Heather Heinzman Lear led us in a Day of Learning on Evangelism for Non-Evangelists on September 24, 2018, at Genesis UMC.
About the Day:
We began by reclaiming evangelism as good news (not bad news with an escape clause) and examined Jesus’s and John Wesley’s holistic models of evangelism. Participants also considered their individual and congregational faith journeys and reflected on the goodness of God and the goodness that God desires for all of creation.
Instead of beginning with best practices, participants began to develop creative practices that flowed from their understanding of God and are authentic to their context.
Key takeaways included:
- Increased comfort and practice in naming God’s activity in the world, and how our individual faith stories intersect with God’s story.
- Assessment of current congregational practices of evangelism and outreach to determine if they point to the character and goodness of the Kingdom of God and are responsive to the needs of their community.
- Evaluation of current discipleship systems. Does the congregation have an intentional process to introduce new believers to Christian teaching and doctrine, and how are members challenged to continually grow in the faith and live out their discipleship in their everyday life?
- Evangelism isn’t the job of a single committee or the pastor. How are all ministry teams (including the administrative teams) and church members understanding the Great Commandment and Great Commission as the lens for ministry?
About Heather Heinzman Lear:
The Rev. Dr. Heather Heinzman Lear is currently the director of evangelism at The United Methodist Church’s Discipleship Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee. She regularly works with local churches, districts, annual conferences, seminaries, and ecumenical bodies to provide training and resources on evangelism and discipleship in the 21st Century. She holds degrees from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Duke Divinity School, and Boston University. Heather is an elder in the North Carolina Annual Conference and previously pastored three local churches. She is grateful for the support of her husband and the heart of her 9-year-old son, who constantly reminds her of what the Kingdom of God looks like.