And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:18-20
At the end of the Gospel of Matthew it is recorded that Jesus sent his followers into the world to make disciples, to baptize and to teach. As his disciples, we continue the mission to share the gift of the Good News, which announces the love, grace and mercy of God in Christ.
The Life and Mission Agency of The Presbyterian Church in Canada understands disciples to be followers of Jesus in words and deeds. Referencing the World Council of Churches document Together towards Life , evangelism is considered to be the responsibility of “all Christians, churches and congregations,” as we are all “called to be vibrant messengers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the good news of salvation” and that “evangelism is sharing one’s faith and conviction with other people, inviting them to discipleship whether or not they adhere to other religious traditions. Such sharing is to take place with both confidence and humility, and as an expression of our professed love for our world.”
- Equipping For Faith Sharing: A Congregational Workshop Guide
- Resources on Growing a Hospitable Church
- Equipping for… Articles
- Visit the Evangelism Connections website for articles, program ideas and worship resources.
- Community of the PCC Brochure, add your congregation’s name, address and contact information.
- Wycliffe’s Institute of Evangelism “Good Idea”
- Unbinding the Gospel: Real Life Evangelism by Martha Grace Reese (Chalice Press 2007)
- Breaking the Huddle: How Your Community Can Grow its Witness by Donald Everts, Douglas Schaupp & Valerie Gordon (Inter Varsity Press, 2016)
- Evangelism for “Normal” People by John Bowen
- InterVarsity’s 5 Thresholds
The Presbyterian Evangelism Network is an initiative that equips leaders in The Presbyterian Church in Canada to develop community-focused approaches to evangelism.
Each year, five congregations are invited to send two ministry leaders to attend a gathering where they are equipped to lead, support and champion evangelism initiatives in their congregations. After the gathering, leaders receive monthly coaching calls and attend six online meetings with their colleagues to ensure they are moving forward with their evangelism goals.
The ministry leaders who have been part of the network to date have expressed enthusiasm for the evangelistic mission of the church. The support they’ve received through this program has inspired them to engage in faith-sharing endeavours both personally and with their congregations.
What types of evangelism initiatives are being started?
There is no one-size-fits-all form of evangelism. When Jesus told his followers to go and share the good news, he did so recognizing that they were a diverse group of people with different gifts and experiences. A culture of evangelism is nurtured through this program so people come to embrace, understand and share their faith as the people God created them to be through their own unique gifts, talents, connections and experiences.
The initiatives being undertaken are as diverse as the leaders in the network and their ministry contexts. Examples include: an outreach music program, taking plunges into community life (ex. volunteering in school programs and theatre clubs), hosting events that bless the community, participating in local festivals to show hospitality, participating in faith sharing “challenges” as a congregation.
How can I get involved in the Evangelism Network?
If you are interested in the work of the Evangelism Network or are looking for more resources to share the gospel in your context, please contact Canadian Ministries .
Helpful documents prepared by the World Council of Churches
- Together towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes
This document is the new 112-point WCC affirmation on mission and evangelism. A 30-page Practical Study Guide for individual, small group and congregational study is included along with this affirmation in a WCC paperback (with the same title) if you buy the resource from a local bookstore or online bookseller. The approximate cost is $25.00. The Practical Study Guide includes four sessions complete with Bible studies, prayers and ideas for reflection and action.
- PCC Study Guide for “Together towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes”
- The Church: Towards a Common Vision
- PCC Study Guide for “The Church: Towards a Common Vision”
- Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World