By Heather Lear, Vice President for Grants Administration
The Foundation for Evangelism continues to build relationships, expand our networks, and share our story across the Wesleyan-tradition family. Serving as a sponsor at the Church of the Nazarene General Assembly provided a setting to be among the 10,000+ Nazarenes from around the world to learn about their ministry, challenges, and opportunities to embody and share the love of Jesus. As I tried to gain understanding about ministry contexts when clergy and lay leaders stopped at our booth, most began describing their setting with the same refrain, often after a brief hesitation. “Well, we’re pretty small,” or “We’re not a big congregation.” Upon hearing these apparent confessions, I would smile and say, “That’s great! We love and value smaller congregations and have some resources to come alongside you and fulfill the purpose and calling God has just for you.”
…the idea of receiving a grant of $5,000 to help a small local church launch an evangelism experiment was life-giving and potentially life changing
As we talked further, amazing stories and ideas began to emerge of how they already are or desire to live together faithfully in the settings where they are planted. We also received many questions about our funding sources and denominational support. The fact that we are strictly donor funded yet seek to not only be responsive to local church and leadership needs but be discerning and forward thinking about how to be a catalyst for the church moving forward was acknowledged as inspiring and surprising. I have said this before, but the idea of receiving a grant of $5,000 to help a small local church launch an evangelism experiment was life-giving and potentially life changing. We still have quite a bit of work to do telling our story and raising awareness across the Wesleyan family, but my time at General Assembly was additional confirmation that our intentional efforts of becoming crystal clear about who we are what we do was worth it. We continue to be on the right track, and I can’t wait for others to join our efforts!