Because of the more aggressive and confrontational tactics we hear about, evangelism has developed a bad connotation. Doors are shut hurriedly, phone calls end abruptly, and e-mails left unanswered.

After all, isn’t this a task better handled by the pastor?

Perhaps it’s time to reexamine John Wesley’s model of evangelism as a full, natural circle — where it’s a communal beginning point rather than a solitary end. The central motive of authentic evangelism is: Having received a message that’s made all the difference in our lives, we desire to share that message with others in the hope that it will transform their lives as well. Wesley models an evangelism that reaches out and welcomes, invites, and nurtures, and speaks to both head and heart. Take the Lay Servant Ministry Classes Transforming Evangelism Saturdays November 15 & 22 from 3 to 8pm at the West Baldwin UMC (1006 Pequawket Trail, West Baldwin, ME). The cost of the class is $25 with checks made out to NEUMC.

“Evangelism is about relationship,” the authors write. “How we are in relationship to God, who is able to transform us into new beings. How we are in relationship to our neighbor, whom we must love like ourselves.”

As one reviewer says, “Knight and Powe have given us a relational book. They describe the deep connection between John Wesley’s thoughts,

Charles Wesley’s hymns, scholarly thinking about evangelism and biblical understandings of the gospel — all in relation to the needs, concerns, and hopes of everyday people.”

If you are interested in registering for the class you can contact Dennis Veilleux (Director of Lay Servant Ministries):