‘Leading in Evangelism’ contains free on-demand content designed to support leaders to develop a culture and plan for evangelism that suits their context .
The resource comprises a series of one hour video-supported sessions, created to stimulate conversation, planning and action within churches, which can be explored at their own pace.
It is hoped the content will help churches increase their confidence in evangelism, creating a culture where those in the church are more inclined to share their faith with others.
The series has been developed in partnership with several Anglican networks and features a range of voices from across the different traditions within the Church of England and was part funded by Benefact Trust.
More sessions will be added to the series in the coming months.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: "Leading in Evangelism is for small groups with a gift for evangelism, no matter how fledgling, to discern how they might do more of it – in their setting, in their way. The local church is God's primary tool for the transformation of society. Evangelism is best done by those familiar with their local context. I long for every church to engage in it – not to grow our numbers, but so that people come to know the love of God in the uncertainty, unpredictability, uncontrollability of the world.
"The gift of evangelism to a local church is that it takes you out of yourself, and you find yourself walking hand in hand with God in the local community. Doing the things that the Spirit of God wants us as Christians to do. And one of the side effects of that is on the whole, not invariably, but on the whole, people become Christians. The church grows and your own faith is deepened because you see this extraordinary impact of people coming to faith in Christ. And when you see needs you think, "Oh, we can help people with that." And the church finds life welling up within it."
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said: "If somebody comes up to you and they've got a great plan for how you evangelise in the Church of England, I would give them a wide berth. There is no formula. If there was, we would've discovered it by now and we would be applying it, but there isn't. That's because it's the work of God. And that's because it must be different in every context. It begins with prayer and the renewal of our own lives and the overflowing of that good news but it proceeds through service in our local communities. And you are the expert on your local community. You know what are the needs and issues and questions that people are facing in your community.
"Resources like this are just one small part of what evangelism and ministry is really all about and my hope is that it can just play its part in encouraging you, resourcing you, cajoling you, giving you perhaps a little gentle kick, a little way of helping you become the church we are meant to be."
Chloe Ewen, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “We’re delighted to support the launch of the Church of England’s new online resource, which will help church leaders to create an improved faith-sharing culture. The series of videos gives churches the flexibility to access the resource at any time, and run sessions in any number of ways. We’re excited to see how the resource develops in the coming months and how it supports churches across the country.”
A first glance of the resource, was made available at an online event attended by over 500 people on July 5th.
- The resource can be accessed here
- Participants will need to sign up to access the material.
- Networks involved include CPAS, LYCIG (Leading Your Church into Growth), AMEN and several Diocesan partners.