The Evangelism Matters Conference brought together 425 people from across the Episcopal Church from Hawaii to the Dominican Republic and Seattle to, well, Georgia. As one of six members of the Planning Team, I was pleased not so much by the turn out as the energy around sharing our faith in Jesus Christ. I was especially grateful for the excellent workshops that came together. While the event has come and gone, videos of many of the presentations remain. The Evangelism Matters YouTube Channel offers 16 videos from the conference including our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s inspiring preaching and the full content of seven workshops. I recommend two videos in particular:
This video demonstrates a project any congregation can do (it was piloted by a church with about 20 people on an average Sunday). My colleague Stephanie Spellers walks the conference participants through an exercise you could do in your church on a Sunday between services or after the main liturgy. I will let her describe it for your, but I want to share how this exercise got me and a complete stranger first, discover how God had been in our lives anew and then, got us each talking about significant issues with each other in a very meaningful way.
The Episcopal Church’s highly skilled video team then cut a video showing the results. That is online here at Cardboard Testimonies
From Visitor to Member in 12 Months
When Mary Foster Parmer presented on Invite-Welcome-Connect to our recent diocesan convention, I really came to understand how the connect piece is the one I probably needed help with the most as a parish priest. Chris Girata and Elizabeth Carrière Peeples brought a workshop to the Evangelism Matters Conference on moving a person from a visitor to a member in 12 months.
While the 1 hour 20 minute video length will seem daunting, this is an excellent workshop ready to give you tools to connect with newcomers in a meaningful way. If you long for your congregation to help visitors become a vital part of your congregation, is there a better use of and hour and a half than learning proven ways to make this happen?
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary