Columbia Union Hosts First Evangelism Directors’ Meeting
Story by V. Michelle Bernard
Last week, Columbia Union Conference hosted its first Evangelism Directors' meeting, held at the union headquarters in Columbia, Md. Representatives from each of the union's eight conferences attended and shared highlights on how God is working in their territories.
José D. Espósito, assistant to the president for Evangelism and organizer, says his office planned the event, the first of its kind, so that conference directors could meet other members of the union’s team, to pray together and start a dialogue working toward further collaboration.
During the day-long event, directors shared successes of the work God is doing in their conferences through initiatives such as Ohio Conference’s goal to baptize 2023 by their constituency meeting in 2023; Mountain View Conference’s “Tell Somebody About Jesus” initiative, seeking to motivate all members to share the Good News of the gospel; New Jersey Conference’s School of Evangelism for members and pastors; and Chesapeake and Potomac conference’s church planting programs, among others.
In addition to traditional public evangelism, attendees discussed the need to empower and motivate members to see themselves as evangelists as well. Eduardo Monteiro, director of Evangelism for the New Jersey Conference, said it isn’t enough to be an Adventist; we must be “Advangelists,” using a term a friend shared with him.
One way the Allegheny East Conference (AEC) is equipping members to evangelize is by offering churches the opportunity to buy and distribute “Ask an Adventist” cards, published by the Center for Online Evangelism. Gene Donaldson, AEC Ministerial director, says members want materials that answer relevant questions such as, “May we pray for you?” and “What do you do with grief?”
It’s sometimes overwhelming for a church to focus on winning an entire area to Christ, says Yves Monnier, Pennsylvania Conference’s Ministerial and Evangelism director. “Instead of saying we’ll win the town of Allentown or Harrisburg, how about if each person just [work toward winning] just one person? … And if many people reach one and this continues, suddenly you will have exponential growth over a while,” says Monnier.
Lillian Torres, associate director of Evangelism for the Pennsylvania Conference, adds, “We need to [not only] focus on events, initiatives. … If we focus on creating fertile soil [a warm, healthy atmosphere in churches and members], we’ll get results.”
Check Out Some of the Resources Shared at the Meeting: