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A Sneak Peek at the Evangelism Toolkit

At our last Diocesan Convention we unanimously and enthusiastically committed ourselves to evangelism (that is, “actively inviting non-members to membership in the Body of Christ and to commit with us to work, pray and give for the spread of the Kingdom of God”). The Evangelism Commission has been working throughout the year to produce an Evangelism Toolkit for the November 6 Diocesan Convention. Here’s a quick look at it’s three parts:

First, the Commission will introduce its Evangelism Manual at the 2010 Diocesan Commission. Like the green Stewardship Manual in use in all our churches, the Evangelism Manual offers an annual program for attracting and retaining new members. The first part, developed by the Rev. Canon Charles LaFond, coaches the laity in inviting people to specially-designed Come and See Sundays. Holy Cross-Weare piloted the program to great success this Easter and Trinity-Tilton will soon engage Come and See also. The second part, a twelve-week curriculum for new members, the Koinonia Class, was developed by the Rev. Jason Wells and has been in use in Grace-East Concord this past Lent and Easter. Unlike other new member curricula, Koinonia seeks not only the commitment of theological beliefs but the commitment to belonging to Christian community and exercising the gifts of lay ministry there.

The Evangelism Manual is still under development with the oversight of the Rev. Tom Brackett from the Episcopal Church Center in New York. Tom is the missioner for Church Planting and Ministry Redevelopment for the entire Episcopal Church. He was excited to hear about our effort, unique in the Church, and has been offering his support and expertise to improve the final Manual.

Second, the Commission will sponsor annual Evangelism Institutes starting in the fall of 2011. Like the analogous Stewardship and Leadership Institutes, the Evangelism Institute will be a day-long intensive course for leaders in parishes and missions. The Institutes will focus on training and preparation using the Manual techniques. Future Institutes will keep your skills sharp, your new evangelists trained and everyone abreast of the best practices found in updated version of the Manual.

Third, is the Evangelism Toolkit website. The site is available now, although sparsely populated, at http://evangelism.nhepiscopal.org. The website is primarily a web log (blog) run by the Evangelism Commission. The blog articles will point you to the best online articles on evangelism, on understanding generation gaps, on making the best use of communication tools and on other relevant subjects.

The website has two important buttons: Download and Suggest. The Download button offers the full Evangelism Manual for your reading, sharing and commenting. The Suggest button allows you to recommend a website for feature on the Evangelism Toolkit. Did you run a successful program that brought in new members? Have you found a site with graphics, fonts, and tools for improving church bulletins? Maybe you read a great article about communication with Generation Y? Click “Suggest” and tell us about the link and we will share it online with the entire diocese!

So that’s what you can expect to see coming this Fall! Be sure to watch for future updates as Convention draws near and help support this exciting work for our Church.

 

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