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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.
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Meet the 2016 Harry Denman Evangelism Award Winners

Luke Edwards, King Street Church [Boone, NC]

Western North Carolina Conference Clergy Award Recipient.

“Luke is meeting people where they are, really listening to them, helping meet the physical needs of food, shelter and warmth as well as answering the “Why Jesus” question and leading them to“How do I invite Jesus into my life’.”

Rev. Luke Edwards began his work at Boone First United Methodist Church in Boone, North Carolina as Director of Missions, starting a community garden, a firewood ministry, and supporting several mission programs and services. When the church fully recognized the need to have a presence on King Street, the local main street of Boone, Luke was tapped to be the pastor of that street church, beginning with an evening worship service in the home of Luke and his wife, Ginna.

When it became more than their home could accommodate another site was found. Now people meet in Boone Saloon, study the Bible, discuss the tough questions, drink a beer, and have church. Several street people have found Jesus, as well as a church family and Luke has been a stable, steady person to help shepherd them along the way. People who simply don’t relate to a traditional church structure  now study and worship through King Street Church. Hear more about his ministry from Luke.

The person who nominated Luke Edwards for this award actually knew Harry Denman as a frequent guest in their home when she was growing up. She remembers him always saying you needed to meet people where they are, and she saw him being genuine, a person without polish or worldly power, yet who exemplified Christ in her life in a profound way. She says, “Luke has that same gift. He is real. He is genuine. He is quick to hit the homeless shelter. Yet, he also takes time to hang out with people like me who are old enough to be his mom. He connects with me personally. That’s the Christ connection. That’s what Harry Denman was all about.”

She continues, “Luke Edwards meets people where they are in all respects, and has consistently strived to meet their needs in sustainable ways that respect the individual and equip that person to provide for him or herself. Whether it’s breaking bread with the homeless, the Bible Study at the shelter or the local jail, Luke is connecting people with Christ and the Word of God in Christian community.”

Luke has been recognized by Fresh Expressions US for innovative ministry and use of the Fresh Expressions model of church. 

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Announcing Making Disciples on the College Campus Grant

Accepting applications Through August 1, 2016

The Foundation for Evangelism is pleased to announce the Making Disciples on the College Campus . . . a ministry impacting young people grant initiative for pilot programs in ministry impacting the college campus. Learn more...

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Lyness Named 2015 Distinguished Evangelist

The Foundation for Evangelism announces the selection of Mr. Harry J. Lyness, a member of Dearborn Hills United Methodist Church near Lawrenceburg, Ind., as the 2015 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church. Mr. Lyness will received the award and serve as featured speaker during the Foundation’s annual banquet on November 6, 2015.

In nominating Mr. Lyness, Pastor Warren Kirk writes, “Harry believes that evangelism is a lifestyle and agrees with the theory that ‘people don’t care about what you believe, until they believe you care.’ Once people know that you care about them as individuals they are more open and receptive in allowing you to share the Good News about Jesus with them. Harry’s wish is to see all United Methodist Congregations learn how to get outside the walls of the church building, stop just going to church and start being the church so they may share the Gospel of Christ with all their neighbors. “

A 40 year veteran in the mission field, Mr. Lyness has led mission teams in 14 states and 6 countries. “The Foundation for Evangelism was founded by Dr. Harry Denman, a passionate lay evangelist, who once proclaimed ‘I want the Methodist Church to become a great evangelistic movement because of its social passion concerning the welfare of every individual. The Methodist Church has a philosophy, a program, and a passion. Today we dedicate ourselves to reach the new America for Christ until this new America becomes, not the American way of life, but the Christian way of life…’ In Harry Lyness you see a lay evangelist who is living into Denman’s vision,” stated Jane Boatwright Wood, President.

The Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church Award is presented annually by The Foundation for Evangelism to create a platform where exceptional, innovative United Methodist leaders can serve as role models and inspiration for others sharing new, impactful ways to approach evangelism in the spirit of John Wesley so that people enter into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

Press Release PDF

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Hastings UMC Named 2015 Culture of the Call Church

Hasting United Methodist Church is the 2015 Culture of the Call Church Award recipient! Hastings’ vital ministry focuses on recognizing, encouraging, nurturing, and mentoring young people under the age of 35 to answer God’s call on their lives. The Hastings United Methodist Church has identified, encouraged, cultivated, and supported those whom God is calling into full-time Christian service by our “Ministry as a Career” program and internship program. Students are identified through different spiritual gifts and talents that they have for full time ministry and are encouraged to go through our MAC Track program, meeting with a former clergy of the United Methodist Church, Duane Sarazin, meets with the students once a month going through a ministry as a career curriculum that was developed by a former intern at our church, Jack Youso.

