Cross Encounters is the name that evangelist Tony Miano uses for his ministry. It is also the title of his new book, which is clearly a labor of love – love for the lost, and love for the Savior.
What is the difference between a teacher and a mentor? A teacher instructs the class and offers explanations. A mentor lives by example, and invites you to imitate him. A good teacher will often be a mentor, and vice versa. Tony can fulfill both roles. I have heard him teach in evangelism conferences. But in the book Cross Encounters, Tony fulfills the role of mentor. The subtitle of the book is A Decade of Gospel Conversations. Page after page, Tony explains how and why he got into conversations, and he reports on those conversations. As readers, we are invited to get as close as we can, in the pages of print, to watching an evangelist in action. The advantage of reading these encounters, rather than just watching, is that we are able to get inside Tony's head, because he explains what he was thinking at the time.
Part of the mix in the book is a set of helpful Evangelism Tips. My favorite one is #5 – “Hello Officer”. You must remember that Tony is a former Law Enforcement Officer. He has also seen the “other side”, having been arrested while evangelizing in London, England, and in Scotland. In “Hello Officer”, he explains how one must remain polite and respectful, while maintaining a gentle and firm witness. Tony's wisdom is illustrated in quotes like this:
“It is important for Christians to keep in mind that while the Declaration of Independence promises citizens 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,' God makes no such promises to His people in His Word. Sadly, somme Christians take to the streets convinced that they must fight with people for 'their rights' instead of fighting for the souls of people through the proclamation of the gospel.”
When I first saw the reports of this book's advent, I hoped that Tony would be exercising the work of a modern day Ichabod Spencer (look him up…). I was not disappointed. If you are already involved in street evangelistic ministry, you need this book, to encourage you. If you are not yet so involved, you need this book to encourage you! Christians, you need this book.
(I will be trying to get hold of copies for our bookstore. In the meantime, use the link below)