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Calling all Evangelists!

Calling all Evangelists!

By Tom Herrick
Diocese of the Mid-atlantic
December 3, 2015

More than 100 enthusiastic participants crowded into the Multi-Purpose Room at All Saints' Church three weeks ago for a three-hour evangelism workshop that preceded the annual diocesan synod. Responding to a wide-spread desire to learn more about effective evangelism, the Great Commission Committee gathered testimonies from five congregations in the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic who are doing a good job of it. Entitled "Five Ways to Love Your Community," the workshop featured wonderfully engaging speakers who shared how God has been leading their congregations to build bridges and share the Gospel.

There was an electricity in the air that was palpable and it was clear to all present that something special was happening. Simply put, this was no ordinary workshop. God was very present among us and moving in a powerful way. As the workshop drew to a close, the Rev. Jay Baylor, co-host of the event, was moved to ask if there were any present who would like to work with him to form a diocesan-wide Evangelism committee. One-third of those present volunteered. When was the last time you witnessed three dozen people volunteering to serve on a diocesan committee at one time? And on Evangelism, no less! These are exciting times.

Jay has been thinking and praying for some time about how to build a cohort of evangelists throughout the diocese that can be sent to church plants, missions, and congregations to help with evangelistic initiatives. He is also envisioning that this group will gather periodically for special training, equipping, and fellowship. Over time, they will become a think-tank for best practices in evangelism and pass their knowledge and experience on to others within the diocese. As his thinking has taken shape, all that was needed was a way to identify and gather those whom God was calling. The pre-Synod workshop provided the perfect opportunity. An organizational meeting has been scheduled for January 16, 2016 (1:00-3:00 p.m.) at 2302 Cheshire Lane, Alexandria, Virginia, and hosted by Meredith Brown. All who are interested in participating or just finding out more are heartily encouraged to come. Please mark the date on your calendar and begin praying about next steps in this exciting venture. Please contact Jay Baylor at jaysbaylor@gmail.com with any questions.

Many thanks to Jay for his work in organizing this exciting new team to give leadership to our evangelism efforts. A special thanks also to the others who helped make "Five Ways to Love Your Community" such a special event--our speakers: Matt Hemsley (Truro Anglican Church), Patti Brown (The LAMB Center), Meredith Brown and Elden Stoffel (The Falls Church Anglican), Joe Acanfora and Anita Aberley (Church of the Apostles Anglican), Jay Baylor and AC (Apostles in the City), and Clancy Nixon (Church of the Holy Spirit). Your testimonies were inspiring and we deeply appreciated your willingness to share your experiences with us. Many, many thanks to all of you!

Also, if you're looking for another great opportunity to learn more about effective evangelism, there will be a very exciting event this weekend that will help you hang on until the team meets on January 16, 2016. Don Everts, an author and the Minister of Evangelism and Spiritual Formation at Bonhomme Presbyterian Church in Missouri, will be hosting three interactive workshops from 8:30 a.m. -- 1:00 p.m. this Saturday, December 5, 2015, at Truro Anglican Church (10520 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22030). His book, I Once Was Lost, describes five thresholds that young converts cross as they move toward true conversion. Click here to find out more or to register. It will be a wonderful way to follow up our last gathering and begin preparing for the work God has in store for us.

The church meets on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. at 825 Main Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504.

The Rev. Canon Tom Herrick, D.Min., is Canon for Church Planting for the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic and chair of the Great Commission Committee.

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