In the fourth year of the Developing Our Calling programme, members, chapels and areas in Synod Cymru are encouraged to consider how they could give focus to the theme of Evangelism. Of the four themes in Our Calling perhaps evangelism is the one which may stirs the widest range of responses. Some may be thrilled and excited when thinking about sharing their faith with others whilst others may feel too scared even to think about it! But the truth is that the wide range of responses to the topic is in itself an indication that there are several ways of interpreting the word evangelism and perhaps our own interpretation is only a small part of the whole meaning of the word. To put it simply, evangelism means sharing the good news about Jesus Christ and his love in word and in action, or, sharing the story of Jesus and the story of God at work in our lives, and this can be done in a number of ways as individuals, congregations and areas. What’s clear is that there is no one way of doing evangelism and that it is a combination of several expressions of mission which brings people to Jesus. It is said that the churches which are most successful in evangelism are those which are involved in community work in addition to their evangelism programmes. Building relationships through actions demonstrating love and care is essential. Think about the influences on you as an individual as you came to follow Jesus. What lessons can you learn from this? Is there a challenge for you and your church from your story?
Having said this, it’s good to be able to remind one another of the wide range of opportunities available to us as churches to implement this theme. In addition to the traditional ways of holding meetings and specific activities for evangelism, such as services and courses to share the faith as well as programmes such as Messy Church and Open the Book, churches are discovering new ways reaching out to the community through social programmes such as Food Banks, Street Pastors, work with older people, the homeless, the unemployed, people with dementia, and underpriveleged families.
Sometimes opportunities can be so obvious that we cannot see them. Our Christian heritage provides an opportunity to open our chapel doors to feed the increasing interest in history, family history, local heritage and new ways of seeking spirituality. Chapels could open their doors on certain days for visitors, create a display, provide an activity such as a prayer trail/stations and, of course, offer refreshments and a welcome.
Our language and culture opens many different doors for us. Many chapels hold a literary society often attended by those who do not attend worship services. Special interest groups could be held in areas such as reading, gardening, music, walking, keep fit, sports or for specific age groups. One of the main opportunities of our age is work with Welsh language learners where Welsh lessons could be provided or opportunities offered for conversation to practice their Welsh – it’s so simple!
With the Synod’s chapel located either in small rural villages or in towns perhaps we need to give consideration to the specific needs in rural or urban mission and ask how can we use our resources in buildings and people to serve the community and its needs. Perhaps the chapel could be adapted to be multi-purpose to be more useful to the community. And the bricks? We, the members are the bricks, and our privilege is to live and be alongside people in their lives sharing our story and making a difference in their story. Whatever the situation and the opportunities we have, the best resource we have is us, and our willingness to share our own story.
Evangelism – a list of useful resources
Efengylu – a Welsh film about sharing faith (Tell show be, The Methodist Church)
Talking Jesus – film about sharing faith through conversation (www.talkingjesus.org)
Cwestiwn – DVD with 6 part introduction to the Christian Faith (Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair)
3,2,1 – Duw, Iesu a ti – film introducing the Christian Faith to young people (beibl.net)
Platiau’n cwympo – film introducing the Christian Faith to young people (beibl.net)
Exploring Evangelism series including Tell Show Be Discussion Guide (The Methodist Church)
Time to Talk of God – Using conversation in evangelism (The Methodist Church)
Datgelu – resources to help young people share their faith (UCCF)
42 – 42 Diwrnod i Fynd i’r Afael a Dilyn Iesu… ac Yna ei Basio Ymlaen (Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair)
Arwyr Ancora – Biblical app for 7-13 year olds to download free (Scripture Union)
Stori Duw mewn lliw – postcards explaining the gospel to children (Scripture Union Cymru)
Y 4 Pwynt –Welsh tracts, wristbands, T-shirts, car stickers (the4points.com)
Pastoral booklets Ym meddwl amdanoch (Bereavement and Sickness), Wele, cawsom y Meseia (Christmas), Mi wn fod fy Mhrynwr yn fyw (Easter) (Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair)
Holi magazine, Evangelical Movement of Wales
Cristion magazine – the Christmas 2017 edition will share the good news about the Christian Christmas. Chapels will be able to buy packs for free distribution to members and people in the community. It could also be used to invite people to Christmas services.
Talking of God – 4 session course on sharing faith (The Methodist Church)
Cwrs Alffa (Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair)
Darganfod Cristnogaeth (Gwasg Bryntirion)
Cwestiwn – series of films and discussion booklet (Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair)
Torri Syched – series of films and discussion booklet (Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair)
There is a whole section on the Methodist Church website which contains resources, people’s testimonies and theological materials:
For further information contact Delyth Wyn Davies, Learning and Development Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org