Emerging Evangelists Update
Our second Emerging Evangelists Conference took place at the historic Collins Street Baptist Church, Melbourne in late October. We had the most representative spread of participants ever with a rich diversity of culture, context, gender and geography. Notably, one of the participants was an asylum seeker. This representation reflected the changing face of the Australian Baptist scene, where a significant percentage of our growth is due to immigrant populations and the new life and vitality they are injecting into our movement of churches.
Our visiting speaker was Dennis Pethers from Rooftop. Over the two days the subjects covered included the calling, styles and methodologies of evangelists in the modern era, the evangelist and the local church, self care, spiritual warfare and prayer, resources and cross cultural considerations. This is the first Crossover gathering where the majority of participants were not in formal paid pastoral roles. This is an encouraging development showing recognition by church leaders of gifting in church members, and an extension of Crossover’s resourcing role and equipping role.
Our participants are engaged in a wide variety of ministries contexts both formal and informal. They are seeking to serve Jesus across womens, youth, worship, English language, new migrant and second generation ministries around Australia. In total we welcomed twenty-one evangelists. They represented the married, parents, singles, young adults and the more mature, Australian born and migrants, Pastors, Church lay leaders, and lay people involved in ministry and sharing their faith in the every day of life.
Les has been actively involved in using hip hop to share Jesus and runs a story group in his apartment block for people with English as their second language. Nathan is a professional software engineer by day and an amateur musician by night who seeks to share his faith by encouraging community outreach. Williams is a Nigerian asylum seeker involved with serving, leading and the role of deacon in his local church and regularly sharing his faith with those he meets on public transport and at the local shops. Shova, a Nepali lady, works as a community welfare worker, is involved with an English programme and a craft ministry. Warren is a Pastor who plays soccer with Afghanis on the weekends. Peri is involved with an apologetics group with Christians, sceptics and atheists. David works as a carpenter and MCs for an action sports group seeking to share Jesus through sports and stunt events.
These Australian Baptists reflect the myriad of situations, interests, and experiences that exist in the Australian cultural and social context. They are actively seeking what it means to live out and share their faith in this context. Together they were able to workshop with the Crossover Taskforce Reps what that looks like and what their role within, and outside of the church, as an Evangelist can look like.
The generous support of Crossover by churches enables these gatherings which encourage and spur on those with a passion for evangelism to invest further in the Gospel and the equipping of others to do the same.
For more information about Dennis Pethers and Rooftop check out his website here: http://dennispethers.com/more-to-life/
If you would like more information about the Crossover Emerging Evangelist Conference, please contact your State Crossover Rep.