work, will help prepare them to be more effective as personal witnesses for Jesus Christ.
While it is an entertaining book to read, it teaches, and it motivates. Please click and read the endorsements for As You Are Going... Make Disciples by Dr. D. James Kennedy, Dr. Charles Stanley, Dr. Earl Radmacher, Oregon's Senator Mark Hatfield, and Young Life area director, John Wayland.
An updated sample of how I personally present the gospel is at www.datewithgod.com. It adds one diagram to the explanation in As You Are Going... Make Disciples. Anyone can use parts or all of this presentation, and the web page, in any way (without any attribution). After sharing it (with the diagrams), I have had many people respond, “This is the first time anyone has explained it to me.” (Read the web page, and you will understand).
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. Both books should be in your church's library.
Amazon Prime Members can borrow them
Note: I do NOT have an organization anyone can join, and do NOT seek donations. Ministry expenses are covered by Amazon royalties, and the sale of paperback editions. Both books can be purchased as paperbacks for $7.00 a book using PayPal. The paper books have cover prices of $11.95, and $10.95. There is a five book minimum to cover the free shipping. But at only $7.00, they are easy to resell, and make good gifts. CLICK HERE for more purchase info.
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 students 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.
The first chapter has a clear explanation of the Gospel (like the one in the web page, datewithgod.com). 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. After reading this book, many skeptics will respond to God's offer to give them eternal life.
For only $3.00, Amazon will send it 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 of dropping out. 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 Amazon's free trials .
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 tell them about it.
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
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 messages in the web page links on the cards. They 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 can purchase cards for less than $.02 a card, and your church's name and web address can be included on cards. Last time I checked with gotprint.com (2/03/18), you could purchase 5,000 card for $82 including s&h -- if you send it to them printer ready, and the front sides are ready now. The focus of these cards is on the Gospel and compelling Christian evidences. Not on promoting a preacher, a church, or an organization. But you can have church info on the back sides.
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, and it will take less than ten seconds to give someone a card.
The leaders in churches should encourage them to take a few seconds here or there, and give 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
Permission is given to copy the short messages on the front of the cards, and to put them (with their links) in followup e-mails to visitors at your church
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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 live my 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. `
Note: If you go to Amazon.com and enter Bob Prall, you will see two fifty-four year old pictures of me when I was a skinny golfer. Apparently Vintage Photos purchased them from an Oregon newspaper.
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). 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.
3. 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 his Campus Crusade for Christ (now CRU). It was then a young ministry in about twenty states, but had a strategy to reach the world. After I was trained and had some experience, they gave me five recent college graduates who were first or second year staff members to help, and had me lead the launch its ministry in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Three of the five were single girls, and I married to one of them. Forty-six later, my wife went to be with our Savior
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 a college age Sunday school class. 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.
When it had grown to an attendance of about 500 (mostly unemployed tuition paying college students), I was still the sole staff member. I was starting to burn out, so I resigned. The Elders asked me stay on as the interim pastor, and I ministered until a replacement was called, and the church never missed a heartbeat.
For many years, I stayed in College Station and continued to minister from the context of the business world, and 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. You can help make it happen encouraging others to visit this web page page at www dot GospelGiftBooks dot com.
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
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. An updated version since this was recorded (that adds a diagram) is in www.datewithgod.com. 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 albums 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 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."
Some believers want to avoid that issue, because it offends many unbelievers. But I believe 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,Christian faith is an empty shell.
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 church 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 in Amazon's free trial).
That chapter is part of a message I enjoy sharing. It is nostalgic for seniors, and motivational for younger generations. I now 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, and 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