Amazing talk from Evangelist Steve Chong
Here is our regular Archbishops’ College of Evangelists bulletin which contains:
· A focus on online evangelism
· An invitation to contribute to developing mentoring resources for using with emerging evangelists
· An update on future meetings
And if this is the first bulletin you have received because you have recently become a member of the College – congratulations and welcome! Our membership continues to grow – please do keep recommending people you know.
In the midst of these challenging times of restriction I have been meditating on the experience of Paul in prison. Even though he did not have all the access to connect with people online he wrote to Timothy from prison;
“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David, as proclaimed by my gospel, for which I suffer to the extent of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained! For this reason I endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” 2 Timothy 2:8-10
The Gospel is not chained by our current situation and particularly because of the opportunities that the internet gives us. Michael Turton, who manages the website, has created a specific page for you to post your best online resources for web-based evangelism. It would be great to have advice from those of you who have experience of using different platforms for those of us who are less experienced. Moses describes God acting like an eagle stirring up its nest to get its young to leave and fly and I believe that God is doing something the church to propel us outwards into the online world to discover its potential and opportunity. The church will be forever changed by this experience and I want the college to be at the front of discerning the opportunities for evangelism online. One of the challenges of being a dispersed community is enable us to to share and connect. Please take some time either to contribute to this page or to respond to other’s contributions;
To get us started here are a couple of links to some recently produced resources:
· Phil Knox from the Evangelical Alliance has produced this high quality spoken word piece filmed on the slopes of Golgotha to communicate all that Jesus achieved through his cross and resurrection – great for sharing and using in online acts of worship over the Easter weekend. It is called The Comeback (if the video does not play in the large video format you can download versions using the link at the bottom of the page);https://www.eauk.org/resources/what-we-offer/videos-and-podcasts/the-comeback
· As an example of responding directly to the questions thrown up by our current situation Robin Gamble speaks about ‘Jesus has Coronavirus’; https://youtu.be/FpJZrubVe-E
· A social media page called “Easter Changed My Life” which invites people to tell their testimony in a short film and to share it with friends as well as posting on the site;https://www.facebook.com/easterchangedmylife
And if you have received this email and have not yet registered on the website please do at: https://archbishops-evangelists.uk
We had hoped to have some confirmed dates for events and another College gathering in the Autumn but it is obviously not possible or wise to commit to these at this time. But I am keen to use the time to develop a new resource from the College. As we encourage college members to mentor emerging evangelists I would like to produce a guide to doing this healthily and effectively. So I would like to have a couple of 3 hour online working group meeting to discuss this and for participants to go away and work on material in between these dates. So I am asking for up to 10 of us to work together on this over the next few months with the aim of producing a guide the can be published in the Autumn. The dates for these online meetings will be:
Tuesday 5th May 9.30am-12.30pm & Tuesday 16th June 9.30am-12.30pm
If you would like to be involved in this please email Mandy Forrest at:firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks for our partnership in the Gospel
Training and Development Enabler
The Archbishops’ College of Evangelists
Dear College Members
I hope you are encouraged and taking opportunities to share the Gospel. I was completely fired up, equipped and recommissioned by the Evangelists Conference organised by J John (Vice President of the College) in January. It was full of laughter and so liberating to be with a group of people who didn’t have to be persuaded that we are called to proclaim the Gospel. I would encourage everyone to attend in 2021 on the 12-14 January – here is the link; https://evangelistsconference.com/
We are evolving what it means to be part of the college and in March I will share some opportunities for us to gather together for training and encouragement and other dates to be involved in ministry together. And in discussion with J John he has agreed to host a training day for the College in the Autumn in which he will give input on key areas of skill and lessons learned from his experience as an evangelist. Please make sure you are registered on the college website so that we can begin to build our community through this site: https://archbishops-evangelists.uk/
One area that I am keen to build is a way of connecting our membership of the College in prayer. I have been praying regularly at 10.02am every day for the college and for God to raise up more evangelists. Why 10.02am? Because that is the Biblical reference in Luke’s Gospel where Jesus says; “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” This is Jesus response to the potential harvest and yet the lack of people out in the mission field – it starts in prayer. So please join me in praying daily. I set an alarm and wherever I am I turn my heart to God and cry out for a move of his spirit and a release of evangelism in our nation.
