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June 25, 2011

Saturday is for Seminars: National Evangelism Workshop-- Evangelism Training with the Mainlines

In two weeks, I'm speaking at the National Evangelism Workshop in Nashville.

This will be a fascinating conference. It is a group of (mostly) mainliners who are passionate about evangelism.

I have an appreciation for those serving in mainline churches. Part of the reason may be that I first heard the gospel in a mainline church, about 30 years ago. To be honest, it would be very difficult to hear the gospel in that denomination today, so I am encouraged that many are working hard to make it more clear.

But, I am excited about being at the National Evangelism Workshop and encouraging these friends. I don't get invited to many mainline meetings, but I try to help when I can and when it fits into my approach speaking engagements.

This is one of the few interdenominational evangelism conference geared toward the mainlines-- and they are passionate about sharing Christ. If you are Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, or whatever, this will be an encouraging time for you.

I like that they care about "evangelism," not recruiting new members, getting enough people to pay the bills or whatever else. If they care about reaching people far from Christ and sharing the good news with a lost world, I am glad to encourage these good folks to that aim.

Let me end with a thought from the other keynote speaker, my friend Bill Easum. He is a United Methodist pastor of many years-- and then a consultant well-known in the mainlines. He wrote a book on church revitalization about the same time I co-wrote Comeback Churches. Bill was bold and clear-- cautioning all against simply thinking you could have better organization or strategy while reducing Christianity to an ethical system. He explained, "They don't believe people's eternal destiny hangs in the balance. Since Jesus isn't the only hope of the world, Christianity to them is a way of living morally rather than a life or death issue" (Bill Easum, Second Resurrection: Leading Your Congregation to New Life page 37). The book is worth a read.

I look forward to making much of Jesus with these friends. Be sure to say, "hello" if you are there.

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