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Evangelism for Non-Evangelists

Text: Evangelism Online Image: Bible with blocks on top that spell out Good News

February 5 - March 18, 2020

Registration Fee: $60
Registration Fee + 1.5 CEUs: $85 

Registration Deadline: February 3, 2020

Click Here To Register Now

This six-week online evangelism course introduces you to evangelism as a practice that helps you grow in your faith at the same time you develop the skills to share your faith with others. At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain what you have authentically experienced as the goodness of God in your life.
  • Reflect on how you participate in the Christian Tradition.
  • Listen to your context so you know what matters most to those who are part of it
  • Develop creative practices for sharing your faith
  • Assess the evangelistic effectiveness of congregational ministries

At the end of the webinars, you will receive several handouts you can use to continue the work you began during them! 

The course can be taken by individuals or by groups. We encourage multiple people from the same congregation to participate in the webinars together so they have a stronger basis for developing a congregational plan for evangelism.

The course is team-taught by Rev. Dr. Heather Lear, Teaching and Research Fellow at the Foundation for Evangelism, and Rev. Dr. Mark Teasdale, E. Stanley Jones Associate Professor of Evangelism at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. If you have any questions about the course, please email evangelismonlin@gmail.com.

Course Information

Course Website

You can access all material for the course, including archived webinars from previous weeks once they become available, through the course website.

Required Textbook 

After you register, please purchase the book for this series, Evangelism for Non-Evangelists: Sharing the Gospel Authentically by Dr. Mark R. Teasdale. The MSRP for the book is $20, but you can buy it on Amazon for around $14-15. If Amazon is sold out, you can purchase it directly from the publisher InterVarsity Press for $18.

Purchase from Amazon | Purchase from InterVarsity Press

Course Expectations

  1. Read the assigned chapters from the textbook each week before participating in the webinars.
     
  2. Participate in the course webinars on Wednesdays at 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Eastern), 6:00-7:30 p.m. (Central), 5:00-6:30 p.m. (Mountain), 4:00-5:30 p.m. (Pacific) each week (excluding February 26th in observance of Ash Wednesday). The webinars are recorded, so you can watch them later if you cannot attend them live. However, to receive the maximum benefit of the group discussions and activities, you should make every effort to attend the live webinars. We encourage multiple people from the same congregation to participate in the webinars together so they have a stronger basis for developing a congregational plan for evangelism. If you do have multiple people from the same congregation, you can choose to register individually or register as a group, and participate in the webinars on a single screen.
     
  3. Following the webinar, fill out the Study Guide (available for free on the course website) and, if you have questions or comments about the material, contact the instructors through the course email address, voicemail, or twitter. If you joined as a group, we highly encourage you to do these things together.

The material taught in these six weeks are part of a three-credit academic course Dr. Teasdale teaches at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, but are designed to stand on their own so that everyone can join the course as full participants. Because it is nested within the larger course, you will interact with seminarians during the webinars.

Format for the Webinars

The webinars are 90-minutes and each have three sections.

During the first section (30-40 minutes), Drs. Lear and Teasdale will walk through the core concepts from the reading for that week, using interactive tools to help you understand it better. All students will be together in the “main room” of the webinar for this.

During the second section, you will be in virtual small groups that include a mixture of seminarians and participants from the local church. In these small groups, you will address a discussion question posed by the instructors at the end of their presentation. One of the seminarians will facilitate the conversation and take notes on what is shared.

During the third section, you will return to the “main room” and a spokesperson from one or two of the small groups will share their discoveries and have a short dialogue with the instructors. Once the groups have shared, Drs. Lear and Teasdale will provide some closing thoughts and will let you know how to prepare for the next week.

 

Course Instructors

Rev. Dr. Heather LearRev. Dr. Heather Lear

Heather Lear is the Teaching and Research Fellow at the Foundation for Evangelism. In this position, she works with the thirteen United Methodist Professors of Evangelism to develop evangelism curriculum and teaches in both academic and ecclesial settings worldwide. Prior to this, she was the director of evangelism for Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church, in which her responsibilities included equipping United Methodist congregational leaders in all aspects of evangelism by providing resources, creating and maintaining networks of leaders and serving as a speaker and leader. Lear is ordained in the North Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and, prior to her work on the national level, served as senior pastor at Fletcher’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Durham, North Carolina and as associate pastor at both Highland United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Englewood United Methodist Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. 

Lear earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a master of divinity from Duke Divinity School, and a doctor of ministry from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Rev. Dr. Mark TeasdaleRev. Dr. Mark Teasdale

Mark R. Teasdale is a professor, author, and pastor who focuses on evangelism, church leadership, mission, discipleship, and Wesleyan/Methodist studies. He currently teaches at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and has lectured at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Southern Methodist University, and Wesley Theological Seminary. In addition, he has been privileged to consult with several local churches and denominational bodies, including the cabinet of the Methodist Church (Lower Myanmar) and the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church.