This month’s spotlight on resources come from Phil Knox and Dave Sharples.
Most people find faith because they know another Christian, see the difference Jesus makes, and hear their story. Yet most of us are reluctant faith sharers. This book inspires every Christian to see themselves as a story bearer. Four distinct stories collide in great evangelism: God’s story, our story, the story of our friends and the story of our culture. The book expounds them all, encouraging us to learn and tell well the first two and listen and react well to the others. Phil punctuates his book with engaging accounts of success and failure. Story bearing has the potential to change the world of those around you and this book releases faith for this and equips us to do it.
4 Points Gospel Tracts
For many years the 4 Points logo has been used in countries all over the world, to communicate the gospel in a simple and memorable way. If you’re not familiar with the four images and how they communicate the Gospel then have a look at www.the4points.com. At the launch of Advance2020 they felt God challenge them to step out in faith to try and reach more people. Their vision now for 2020 is to reach one million people with the Gospel, which would be twice as many as 2019. To do this, they are looking for 500 church partners that will commit to distributing a box of 2000 personalised tracts over a twelve month period through outreach events, services and personal witness by members of their congregation. You can sign up your church by simply ordering a box of personalised tracts via, either at a cost of £120 or free of charge.
With thanks for our partnership in the Gospel
Training & Development Enabler
Archbishop’s College of Evangelists
Mission Styles: Fusion
Fusion is a mission agency committed to sharing the Gospel with students and is led by Luke Smith one of our College members. It helps you to understand how people have different ways of approaching exploring issues of faith and how Christians have natural ‘styles’ that connect with this – are you a “Convince Me, Show Me, Talk With Me, or Let Me Experience” kind of person. You kind find these resources and an online test to think about this at https://missionstyles.org/. And while you’re there why not check out Fusion’s Discipleship Deck which is a pack of ‘playing cards’ with great discipleship questions on them.
Creating a Culture of Invitation in Your Church: Michael Harvey
We like to think of our churches as welcoming. Michael Harvey, “How welcoming can we be if we don’t take our welcome outside with the gift of an invitation?” God sent his son to invite us all into a relationship, and so to be like God is to be a person who invites. During the decade that he has been developing Back to Church Sunday, Michael has conducted an extensive study on the seemingly simple subject of “invitation”. Over 650 times in 12 countries he has asked: “Why don’t we invite our friends to take a closer look at Christ?”
Exploring the subjects of rejection and acceptance he examines where we have gone wrong. Reviewing best practice ideas gleaned from trying to establish a culture of invitation he considers what we might do to address the situation and put it right.
Dear College members
I hope you are well and have enjoyed preaching the good news of Jesus at this Christmas time.
This is the first of our monthly bulletins to keep you up to date with the progress of the College and to connect you with different evangelistic ministries within the College.
We continue to recruit new members in order to build the College membership. We have recently sent out over 50 invitations to encourage people to apply – thank you if you have suggested someone already. Please send any other suggestions to Mandy Forrest at email@example.com – ideally within the first few weeks of January as we hope to conclude this initial stage of recruiting to the college with interviews in February. And please set up your member photo and login for the website at https://archbishops-evangelists.uk/ as we want the website to begin to develop some interaction between members and by doing this you will be able to see who else is part of the College.
A number of people have asked if they have permission to present themselves as college members. Yes, one aspect of College membership is for it to open up opportunities and build confidence that your evangelistic gifting has been recognised. So describing yourself as “A member of the Archbishops College of Evangelists” or “Archbishops’ Evangelist” or “Church of England Evangelist” would all be fine. It is important that as we represent the College and Archbishops’ that we recognise the responsibility of this. We are working on something that we can send you in the New Year to recognise your membership of the College.
