Thu, Apr 17, 2008
Cadets had the opportunity recently to attend a conference on evangelism called, “Cross the Street”, sponsored by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC). Renown author and evangelist Tony Campolo addresses the first plenary session in his talk entitled, “The Need”.
Claude Houde delivers his seminar on “The Opportunity” and “The Passion” for ministry. Claude began his ministry in 1993 in a little Montreal church with 40 people. His church which now numbers 3000 people, is the largest French-speaking evangelical church in the entire province of Quebec.
In “The Preparation”, Pastor Mark Hughes of The Church of the Rock spoke on the inward preparation required to “cross the street” or to engage a community in ministry. He noted that there is a tendency to glorify evangelism to the point where people want the end results (the big altar calls, the large congregations) without wanting to put the work into it. Real evangelism is often far from glorious. Nevertheless, we are called to bring people the light of the Gospel and to see the community around us as a mission field.
EFC spokesman David MacFarlane delivers his address on “The Vision”. In language strangely familair to The Salvation Army, David concluded his seminar with a “commissioning” service. The hundreds of people in attendance, from congregations all across Canada, were commissioned to cross the street – to evangelize the towns and cities of Canada through service and the proclamation of God’s word.
We all learned a lot this weekend. Though evangelism and service is part of The Salvation Army’s ‘DNA’ we need to ensure that we don’t slip into a “business as usual” mindset. While our own skills, resources, and abilities will equip us for the task, it is our passion and our love for the lost that God requires from us above anything else. In addition to the seminars, cadets took in a number of electives on evangelism, cited below.
*Engaging in Social Justice – Willard Metzger
*Engaging through Maximizing ALPHA – Karen Reed
*Engaging & Mobilizing your Evangelists – Merv Budd
*Engaging Gay and Lesbian People in Conversations about Faith – Brian Pengelly
*Engaging the Marketplace – Gerry Organ
*Engaging Your Culture in Music – Derek Zeilstra (Derek used many examples of William Booth’s approach to music)
*Engaging a Community Through Sports – Robert Szo