Street Fisher: A Book Review

Evangelism is a continuing education. As long as we remain teachable, we can always learn new ways to approach people and respond to certain situations. I’ve written a book on the topic, but take time to read those by other evangelists like the one by my mentor Nick Kinn. This past week, I read another book about soul-winning.

Last Monday, I went to a church service in Arcade, New York. Guest minister Kevin Riordan had a table filled with copies of his book “Street Fisher: Living on Mission for God.” At the end of the meeting, I asked Kevin if electronic versions are available to download. He offered me a complimentary printed copy. I soon learned from his book that we come from similar backgrounds. Kevin and I were 27 when we committed our lives to the Lord. Both of us received salvation in March (although his conversion happened nine years after mine). 

Many tips shared in “Street Fisher” are similar to what I teach in my evangelism seminars. Kevin includes many of his experiences. Two of which stood out to me. One was when God used a Guns N’ Roses song to minister to someone. The other was the time he witnessed to a homosexual at a gay pride parade. Instead of blasting sinners with the gospel, Kevin first looks for common ground before bringing up the need for salvation. The book also has chapters about deliverance, something not done enough in our Western churches. As Jesus said in Mark 16:17, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons...”

There were a couple of things in the book I disagree with. In the chapter “How to Not Love Your Life Even Unto Death”, Riordan wrote against a “false American gospel” and stated, “Christianity is not about living your best life now.” The latter comment was likely a response to the best-selling book by Joel Osteen. Yes, someone living for the Lord will encounter persecution and other challenges. At the same time, God desires us to prosper (3 John 2) and enjoy ourselves on earth (John 10:10) as long as He’s first place in our lives.

Riordan also criticized churches using fog machines, laser light shows, and state-of-the-art video backdrops that make some services resemble rock concerts. I agree those devices cannot take the place of God’s presence. Still, they can be tools to enhance a meeting and reach people who might not walk into a church otherwise. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

Differences aside, I believe “Street Fisher” will be helpful to experienced evangelists and those who are about to step out in obeying the Great Commission.

“...the devil is not afraid of Christians. Nor is the devil afraid of Christians who know they have authority. The devil is afraid of Christians who know they have authority and use it! You will see the sick healed and demons leave when you start praying like you believe that sickness and demons must do what you say in Jesus' name.” - Kevin Riordan


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