“These students get hands on experience through a variety of things: reading scripture in front of the congregation, playing in the worship band, helping out in the sound booth, becoming a leader for our youth worship service, doing the video announcements, preaching, and even being a camp counselor for our middle school camp. Students that want to experience ministry first hand they can apply to become an intern in the youth department. From this, students are supported and encouraged to take ownership in leading a team of their own. The youth department has five interns for the summer, each are in charge of a specific team that includes, men’s ministry, women’s ministry, social media, small groups, videos/media, and planning our middle school camp. MAC Track develops leaders through hands on experience in our church that encourages them to further their education after [completing the program.]”

Press Release Naming Hastings United Methodist Church as Culture of the Call Church

Photo 1 – Hastings UMC receiving award*

Photo 2 – Hastings MACTrack Participants worship at Annual Conference*

Photo 3 – Hastings MACTrack Participants on stage at Annual Conference*

* All photos are provided by the Minnesota Annual Conference

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General Secretary Named Trustee

Dr. Tim Bias, General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church (formerly the General Board of Discipleship), was welcomed as a trustee by The Foundation for Evangelism on April 23, 2015. A local church pastor for 36 years, Dr. Bias served as senior pastor of Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church (Cincinnati, Ohio) and has served the denomination in three Annual Conferences.

In his introduction to the board, Dr. Larry Klemann, Board Chair, stated, “I am thrilled to welcome Rev. Dr. Tim Bias as an Ex. Officio member of The Foundation for Evangelism’s Board of Trustees. Tim’s leadership on the General Board of Global Ministry, and most recently as Director of Discipleship Ministries brings valued perspective and experience to our work to raise up leaders with a passion for evangelism and disciple making for the United Methodist Church.”

Founded in 1949 by the late Dr. Harry Denman, the Foundation provides resources to enable The United Methodist Church to bring persons into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Grant focuses include E. Stanley Jones Professors of Evangelism, initiatives with young people, and excellence in local church evangelism.

Full Press Release from Foundation for Evangelism

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E. Stanely Jones Professors Global Impact

Dr. Jack Jackson (E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism – Claremont) visited Dr. Achim Haertner (E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism – Reutlingen, Germany) on the campus of Reutlingen School of Theology (UMC).

Professor Haertner shared, “We taught an Evangelism class together this morning [May 7, 2015] on the topic ‘Mission (im)possible? Evangelism in an atheistic / areligious context’. In comparing the challenges in Eastern (former GDR) Germany and the situation in Southern California we observed similarities as well as differences. We had inspiring and fruitful conversations with our student group, including a reflection on the controversy between Karl Barth and Emil Brunner concerning ‘Anknüpfung und Widerspruch’(Tying and Contradiction). A recent video clip about evangelizing initiatives in the U.K. within the ecumenical Fresh-X-movement, which we shared in class, encouragingly illustrated: ‘mission possible!’

This kind of visit and exchange is a true treasure both for us as colleagues and for the students!”

Achim Partner Jack Jackson

Dr. Achim Haertner (L) and Dr. Jack Jackson (R), E. Stanley Jones Professors of Evangelism

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FORWARD Magazine Spring 2015

We hope you enjoy this issue of FORWARD.  Learn about the influence of the E. Stanley Jones Professors of Evangelism on the education and preparation of United Methodist leaders over the last 30 years.Celebrate the news that more than 20 young people are discerning their call into full-time Christian service at Denver UMC (North Carolina) the current Culture of the Call Church Award recipient.   Read about the new partnership with Methodist Theological University (Seoul, South Korea) as the Foundation establishes an E. Stanley Jones Visiting Professor of Evangelism in Korea.  Honor the evangelism ministry of Bishop Richard Looney, 2014 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church… and more.

The Foundation for Evangelism’s FORWARD Magazine provides information on mission, ministry, and grants supporting our work to provide resources for responsible evangelism enabling the United Methodist Church to bring persons into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.