“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.

Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore

More than 4,000 churches close their doors each year. “I feel judged.”  Forty percent of Americans say they attend church weekly, but the actual percentage may be half that. “I don’t want to be lectured.”From 1990 to 2000, membership in all U.S. Protestant denominations declined nearly 10 percent, by 5 million, while the U.S. population grew by 11 percent or 24 million. “Christians are a bunch of hypocrites.” Read more

Learning to Share our Faith

Nearly 200 people gathered at Bethany UMC Wescosville in Allentown for the Faith-Sharing training led by Dr. Eddie Fox, Executive Director of the World Methodist Council on Evangelism. From beginning to end participants were reminded that faith-sharing is very much a part of our Methodist DNA. Therefore, faith-sharing ought to take primary place in our personal witness and practice of faith and throughout the life of our churches and ministries. Read more

Evangelism News & Information

  • Seasons of Prayer & Praise: Winter 2017
    As challenging as 2016 has been, 2017 may prove to be even more so, as we embark on new, unpredictable four-year journeys for both our church and our nation. The... Read more
  • A whole lot of learnin’ goin’ on
    Beyond their open hearts, United Methodists strive all year long to fill their open minds with new wisdom, much of it focused on finding new ways to open their doors to new people. The Eastern PA Conference, its six districts and some of its teaching churches together sponsor learning events throughout the year, welcoming anyone to come and learn how to make disciples and help change the world. There are the perennial training events, some of them required of clergy and staff, including ones in Sexual Ethics, Changing Racism and Safe Sanctuaries.  Read more
  • Register now for Faith-Sharing Seminar, March 19
    Everything you’ve been waiting for is on the other side of “Yes”   –Romal Tune Register now to attend the Eastern PA Conference’s 4th Annual Faith-Sharing Seminar March 19, from 9... Read more
  • UMC to Host First-ever North American Evangelism Conference
    Denominational leaders, seminary faculty and local church practitioners from the United States and Canada, who either work or teach in the field of evangelism, will convene in Nashville next month... Read more