One of the visions of the College is that we will see over 1000 emerging evangelists connected with college members for encouragement and mentoring. If you would like to begin to gather people feel free to do this. In the future we may develop structural ways to express this but we are keen for you to do this in the way that fits with your ministry and context. If you do this in a way that has a public profile please think about how to connect with your Diocesan structures appropriately. In Leicester we will be running a six week School of Evangelism starting at the end of January and then forming an Advance Mentoring Group to gather evangelists. Advance 2020 have produced a great mentoring resource which you can find on their website;https://advance2020.org/resources/.
Below are a couple of resources that have been developed by College members; Michael Harvey developed the Back to Church Sunday initiative and out of this he has written a new book “How to Create A Culture of Invitation in Your Church”. Luke Smith is leader of the Fusion team which works in student mission. Fusion have a way of understanding how people naturally engage in mission and how this connects with the ways people address issues of faith, called “Mission Styles”. These are detailed below. If you have any resources that you would like to be highlighted in these bulletins please send them to Mandy.
With thanks for our partnership in the Gospel
Training and Development Enabler
The Archbishops’ College of Evangelists
A new approach to evangelists is needed according to a book edited by the Bishop of Leicester, lead Bishop for the Church of England’s lay ministry and Chair of the Archbishops’ College of Evangelists.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have both supported the book in which 13 authors each contribute a chapter, setting out the need for evangelists to be identified, trained and supported in their various churchmanship traditions from Anglo Catholic to evangelical.
In the book entitled ANGLICAN EVANGELISTS Identifying and Training a New Generation, the Bishop of Leicester Martyn Snow is calling for evangelists in every Anglican tradition to be better trained but also for them to train other evangelists as well.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “One of the delights of this book is that it takes the work of the evangelist from one niche area of ministry and places it in every area of ministry. Evangelism is our operating system. What a gift Bishop Martyn and the contributors have given to us and to this country if we can but grasp this.”
Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu said: “I’ve got a particular motto: ‘evangelise or fossilise’. Without evangelists a church could easily become a fossil so any book that’s written to help rekindle the fire of God’s love in the hearts of people and for them to hear the calling and the blessing as evangelists is important.”
The book’s publication follows the February 2019 General Synod motion on evangelism and discipleship in which its ambitious plans on establishing 1,000 new evangelists were set out.Bishop Martyn hopes readers will be motivated and resourced to identify evangelists within their own local church and to prioritise the training of those evangelists, as well as to honour and affirm their work.
“I hope that readers will see what the authors in this book are highlighting as relevant to their own church tradition and impacting everyone,” said Bishop Martyn.
“I hope they will be encouraged to identify new evangelists in their own church and to prioritise the training of those evangelists, and through them, grow the confidence of the whole church in witnessing to Christ.
“This is about increasing the confidence of churches and individual Christians in having everyday faith conversations; enabling people to talk to their neighbour, their work colleague, whoever they meet, and simply share something of what their faith means to them and the work that Jesus Christ has done in their life. My prayer is that every baptised Christian will grow in their confidence to have everyday faith conversations,” said Bishop Martyn.
For 20 years, the Archbishops’ College of Evangelists has affirmed and supported Anglican evangelists. This book, ahead of the College’s re-launch in autumn 2019, highlights the College’s new, clear focus on identifying and training new evangelists.
Publishers SPCK say that the book marks a significant transition. The 13 authors work in a range of contexts and come from different traditions within the church and their focus in this book is less on the nature of evangelism and more on the calling and gifting of the evangelist. In different ways they reflect on the questions: what is an evangelist? How should the church identify and affirm evangelists? How do we train evangelists? How do we enable evangelists to equip all God’s people to witness to the kingdom of God?
