Evangelism? Part 2/4
If you have not already, then please, take a moment and read last week’s Cliff’s Notes: “Evangelism? Part 1”: https://www.fmcic.ca/cliffsnotes-march-2-2021/.
Below are further discussion points for you and your Church family:
- Somewhere in your 3-5 Year Ministry Plan, you should have a statement that reflects the following assumption: “Evangelism is not a ministry of the Church; rather, it should be the culture of the Church. Evangelism should be a part of Children, Youth, Young Adult, and Worship ministries, as well as all the other ministries in your Church”. Discussion question: “how do you help create a Church culture that is evangelistic?” How will you contribute?
- Evangelism is both a privilege and a moral responsibility. A friend and co-worker in a warehouse I worked at, came to know Christ. One day shortly after his new relationship with Jesus had begun, he said to me, “I told a parable to my wife last night!” He went on to explain that his wife was not sure what she thought about his conversion, and didn’t like that he was telling all their friends (he was very excited about God).
“So, I said to her, ‘what if we found a great bar, with cheap beer, great music, and no charge to get in?’ She said, ’We’d tell all our friends of course!’ Lisa, I have found something way better, so I need to tell them about it!”
For my friend Chris, telling his friends and family was both exciting, a privilege actually, and a moral responsibility (couldn’t keep the good news to himself – wouldn’t be right!). Discuss this idea (privilege and moral responsibility): do I feel driven to tell others, and do I love to tell others? How do we help our Church live this way?
- We must understand evangelism as relational. It must not be understood as a program. Imagine your neighbour showing up for a Church event only to hear or read that it is “bring a new friend to hear the Gospel Sunday”? Or see a list on the bulletin board of the number of new converts this year, with a goal for many more? What if your child who has strayed from Church was invited to their friend’s Church – you would be thrilled. What if once they arrive they find out that their friend is in a contest to bring the most people to Church, and the prize is a cruise (I happened to be in a Florida Church visiting once, and this was a contest)? What if they picked up your Church’s ministry plan and read that there is an “evangelism program which involves having your neighbour over for supper, in order for you to share the Gospel”? I realize that I am overstating my case. I also realize that not all of these are wrong. What I am trying to say, is that Jesus type of evangelism is about befriending people. He loved, was hospitable, and caring. Evangelism can not be a program, it should be all about relationship. What do you need to do or work at in order to be this kind of person? Are you compelled by the love of God to make friends, like Jesus did?
- Evangelism is a part of discipleship. When did the disciples become Christians? What are their spiritual birthdays? And when did they stop being disciples? Instead, Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, they became friends and they ended up surrendering their lives to Him. He discipled them into being the Church. For the sake of labels and where to place books in a Christian bookstore, we separated evangelism from discipleship. I don’t think that we should have done that. Discipleship is a Christian, living into their most authentic self: loving, befriending, and always pointing people to Jesus. By pointing here, I do not mean what we traditionally are accused of: “bible thumping”. I mean that Jesus is simply naturally a part of my whole world so of course He is a part of my conversation, much like I could not have a friendship with someone without them knowing about Karlene or my kids – they are essential to me. My point here is simply that evangelism is not separate from my life as a disciple. Evangelism is the front end of a discipleship relationship.
ANNUAL REPORTS (due February 26, 2021)
We kindly ask that you make completing the Annual Report a priority. We have included a guide (pdf) to help you understand and complete the Annual Report. We trust that it will be helpful to you in completing the form.
ANNUAL REPORT ONLINE FORM (English):
NEW THIS WEEK:
New from Bishop Cliff: https://vimeo.com/518725147
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
Tuesdays: Cliff’s Notes
Thursdays: Church Health Thursday article share
2nd Tuesday of each month: What’s Got You Thinking?
3rd Wednesday of each month: Get the Scoop with Lisa and Alison
4th Thursday of each month: Church Health Thursday
Wednesday, January 6: Message from Jared Siebert
Wednesday, February 2: Message from Marc McAlister message
Wednesday, March 2: Message from Bishop Cliff
Rev. Bruce Kellar and Frankford Community Church, Frankford, ON – in transition, effective June 15
ORDINATION AND COMMISSIONING SERVICES
Wilder Boutin – date and time TBA – Centre Biblique Louange a L’Eternel, Montreal, QC
Leonard Bruce – date and location TBA
Erika Mills – July 25, 2021, Time TBA – Blue Mountain Community Church, Thornbury, ON
Benjamin Platz – date and time TBA – Next Church, Kingston, ON
Douglas Smith – May 2, 2021 at 2:00 pm, Fellowship of Joy, St. Williams, ON
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES http://www.fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/
Register online through the link above (Tuition payment is not required when registering for a course. Payment is due 10 days before the course begins.)
Lay Ministers tracking for credentialed ministry and those transferring ordination credentials into the FMCIC need to take the following two courses for full credit – and if possible, the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology.
Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
Nov 5-7, 2021 – location TBA
Nov 5-7, 2021 – location TBA*
- May 7 to June 25 – hybrid online/livestream course – “John Wesley’s Theology” [THEO 0629H] at Tyndale University with instructor Rev. Dr. James Pedlar: https://www.tyndale.ca/seminary/summer/courses/theo-0629h
- through FMC-USA as a 7-week intensive online course with several start dates: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/courses/
Ministerial Candidates tracking for Commissioned or Ordained Minister are required to take the following two courses for full credit. Those who are already commissioned or ordained are required to either audit these two courses for 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) each or take the two courses and complete the assignments for 3 CEUs each.
Culture and the Missional Church:
Date and location TBA*
Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course – Start Date TBA*
(* These course locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early! )
2021 APPLICATIONS http://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP PLAN (LSP):
October 15 is the deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the summer/or fall semesters of 2021. The 2021 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above. Please use the application forms marked “rev 2021.”
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during the 2021 calendar year – apply online anytime from the link above. Special Scholarships are awarded in late November/early December each year.
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEUs) https://www.fmcic.ca/introduction-to-continuing-education/
Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report Continuing Education Units (CEUs) acquired during each year. Check the link above for information on CEUs, the report form and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.
Note: For those who attend the fall Minister’s Conferences or the spring Regional Gatherings, add 6 hours of CEU credit for each event when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
None at this time
Church Profiles available
Contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 416-240-7845 (deadline to apply in brackets)
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Dunnville FMC, Dunnville, ON [Interim Pastor-Neale Robb] (March 9)
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON (March 9)
(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Davika in the Leadership Development Office [see above] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)
Campbellford FMC, Campbellford, ON (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC
Frankford Community Church, Frankford, ON
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
New Horizons Community Church, Sarnia, ON (Rev. Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON (Rev. Alan Adams – Interim Pastor)
Warkworth FMC, Warkworth, ON
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Transition Pastor)
Camp Director – Harbour Ridge Camp
Angelic Treasures Christian Daycare Newmarket – SUPERVISOR