Do evangelists need training? It seems they don’t.
I know of primary school children who made very good evangelists. I have also known people who became Christians and immediately started telling others. And others who were being evangelists even as they were preparing themselves to be heaven bound in hospital!
For an evangelist, sharing the good news of Jesus is as natural as breathing. It would be wonderful if everyone could be like that! On the talking Jesus course, we seek for everyone to become natural faith sharers. But evangelists seem to go that one step further. That’s fine! It’s mentioned in the bible as a gift to the church, for its building up. (Ephesians 4.11-13)
Although evangelists don’t need training, there is something which will help them to use their gift more effectively.
And that is reflection. Even better when reflection is done with others.
How and why we reflect as evangelists
When we reflect on our actions and learn to notice where God is involved, then we grow in faith. We grow in confidence. And we are better equipped. We ‘fan into flame’ the gift that God has given (2 Timothy 1.6-7 … a little out of context but it works!). Being with others is important too. ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another’ (Proverbs 27.17).
How and where do we meet?
Ideally, we would meet in person. But whilst this is not possible, we are meeting once a month online on Zoom. We meet for around 90 minutes in the evening, to chat and pray with one another. And use a chapter from a book about evangelism to focus our conversation. Sometimes there will be a special guest to help stir our thinking.
We are from a wide range of experiences and traditions. So, it is a stimulating context.
At the moment, this group is combining with the faith-sharing firestarter group, which is also newly formed. That group includes those who don’t see themselves as evangelists, but do want to be encouraged. Since one key role of the evangelist is to encourage others to share their faith, it seems a good fit.
You can read more about the current shape of the gathering on this page about the faith-sharing firestarter group.
Who is this for?
We want to encourage people who are exploring if they are evangelists to also join us. Even if you don’t feel you are an evangelist, you can still join us! One feature of an evangelist is that they encourage others, as mentioned above. Hearing evangelists telling stories is very encouraging. So do take advantage.
We are also planning regular Talking Jesus sessions. These will be for parishes, benefices, deaneries and throughout the diocese region. We encourage those who want to explore what being an evangelist means to have done this course as soon as the next one is available. Covering the essentials every now and then is no bad thing. As we grow, how we relate to the basics changes so there is always something to rediscover in new ways.
Plans for the future of training for evangelists.
At this point it is hard to commit to anything. We imagine hopefully that we will at some point have something more structured to offer. It will be a rolling program, but still based around reflection and good practice. No exams or tests, however.
If you would like to join us, then please contact Allie White (her details are on the right hand side) for further details.