He is the President of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education (AETE) and served for six years as the editor of Witness: The Journal of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education.

FAQs

What does the course cost?

The course is offered for $60 for general participants, $85 for those seeking CEUs.

Participants who wish to earn 1.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will need to pay a $85 registration fee. CEUs are awarded upon successful completion of the course, which requires attending all webinars and submitting a completed Study Guide.

How much time will the course take?

You will be spending no more time than you would for a weekly Bible study or book study: approximately 2.5 hours each week for six weeks. Each week requires reading 20-30 pages in the book, participating in a webinar online (90 minutes), and filling out 3-4 pages in the Study Guide after each webinar. 

Is this course for individuals or groups?

The course will work for either.

If you are taking the course by yourself, you will be invited into a community of learners. During the webinars, you will be placed in a small group of learners overseen by seminary students and will be invited to share your thoughts and ideas with the people in that group. We would still encourage you to form a group in your local congregation to go through the group material we provide you either during or after the course is over. Be the change agent that gets evangelism going in your congregation!

If you have multiple people from the same congregation, you can choose to register individually with each person participating on their own screens or to register as a group and participate in the webinars on a single screen. We love having groups join us! We find that their participation together allows them to recognize congregational blind spots and assumptions they would not have seen otherwise. It also helps them begin to develop practical plans for congregational evangelism while they move through the material. With the ways to contact the instructors throughout the week, they can share these plans and ask for feedback. It is like a combination of a course and personalized coaching all in one!

Are there specific times I need to be online?

The webinars will be broadcast live once a week on Wednesdays at 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Eastern), 6:00-7:30 p.m. (Central), 5:00-6:30 p.m. (Mountain), 4:00-5:30 p.m. (Pacific). These will be an opportunity to learn from our instructors and to participate live in small groups. If you cannot attend one week, the webinars will be recorded and made available on the course website.

Will there be someone to help me in the course?

Yes. During the first webinar, you will be welcomed to the course and a tech support person will lead you through the tools you have available to participate in the webinar. He will be available throughout the webinars to help you if you have any problems, too.

A helpful hint: plan on logging into the webinar about five minutes early just to make certain that everything is working for you before the webinar starts.

How do I participate in the webinars?

The webinars will be over the computer. Once you register, you will be sent an email that explains how to access the webinars. You will also receive a reminder email each week one day before the upcoming webinar happens. That email will include a link you can click to join the webinar.

Is there specific technology I need to access the webinars?

The webinar software we use is called Webex and runs using Java (this is automatically installed and updated on almost all computers now).

To have the best experience, you need to join the webinars with a laptop or desktop computer running Java. Tablets, phones, and other mobile devices (including Chromebooks) can access the webinars, but often do not support the functionality of breaking into small virtual groups.

You also will need a working microphone and speakers connected to your computer or a non-mobile telephone to participate in the small groups. When you join the webinar, you will have the choice of connecting your audio via the microphone and speakers or via the telephone.

You do not need a webcam, as you will not be visible to anyone. You will only interact with others in your small groups via audio.

How do I contact you?

Please visit the Connectional Learning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the full list of our frequently asked questions.

Cancellation Policies

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Course Cancellation Policy

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary reserves the right to cancel the course if a minimum participation level is not reached. If we cancel this offering, participants will be notified of the cancellation 7 business days before the offering’s start date and will receive a full refund.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Policy for Participant Cancellation

Participants can withdraw from the course in writing via e-mail to connectional.learning@garrett.edu.

Refunds will be provided according to this schedule:

  • Withdrawals received more than 30 days prior to the course's start date will receive: 100% refund.
  • Withdrawals received between 29 to 16 days prior to the course's start date will receive: 50% refund.

No refunds will be issued for withdrawals received 15 days or less before the course starts.

Evangelism, Done Properly, Is Good

For many people, the word "evangelism" comes with a lot of negative connotations. Hear a little bit from Rev. Dr. Mark Teasdale about how his goal in his evangelism classes, including this one, is to show that evanglism, done properly, is good. 

 

Testimonials from Past Participants

You presented a way of evangelism that I never would have even thought of. It makes so much more sense and takes the fear out of talking to people about Jesus. I had the opportunity to share a little of this in Sunday school this week and my whole class wants to take the class!  

 

So often evangelism is defined in old models; hobbled by a culture of individualism; or viewed as a matter of guilt and lack, rather than joy and abundance. Here I found the “no-cringe zone.” That’s where I can help folks both relax into authenticity and find structure to refine the message we can all share as “good news!” I also feel more confident our congregation can increase effective evangelism by identifying context, resources, and creativity in our unique situation. This course doesn’t give the answers; it helps you identify and apply principles and tools

 

"Evangelism for Non-Evangelists" addressed a crucial but often difficult topic in a way that was, for me, theologically sound, logically presented, and participatory in nature. It helped revive for me a missional focus that has a way of slipping away in the mist of everyday parish ministry. I hope to utilize concepts and practices presented in the course within my current ministry site.