Ministry leaders and evangelism coaches at the 2019 fall gathering of the Evangelism Network
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.”
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 .