The 13 contributors are all practitioners, and this is reflected in their range of experience and writing styles. Some take a deeply biblical and theological approach. Others reflect on their personal journey and learning. Others offer practical insights and a helpful reframing of the initial questions. All of them are fervent in their plea to the church to recognise the unique calling and gifting of the evangelist and reflect on how this gift is received and passed on within the church.
You can watch a video with some of the book’s authors by clicking here longer videos on the links below:
Archbishops’ College of Evangelists relaunched for a new century
Twenty years after it was first formed, the Archbishops’ College of Evangelists has been relaunched to support Church of England’s ambition of training 1,000 new evangelists to share the good news of Jesus Christ across all its traditions.
Formed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 1999 to recognize and affirm evangelists, the College comprises members (both clergy and non-ordained) who are dedicated to help the Church regain confidence in sharing the Gospel, in practical and fruitful ways.
They signed up to the College’s new priorities and were commissioned in a service in the Chapel at Lambeth Palace at a re-launch event yesterday (23 October 2019). The event also featured a video message to new College members from the Archbishop of Canterbury, which included:
“What you are doing is hugely important for two reasons; your commissioning as evangelists yours is one of the key ministries that is listed in Ephesians, and because there are not enough labourers in the harvest field, and we are called to pray for labourers.
“What I hope and pray for you, and am grateful to you for, is that you not only do the work of an evangelist but you liberate other evangelists, lay and ordained.
“I am very grateful to Bishop Martyn for taking this on. I have no illusions about the size of the mountains we have to climb. I thank you and pray for you and bless you.”
Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, Chairs the College and said:
“I am convinced that God has a clear and ongoing purpose for the College and that we are part of a wider awakening of evangelism that the Holy Spirit is inspiring across all traditions of the Church at this time.
“Evangelists have a key role in equipping the whole church to witness to the love of God. And the opportunity to proclaim the good news of Christ is also great in a society where many have not consciously rejected it, and where there is significant openness to spiritual things.
“The College will work to support the wider Church of England in its recent commitment to identify and train 1,000 evangelists in local churches across the country in the coming years.”
Dave Male, Director of Evangelism Discipleship for the Church of England, said:
“The relaunch of the College is extremely welcome; it helps to join up with the Church of England’s strategy on evangelism and discipleship. It’s great we are all going to be working together to respond to what God is calling us to do.”
Evangelist J John is one of the members of the College and told his fellow College via video message:
“We certainly do need evangelists. An evangelist is a specialist in equipping the Church to evangelise and proclaiming the good news to introduce others to Jesus. There are 67m people that live in the UK and we have 1.1m members in the Church of England. In Luke 10, Jesus said the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out more labourers. That’s my prayer. The College of Evangelists is an opportunity for us to be part of a network, a fellowship where we can share together, encourage each other, inspire each other and learn from each other… and see how we can work together to equip the Church and extend the Kingdom.
The Council of the College has agreed three new priorities:
1. To do the work of an evangelist
· A key role for members of the College is to prioritise evangelistic ministry and call others to do the same.
· The College will be more active in training and equipping and will soon launch a website with resources.
2. To identify, train and support those who are called and gifted by God to be evangelists
· Members will discern vocations to be evangelists in others, train and encourage them.
· The College will run roadshows around the country in 2020 to encourage and identify new evangelists and develop local networks.
3. To train other baptised Christians in the work of witness and ‘everyday faith’ conversations
· The College will develop training resources which will train College members to equip others
Bishop Martyn said:
“Our hope is to help increase the confidence of churches and individual Christians in having everyday faith conversations; enabling people to talk to their neighbour, their work colleague, whoever they meet, and simply share something of what their faith means to them and the work that Jesus Christ has done in their life. My prayer is that every baptised Christian will grow in their confidence to have everyday faith conversations.”
Earlier this year, Bishop Martyn published a book about the need for a new approach to the role of evangelists in order to train a new generation.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have both supported the book in which 13 authors each contribute a chapter. It sets out the need for evangelists to be identified, trained and supported in every churchmanship tradition from Anglo Catholic to evangelical. You can read more about it by clicking here.