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What We Mean by "Evangelism"

When you ask people what “Evangelism” means, the answers are as varied as the people in the room. The Foundation for Evangelism was chartered to “diffuse the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” so we’ve spent a lot of time exploring what evangelism means. The simplest way to say it is this:

Evangelism is more relational than confrontational or transactional, more communal than solitary, and is more a beginning point than an end. Evangelism involves not only sharing our faith with others, but also welcoming them into a community and enabling them to begin to grow in their faith. Above all, evangelism is about love: God’s love for us in Jesus, our love for our neighbor, and the invitation to receive and grow in a new life that is characterized by love.

(Knight, Henry H. III and F. Douglas Powe, Jr. Transforming Evangelism: The Wesleyan Way of Sharing Faith. Discipleship Resources, 2006)

About

The Foundation for Evangelism is a Wesleyan-tradition grant-making organization located at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. Chartered in 1949 by Dr. Harry Denman, then the General Secretary of the Board of Evangelism of the Methodist Church, and a group of visionary laymen, it was designed to “diffuse the blessing of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Today, we carry out that vision by providing grants that can be a catalyst to equip disciples to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. We focus our grant-making in three specific areas:

Dr. Harry Denman

Grant Focus Areas

Raising Up Gospel Leaders

Engaging the Ministry of the Laity

Equipping the Local Church

Our Mission

To promote, encourage and provide resources for Wesleyan evangelism, inviting all people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ

Our Vision

To be a Catalyst to equip disciples to share the Good News of Jesus Christ

Values

Evangelistic

Passion for Jesus Christ and the Bible that leads to compassion for people, compelling us to invite them into life-transforming relationships with Jesus Christ.

Wesleyan

In response to the triune God’s pursuit of us, Wesleyan Christianity is the lifelong journey to love God and neighbor with our whole heart.

Catalyst

Working across a spectrum of denominational, theological, geographical, and cultural contexts we help things happen to make a greater impact together than we could on our own.

Steward

We are stewards of the old, old story while acting as a catalyst for new forms and ways of telling the story. We steward the resources and funds entrusted to share the Good News in everchanging contexts.

Leaders

Equipping clergy and lay leaders at all levels for an everchanging landscape to lead inside and outside the church walls through whole-life, lifelong discipleship.

Equip

Equipping disciples to share the Good News is the primary goal of the Foundation, whether we help people discover the need to or equip those who are ready to share.

What is "Wesleyan tradition?"

We use the phrase “Wesleyan tradition” to describe an approach to the Christian faith and discipleship that showcases awareness, understanding, and implementation of the practices and teachings attributed to the movement begun by John and Charles Wesley. Theirs is a practical theology central to the life and identity of every Christian. This identity is evidenced by a focus on the God of love who, through Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, makes it possible for that love to transform hearts and lives. Relying on God’s proactive grace, it strongly encourages systemic spiritual practices,  and works through the faith community to actively share the Good News and invite persons everywhere to a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

Rev. John Wesley
Founder of the Methodist Church