Evangelism? Part 1/4
My hope is to spark a conversation in your Church family, especially among your leaders, about “evangelism”. I remember the very first time someone asked me about my faith. I was at Carleton University, and it was in a philosophy class. I was chatting prior to the start of class with a new friend in our tiny class of 10 students. It was Pre-Socratic Philosophy. My new friend asked me about my weekend and I mentioned Church. The others seemed to become quieter when they obviously heard me use the “C” word.
My new friend did not speak quieter, “you go to Church?”
“Yes,” I said, well aware that everyone around was now interested in our conversation.
“So, you believe in God?” He asked or accused – wasn’t sure in the moment. Remember it was a philosophy class!
I honestly can’t remember my response, but whatever I answered elicited this reply by my new friend, “You are the first Christian I have met, can we talk after class?” We did have coffee several times, we became friends, and he became a Christian. It was the most enlivening and beautiful thing to introduce someone to Jesus, and it continues to be.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’d like to talk about this beautiful privilege and responsibility called evangelism. Marc McAlister challenged us in this direction in last Thursday’s blog Look Out, Not In: https://www.fmcic.ca/look-out-not-in/. If you have been in the Church for a while you are familiar with various forms of evangelism including, outdoor preaching (or “street preaching”), door-to-door evangelism, lifestyle evangelism, artistic / art (music, drama, art), booklet (as a busboy I remember people leaving small tips and scary little Christian booklets), internet evangelism, relationship / friendship evangelism, altar calls, service evangelism, revival meetings, etc. I am not interested in dissecting these, or saying anything negative about these efforts. I happen to believe that your Church context (gifts, resources, vision, location, etc), the neighbourhood culture and needs, and then most importantly, promptings by the Holy Spirit will lead to the most appropriate form of evangelism (which may well include some of the initiatives listed above). If you have not already, then I recommend to you FMCIC’s “Culture & The Missional Church” course: https://www.fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/missional-church/
Over the next couple of weeks, I will offer you discussion points (for you, your small group and leadership teams):
- Start with a working definition of “evangelism”. By “working” I mean that you continue to develop the definition over time. Evangelism is dynamic, in that it requires a healthy understanding of the community that you are in: your Church community and your neighbourhood. Communities change, therefore, your approach to evangelism should as well. Question 1 then is “what is evangelism?” Note: you should probably discover that a good definition of evangelism includes “Gospel”, therefore you’ll need to define “Gospel”. Churches, you can not measure your evangelistic health without a working definition of evangelism.
- Does the Gospel compel you to evangelize?
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:
What’s Got You Thinking: https://vimeo.com/515891314
Look Out, Not In by Marc McAlister: https://www.fmcic.ca/look-out-not-in/?fbclid=IwAR2YZJhtlHK_Co1ImVhjLC5RuH8PHkQrWCvnFZ5o_GNAQJoloZuqC5eIaaQ
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
None at this time
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)
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)
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC
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