From the chair of the Diocesan Evangelism Committee…
I invite you not just to benefit from the resources and ideas that our Committee has gathered for the last year or so but to contribute to them. Evangelism is done most effectively by parishioners, not by the national church. Each of us has a story that explains why we are followers of Christ, and our invitation to you is to find effective ways to share the story of faith.
I look forward to seeing how we spread the Good News in the years ahead.
Father John Harwood
Late-breaking news for our committee from TEC. An excellent site proclaims the free webinars on April 12. This link describes the offerings and speakers (including Jerusalem Greer) and has a link to the registration as well. https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/events/evangelism-matters-2/
The mothership for TEC evangelism resources is: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/ministries/evangelism/ You need to spend some time on the site: The EV. For the toolkit, visit https://www.episcopalchurch.org/video/tell-me-something-good/).
In the Anglican Church, the emphasis is on “evangelism and discipleship” https://www.churchofengland.org/about/evangelism-and-discipleship.
The Diocese of Washington has some excellent, well-described resources: https://www.edow.org/congregational-vitality/hospitality-and-welcoming/online-resources They are very specific.
ON GENERAL WELCOMING AND RADICAL HOSPITALITY:
- Extremely basic how-to for creating an inviting congregation. (However, does not include any mention of social media/online practices).
- One-pager about multicultural inclusiveness in parishes.
- The necessary next steps for becoming a radically welcoming community.
Strategic planning resources (largely, good questions to ask discerning congregations):
EVANGELISM INITIATIVES FROM TEC
Here are some helpful handouts from TEC’s Evangelism Initiative:
UNITED METHODIST RESOURCES
The Methodists have the most robust mainline denominational training and resources for hospitality and welcoming.
Welcoming Ministry Online Course
Six-week online class with assignments, teacher and class discussion for $30.
Welcoming Overview includes checklists for improving church hospitality.
- Provides practical tips for follow-up with visitors.
- The article outlines the basic idea that different people visit churches for different reasons, and some suggestions for beginning to think through the challenge.
- A solid curriculum for super-basic, hands-on training for a group of ordinary parishioners. Looks dated but the content is still applicable. (From http://www.umcom.org/learn/welcoming-resources)
- Instructions and checklist/survey for guest auditors to fill out. Although if you’re interested in a guest audit, please reach out to the SFRC and they’ll get your parish set up with a guest audit and follow-up visit.
- Best part of this: “Rule of 10” which instructs parishioners to greet anyone that comes within 10 feet of them, especially people they don’t know.
The Lutheran Church (ELCA) has lots of resources aimed at congregations (e.g., inserts for bulletins). These are pretty basics, but the idea is good and adaptable.
- Senior Adult Ministry: Growing Aging Disciples
- Advancing Evangelism in Your Congregation
- Creating an Evangelism Team
- Disciples into Apostles
- Inviting Others
- Launching Evangelism in Your Congregation
The ELCA has some resources for congregational communication (https://www.elca.org/Resources/Congregational-Communications-Tools#SocialDigital), too, but I’ve found nothing specifically for enhanced digital strategies.
The United Methodist Church houses evangelism under discipleship and has numerous resources (https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/equipping-leaders/evangelism)
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Seminary-based resources. At Patricia Lyons is the dean of “Evangelism Initiatives” for VTS, but their website yields nothing, alas. I am using her new book, “The Evangelist’s Breviary,” right now, and it’s rich and provocative in ideas.
If you turn directly to Mother Google, the riches are too numerous to capture. If you search for “how to evangelize,” you get 2.7M links.
I especially liked the concreteness of:
But there are many, many others from across the denominational spectrum.
DOCUMENTS – from the ELCA home page for Evangelism
- Building a Culture of Evangelism | View Document
- Disciples to Apostles | View Document
- Evangelical Leaders | View Document
- Faith Stories – Creating Opportunities to Share Your Faith | View Document
- Finding Your Voice | View Document
- Hospitality Matters | View Document
- Welcome the Children | View Document