Reclaiming our Christian voice, take home possibilities

Here are some suggestions for Reclaiming our Christian Voice through faith sharing and witnessing as individual disciples and congregations when you return home.

Personal Faith Sharing
Decide that you will begin to speak of and share your faith with others. Fear not, just do it!

Prepare yourself through Bible reading, prayer and study.
Practise speaking and sharing your faith with your family and friends.
Listen to the needs, concerns, fears, doubts and questions of others.
Identify, keep a list and pray for people to reach out to in faith.
Pray and look for opportunities to share your faith with others.
Participate in a retreat, or faith sharing support group in your congregation.
Share your faith and witness experience in worship.

Congregational Retreat
Plan a retreat in your congregation on the model of this weekend to empower members to share their story, connect their story to God's story and their congregation's story, and practice their witness and invitation to others. Use the notes from this retreat and the resources suggested to plan your retreat. After the retreat, gather members who wish to continue to grow in witness and outreach to be part of ongoing Faith Sharing and Witnessing Support Group.

Faith Sharing Support Group
Gather a group together in your congregation for ongoing faith sharing and witnessing. This group could be formed out of a retreat or on its own without a retreat.

The group would meet to:

Study the Bible.
Read evangelism material (see resources list).
Practice speaking and sharing faith.
Practice listening to others.
Pray for one another.
Identify and pray for those whom members wish to reach out to.
Report on witnessing experiences.

Witnessing in Worship
Invite a member of your congregation on a regular basis to tell their faith story and witness in worship. This includes the pastor who models evangelical practise by sharing their personal witness of what faith and scripture mean to her or him in preaching and teaching.

Intentional Outreach Opportunities
Look for intentional ways to meet the church neighborhood and community that create opportunity to share faith and witness.

Possibilities could include:

Bible Study in public places like malls, fast food or coffee shops, schools, colleges.
Book or Film Studies in bookstores, fast food or coffee shops, colleges.
County Fairs or Art Shows, "What Does God Look Like" Drawing Area.
Community visitation, door to door contact or just walking through neighborhood.
Set up Pastor's ‘office' at table in coffee shop or fast food shop.

Resource List

e.word articles

"Eleven Commandments for Ordinary Everyday Evangelists", Jane Fisler-Hoffman
Vol.2 / No. 2 United Church of Christ Resources

"Front Porch Evangelism", Kausalya Samuel White
Vol. 3 / No.1 United Church of Christ Resources

"Gentle Witness: Another Model for Evangelism", Martin Bailey
Vol. 3/ No. 1 United Church of Christ Resources

"Go Forth and Knock", Susan Leo
Vol. 1/ No. 1 United Church of Christ Resources

Brochures

"Spiritual Deepening in Small Groups", Carolyn Landers Pettigrew
United Church of Christ Resources

"Me? A Witness", Gary Demarest
Evangelism and Church Development Program Area of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

"Living the Vision, Preparing Members for Evangelism (Faith Sharing)", Rosalie Potter
Evangelism and Church Development Program Area of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Books

Biblical Perspective on Evangelism: Living in a Three-Storied Universe, Walter
Brueggemann, Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN, 1993

Reclaiming the Great Commission: a practical model for transforming denominations and congregations, Bishop Claude Payne
Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2000

Growing Spiritual Redwoods, William Easum and Thomas Bandy, Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN, 1997

Becoming a Contagious Christian, Bill Hybels, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1994

Video

"It's All About Evangelism", Evangelism Ministry Team
United Church of Christ Resources

Magazine

NET Results, Net Results, Inc, . Lubbock TX, www.netresults.org

 

 

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. David C. Schoen
Minister and Team Leader, Congregational Assessment and Support
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3827
schoend@ucc.org