Evangelism Training Material Available in Spanish

Post a Comment » Written on July 24th, 2009     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (July 24, 2009) – The popular training material “One Step Closer” – a “how to” guide for effective evangelism in a local church setting – has been revised and translated into Spanish for use in Hispanic churches throughout the Evangelical Covenant Church and beyond.

Six Hispanic pastors have been trained by the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism to offer the training, says Lisa Orris, director of evangelism, who recently taught at class of 55 students at the Hispanic Center for Theological Studies (CHET) in Los Angeles.

The material was developed several years ago by Lon Allison, formerly part of the church growth staff and now with the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, Illinois. Orris collaborated with Song-Chan Rah, the Milton Engebretson Professor of Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary, in revising and expanding the content, adapting it for use in Hispanic churches. The material also is part of the theological training program at CHET.

“As far as I know, for as long as this material has been in the Covenant it has not been readily available to our Hispanic churches,” Orris notes. “Needless to say, I am very excited about these new doors of ministry.” Check out the accompanying video to hear more from Orris.

The six pastors who will serve as presenters participated in a May training session in Chicago. “These people are now ready to go and serve our Hispanic churches in the area of evangelism training,” Orris says.

The training material includes video clips, PowerPoint slides and a variety of text materials. “It is not just a typical lecture,” Orris stresses. The training incorporates interactive elements, small group discussions, peer-to-peer conversations and opportunities for questions and answers.

Content includes defining exactly what evangelism is and is not, looking more closely at what we mean by the term gospel, examining barriers and obstacles to evangelism and appropriate responses, as well as an overview of the evangelism process – “Prayer …Care…Share.”

“Coming from a Hispanic congregation, I was motivated to do the workshop because I knew I need to improve,” says Flor Retamal of CHET, one of those trained as presenters. “I think this is a tool that is needed in our churches. The great commission is for all of us. When we learn new ways of seeing and doing things, we are challenged and motivated to try it one more time.”

ClassAlfonso Pagan of Nueva Vide Covenant in Jamestown, New York, agrees with Retamal’s assessment, stressing the urgency of the need for this training. “I wanted to become a trainer so I could have the opportunity to ignite a passion for the lost in the body of Christ,” Pagan says. “My experience in the One Step Closer training added more fuel to the fire in my heart and a sense of urgency to get the word out about the good news of the Kingdom of God.”

“Like most of our generation, we Hispanics understand evangelism as a crusade at a church, or in an open field or at a stadium, and that it is a ministry only for a few gifted people,” says Javier Carrillo, a church planter pastor in Monticello, Minnesota. “We usually don’t think that we are already doing evangelism or can do evangelism anywhere, at any time and in different ways. I think that this kind of training will release us from the myths about evangelism and from the guilt of ‘not doing it the right way.’ “

The program is receiving strong support in the Pacific Southwest Conference, reports Walter Contreras who serves on the conference staff. “Training in evangelism is crucial for the health and missional needs of our Hispanic churches,” he says. “The conference is committed to support these efforts . . . and see that this training is provided in all of our Hispanic congregations. We want to see all of our Hispanic churches respond to the call of evangelism with integrity and passion.”

Hispanic churches interested in receiving the training should email Carrillo, who was trained as a presenter and serves as the program’s liaison.

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