Regi Campbell’s About My Father’s Business was the final book used in the 10-month NextGen Mentoring program I just completed with six men. I have to be honest. I was not excited about reading yet another book on evangelism that would make me feel guilty for not morphing into the next Billy Graham at our last family reunion. We’ve all read the books that tell us how easy it is to memorize a canned presentation of the gospel that we can foist on unsuspecting victims the next time we stuck on an airport runway.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Campbell’s book was not like those other books. While he does introduce a ‘system’ it is not about a presentation. Let me explain.
The essence of Regi Campbell’s book About My Father’s Business is that we should each become more intentional about who we invest in spiritually and what our intentions with them are. He bases the “who” and the “how” on an Intentionality Map or IMAP that he challenges his readers to develop.
An IMAP consists of all those people in you sphere of influence – family, co-worker, friends, neighbors, etc. – and groups those people into five categories:
Beginning to Search
Confessing Christian (but that fact is unknown to others)
The goal is to quickly place each name on your list into one of these five categories so that you can begin to intentionally develop relationships with people in each category in order to help them move from one category to the next.
“When it’s all said and done, this is what evangelism and discipleship are about. Daily, relational, intentional, God-led loving on the people in our lives for the purpose of helping them move one step closer to the Savior. It’s so simple, yet so true. We ask God for our daily assignment. He gives it to us, and we obey. And guess what? You can still get your work done, you can still excel at your job, and you can still be who you are, doing what you do every day. Only now, you are about your Father’s business as you do your own business.” (p. 78)
The reader is challenged to pursue an incarnational ministry with each person by responding to their unique needs in ways that will be beneficial to them in their spiritual development. Campbell provides adequate guidance for the different ways that people in each group respond to spiritual conversation and activity, so the book combines the theoretical and the intensely practical in one easy to read volume.
Campbell writes: “We were instructed to be witnesses – that is, people who experienced something ourselves and then reported it. Over the years, well-meaning active Christians turned that into “witnessing,” a verb, something we were supposed to do.” (p. 106)
Campbell’s challenge to us: “When the time is right, tell your story.”
If you’re a second chair leader you might consider introducing this book to your first chair leader and staff. You could use this as small group material (with the built in study guide) or as the basis for your next opportunity to preach. At the very least, get your hands on a copy of this book and read it!