I and one of my co-teachers just finished the The Evangelism Dunamis track in Mt. Vernon Washington, about 2 hours north of Seattle.
One of the joys I get in my travels as an evangelism trainer is meeting new people all over the country.
Pastors from various denominations and gifted lay ministers.
At this conference, new initial groundwork was laid to start a new track of the Dunamis project sometime next year in multiple places in Washington state as well as perhaps just over the border from southern Western Canada.
Tierra Nueva Ministries
Bob (right) had returned from the southern tip of Argentina the night before, as he is an international speaker and trainer.
Tierra Nueva (New Earth) is an ecumenical ministry located in Burlington, Washington, that seeks to share the Good News of God’s liberation in Jesus Christ with migrant farm workers, new immigrants, and permanent Hispanic residents in Western Washington.
Tierra Nueva is caught up in a vision of a shepherding ministry that seeks after lost sheep until they are found (Luke 15:4). They have consciously structured our ministries to:
• seek after lost sheep until they are found–through Skagit County Jail Ministry, migrant chaplaincy, and Tierra Nueva Honduras.
• care for, defend, and protect–through the Family Support Center.
• gather, feed and heal–through our English and Spanish faith communities, bilingual jail services and healing services.
• equip and send out–through the People’s Seminary events and courses.
Mike told me of one gang member he disciples who is smoking a joint while studying the Bible. He told me of a sex offender he meets with. He told me of former meth addicts who are now working for the ministry trying to get their life reoriented around following Christ.
This kind of Christianity on the edges is messy as God works transformation in real life. People on the margins. This takes a special calling and is the prime opportunity for evangelism as broken people seek to find their purpose in life.
Bob has written two books that are now on my reading list of books to get
- Reading the Bible with the Damned
- A New Christian Manifesto: Pledging Allegiance to the Kingdom of God
Presbytery of North Puget Sound
The executive of the Presbytery of North Puget Sound, Corey Schlosser Hall (right), organized a lunch for us.
Some Cambodian church planters (left) joined us at lunch. It seemed to be a divine appointment for Bob Ekblad (tallest one in the back) to meet these church planters at lunch. I had time to visit and talk with these men about their work among Cambodian immigrants they work with.
Leadership Coaching visit with a small rural church
That evening, I had the joy of visiting with Pastor Tom Ross of Deming Presbyterian Church and Mount Baker Presbyterian Church. He and 3 elders for some evangelism coaching — talking about the burning questions on their mind.
These were small rural churches in the hills of Northwest Washington, with about 15-25 in worship. A 3rd elder was from a church of about 600, tucked in the back of a subdivision, away from the main traffic flow.
Two questions were on the minds of those gathered:
- How can we increase awareness in the neighborhood.
- How can we talk with individuals who are comfortable with their non-Christian spirituality.
We spent about 90 minutes brainstorming. They reported to me what a blessing it was to have me lead that session and they felt energized with a new list of ideas (see Church Leadership Coaching Session).
One elder wrote (edited for spelling and clairty):
Thank you for the wonderful evening when Chris
Walker visited. I found his style very natural
for our little church. We needed his calmness and
small town way about him. I know that what he does is
truly from the heart. He allowed us to express
ourselves and our needs.
He responded to our questions and gave us his
undivided attention. I
believe we found in his answers some answers that were
right in front of us.
Evangelism Training 101
It began on Thursday morning and ended in celebration on Saturday afternoon where people offer their stories of what God was doing in their life during the event. Several people from lots of different Christian traditions attended.
Much of the content for The Evangelism Dunamis is found in various pieces here on Evangelism Coach, and it is always fun to present the material live.
This time, my co-presenter was Susan Finck Lockhart (See Guest Article: Sharing your faith in the ordinary course of life), who is part time pastor of El Calvario Presbyterian Church in Waco Texas.
We focused on some theology, including the wonder of grace, but much of the teaching time was also given over to lots of practical work, praying and sharing in small groups:
- Sharpening the focus of your testimony
- Using a Gospel Scripts.
- How To Practice A Gospel Presentation
- Praying for those who don’t know Christ.
- Listening for God’s call to a particular region or people group.
- Sharing in small groups about your faith journey.
- Learning how to recognize Kairos moments.
Conference Follow up.
I will also post over the next few days, the actual slides that we used for the event since I wasn’t able to get them printed as handouts.
Did you attend the conference? I’d love for you to put your words of encouragement in the comment form, or email me privately if you wish.