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FFE Convenes Evangelism Summit

Board and staff leadership of The Foundation for Evangelism (FFE) will engage a select group of innovative Christian leaders in Atlanta, Ga. on January 30-31, 2017 to determine how the FFE may best support evangelistic efforts in the spirit of John Wesley.

“The Evangelism Summit is designed to help The Foundation for Evangelism effectively engage with our key constituencies, which include laity, local church pastors and younger generations, and to determine best practices for evaluating the impact of those partnerships,” said Dr. Larry Klemann, board chair.

The group of 11 United Methodist leaders and Christian innovators, experts who have effective evangelism ministries, were specifically selected for their areas of impact that match the FFE grant focus areas. The FFE identified ministries across the United States where metrics exist to document that lives are being transformed–places where the ideas leaders read about are no longer ideas, but ministry reality.

“We recognize that we are not the practitioners who can answer the key questions. These exceptional leaders can help FFE more clearly understand how evangelism succeeds today, what are needed improvements for the future, and where FFE can invest our grant funds to have the greatest possible impact,” Mrs. Mary Brooke Casad, task force leader and immediate past board chair, said.

“We spent a great deal of time locating ‘next generation leaders.’ We specifically invited folks who are catching the attention of today’s leaders, who in turn say to us, ‘you better keep your eye on that one –God is at work in that ministry!'” Casad said.

Through careful listening and guided discussion during the Evangelism Summit, the FFE leadership expects to inform its ongoing efforts to discern where God is calling The Foundation to engage, provide resources, and encourage efforts to address adaptive challenges in Wesleyan evangelism.

The following individuals/ministries will be participating in the summit:

  • Adolf Hanson, Theologian in Residence, St. Luke’s UMC Indianapolis,
  • Craig Robertson, Founder, Spiritual Leadership, Inc.,
  • Eric Lindh, National Executive Director, Project Transformation,
  • Heather Lear, Director of Evangelism Ministries, Discipleship Ministries of the UMC,
  • Kay Kotan, Founder, You Unlimited,
  • Olu Brown, Lead Pastor, Impact Church;
  • Scott Chrostek, Campus Pastor, RezDowntown, [The UMC of the Resurrection]
  • Tyler Best, Campus Minister, Pfrimmer’s Chapel UMC,
  • Owen Ross, Founding Pastor, Christ Foundry,
  • Rob Peabody, Co-Founder, Awaken,  and
  • Adam Weber, Founding Pastor, Embrace Church.

Headquartered in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, the FFE is an international grant-making foundation that promotes, encourages and provides resources to grow Wesleyan evangelism by bringing all people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Of particular interest are ministries impacting young people and the local church.

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Weber named Distinguished Evangelist of the UMC

Adam Weber 2016 Distinguished EvangelistThe Foundation for Evangelism (FFE) has announced that Rev. Adam Weber, lead pastor of Embrace church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the recipient of its 2016 Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church Award.

Given annually since 1989, FFE’s Distinguished Evangelist Award recognizes an exceptional leader–either clergy or laity–whose ministry transforms the lives of those they mentor and shepherd.

“Our goal is to create a platform from which exceptional, innovative United Methodist leaders can serve as role models to inspire others seeking new, impactful ways to approach evangelism in the spirit of John Wesley,” said FFE President Jane Boatwright Wood.

In nominating Weber for the award, Rev. Rebecca Trefz, director of ministries for the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, wrote: “[Adam] believes that everything we do–from hospitality, to small groups, to personal interactions–should be focused on reaching ‘the next person’ for Christ. But it isn’t simply about reaching them for personal salvation. It’s so their lives can be transformed so they can, in turn, bring light and hope into the world around them.”

Weber’s success building Embrace is well documented. Outreach magazine identified Embrace as one of the top 50 fastest growing churches in the U.S. in 2013, and Weber’s role in that growth is clear. Weber began meeting informally with Embrace members in 2006. After completing a Master of Divinity degree at Asbury Theological Seminary in 2007, he was named pastor. During Weber’s decade of leadership, Embrace has grown to six campuses with more than 4,000 in weekly attendance.

“Beyond just what happens inside the walls of the church, Adam models an evangelistic faith in all of his life. He doesn’t preach or prescribe things to others that he isn’t doing for himself. Adam has a spirit of humility that acknowledges that he is a work in progress along with everyone else. It is this kind of leadership that makes others not only want to follow him as their pastor but also learn from him as a fellow disciple of Jesus Christ,” Trefz wrote in the nomination.

As Distinguished Evangelist, Weber will partner with FFE to achieve their shared vision of growing generations of Christ followers. Through participation in FFE’s international forums and platforms, such as its Evangelism Summit in Atlanta in January and the Leadership Institute (The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection) in Leawood, Kansas in September, Weber now will have the opportunity to reach a national audience.

The Foundation for Evangelism (FFE) exists to grow generations of Christ followers – clergy and laity – who are living out their passion for evangelism by inviting people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. FFE provides grants and other resources to support Wesleyan evangelism in the United States, Germany, Russia, and on the African continent in areas such as Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Known for the E. Stanley Jones Professors of Evangelism supported at 13 United Methodist and Wesleyan-tradition seminaries around the globe, FFE partners with local churches, seminaries, agencies and ministry innovators to address adaptive challenges impacting Wesleyan evangelism.

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Seeking Innovative Evangelists – Clergy and Lay


Foundation for Evangelism (FFE) invites exceptional, innovative leaders – both clergy and lay – working in a United Methodist Church setting to apply (or be nominated) for its 2016 Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church Award.

Given annually since 1990, the Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church Award is designed to recognize all who are called to be evangelists in the spirit of John Wesley – not just those who are called to be clergy.

To be considered for the award, the applicant should be known for the tangible ways in which their ministry transforms the lives of those they mentor and shepherd. The successful candidate will be a role model and inspiration for others who seek to embody FFE’s vision of growing generations of Christ followers in new and impactful ways.

The Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church:

  1. Is an innovator.
  2. Practices evangelism in the Methodist or Wesleyan context in a United Methodist setting.
  3. Is known for the tangible ways in which their ministry transforms the lives of those they lead, mentor, and shepherd.
  4. Nurtures, mentors, and develops “Timothy” leaders who seek to be in ministry in similar ways.
  5. States clearly “Why Jesus.”
  6. Embodies FFE’s vision of growing generations of Christ Followers – clergy and laity – who have a passion for evangelism.

Upon receiving the award, the 2016 Distinguished Evangelist will be invited to:

  1. Participate in media efforts to promote FFE and this award.
  2. Speak at the Lake Junaluska Summer Sermon Series the summer following being named.
  3. Deliver a featured lecture as the Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church on a national stage.
  4. Participate in FFE’s Speakers Bureau.
  5. Share with FFE links to websites, blogs and other social media with which they are affiliated.
  6. Provide articles and videos (or access to existing) for use on the FFE website.