Explorations in Evangelism
The new affirmation on mission and evangelism of WCC “Together Towards Life”: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes (2012), highlights the urgency for the church to “renew its methods of evangelism to communicate the good news with persuasion, inspiration, and conviction”. As a response to this call, the project of “Explorations in Evangelism” was initiated by WCC in 2014, operating to the present. This process of regional meetings/seminars, engages directly with the local churches as well as mission centers/agencies operating at the grassroots level, exploring every time the expressions and challenges of their evangelistic mandate in sharing the Good News.
Aware of the urgent task to cultivate the spirit of fellowship and mutual learning in particular within culturally and/or religiously diverse contexts, the Explorations through personal sharing and encounters, exposure visits, case studies and discussions, create the space for constructive reflection on the renewal of the understanding of evangelism and its practices.
The Council for World Mission (CWM) has been a valuable partner, co-organizing the Explorations since the beginning of this project.
Evangelism in Theological Education and Missiological Formation
Evangelism and Christian education are interrelated in vision and vocation for the renewal of mission and evangelism. Theological education and training on mission and evangelism set the foundation for a solid holistic approach to evangelism; theory in the sense of theological knowledge and praxis in the sense of practically carrying forth evangelistic work should come together. In an inclusive understanding, authentic evangelism entails devoted scholars with solid theological roots and well-equipped practitioners who can promote and enhance work on evangelism at the grassroots.
Fully aware of the importance of renewal in the ways the Gospel reaches people in diverse contexts, and of its intrinsic link with theological education and missiological training, WCC has launched since 2012 a series of five regional consultations on the place of evangelism in theological education and missiological formation. The primary objective of this process is to evaluate the presence and content of evangelism, in different academic contexts, while at the same time enhancing evangelism training programs/projects locally, by encouraging cooperation between academics and practitioners, theological faculties and local churches at the grassroots.