“The winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ,” reads one dictionary definition of “Evangelism.” And according to Wikipedia, “Evangelism is the preaching of the gospel or the practice of giving information about a particular doctrine or set of beliefs to others with the intention of converting others to the Christian faith.” No wonder so many people recoil at the very mention of what some shyly call “the ‘E’ word.” Even our United Methodist Church mission statement is “Making disciples of Jesus Christ…”
Yes, our evangelism is indeed mission-focused on “winning,” reviving, “preaching,” “converting” and “making disciples.” But the task is not intended to be so transitive or imposing. “Evangelism is one beggar showing another where to find bread,” said famed theologian D.T. Niles. It is about showing the way or sharing the bread of life, if you will, but not force-feeding it to the hungry soul. To avoid the offended reaction “Evangelism” too often draws, we are now more apt to call it “Faith-sharing.” Indeed, it is literally sharing a message, not a mandate, that Christ is and has the answer one seeks.
The Eastern PA Conference teaches and encourages faith-sharing that focuses on relationships more than religion. We encourage churches to find and come alongside seekers and sojourners on their journeys of exploration, to share their pain and struggles, hear their questions, suggest some answers, and point the way that leads to hope, peace and maybe even joy.
Plan now to attend the Eastern PA Conference’s next Faith-Sharing Event on Saturday, April 25,2020. The Rev. Lisa Greenwood, of Dallas, Texas, will be our featured presenter. She is Vice-President for Leadership Ministry of TMF (the Texas Methodist Foundation), and she will explore the theme “Evangelism in a Changing Landscape.”
Plan now to attend the Eastern PA Conference’s 2020 Faith-Sharing Event, Saturday, April 25, 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, at Wesley United Methodist Church (2540 Center Street, Bethlehem PA).
Cost: $10. $50 for groups of 6 or more! Teams are encouraged to attend.
0.6 CEUs are available. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Our featured speaker:
The Rev. Lisa Greenwood
Vice-President for Leadership Ministry of TMF
(the Texas Methodist Foundation), Dallas, Texas
This one-day event will stimulate reflections on the changing landscape of our mission field—both its challenges and opportunities—and invite us into conversations about the implications for our church leaders and ministries. Congregations are encouraged to send teams to learn, strategize and prepare to grow together.
Ever feel like your church’s models of ministry just aren’t working anymore? Has your landscape changed, but your outlook and methods have not? Has your evangelism become salt that’s lost its flavor?
We are compelled to share Christ’s good news of love and grace, justice and hope. What does that call mean for us as leaders and for the churches we serve?
Lisa Greenwood works with church leaders across the UMC connection to help them understand and foster “deep change” by facilitating purposeful conversations of courage, learning, generosity and innovation. She brings wisdom and experience from serving suburban, urban and rural churches as a pastor in the North Texas Annual Conference for 20 years. She also has served on the Board of Ordained Ministry, four General Conference delegations (2004-2019), and as ministry strategist for the Horizons Stewardship Company.