Paul’s letter

Everyone an Evangelist

The words ‘you are an evangelist’ might make you feel all kinds of things: excited, afraid, uncomfortable, fulfilled, inadequate – what else? “Evangelism” literally means sharing good news – the good news of our faith in Jesus Christ. We each have an experience of Jesus we can speak to others about, we each have a story to tell about the difference that God makes in our lives, we each have good news to share.

When people are asked what their biggest barrier to engaging in evangelism is, it’s usually one of the following:

Evangelism can be scary, and we can feel that we’re not confident enough or skilled enough, or that other people will be better at it than us, so we should leave it to them. But telling the story, sharing the good news of Jesus – that God is with us and loves us no matter what – is something that we can all do. Indeed, it is something that we are all called to do. We are, each of us, commissioned as faith-sharers by Jesus.

Being sent out to share our faith might feel risky or uncomfortable, but so often in the Bible we see God calling people out of their comfort zones. For Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, Mary, the twelve disciples, and so many others, saying ‘yes’ to God’s call required a bold stepping out into adventure, into the unknown. These people were sometimes afraid and uncertain and exhausted, just as we are. But just like them we are promised that we will not be left on our own when we follow.

As God tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Our boldness comes from this knowledge – that God is with us and that, with God, all things are possible.

You might think God has not called you in this way. You might think you don’t have time, or energy, or enthusiasm enough for this. You might think you are not equipped for evangelism or that it’s not your thing. But all of us are called to participate in the life-changing work of God, and we are promised that when we do so, we will find that God goes with us and before us as we follow that call. And if not now, when?

Everyone an Evangelist is a course to help encourage us as individuals and churches in authentic, confident faith-sharing. Whether you are wondering whether evangelism is actually good news, are excited to explore what faith -sharing looks like or feel a bit anxious about the phrase ‘Everyone an Evangelist’ – this course is for you.

As I mentioned in a letter in March, we are running Everyone an Evangelist across the Circuit this year. As part of this, there will be three Circuit-wide “Gatherings” with space between Gatherings 1 and 2, and then between Gatherings 2 and 3, for each local church to explore and respond to this course in different and bespoke ways, firstly through study and then through a practical project.

We would like as many people as possible at Martin Way to engage with Everyone an Evangelist and to attend Gathering 1 at Stoneleigh Methodist Church on Sunday 12th June at 3pm. As a minimum we need 6 people to represent us at this Gathering, but we would be delighted if we could send more!

To register an interest, simply let me know or ask someone else to let me know. I look forward to hearing from you!

With every blessing

Paul