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Evangelism for Non-Evangelists

This five-week online introductory evangelism course invites you to grow deeper in your own faith and, as you do, reflect on why you believe God is good, articulate your faith in a way that is authentic to that belief, and develop creative practices that grow from those beliefs. It also equips you to implement those creative practices in a congregational setting.

2018 Webinar Dates

Webinars for this course will take place from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. (CST) on:

  • February 1st
  • February 8th
  • February 15th
  • February 22nd
  • March 1st

The course is team-taught by Rev. Dr. Heather Lear, director of evangelism for The United Methodist Church Discipleship Ministries, and Rev. Dr. Mark Teasdale, E. Stanley Jones professor of evangelism at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. If you have any questions about the course, please email evangelismonlin@gmail.com.

The course is free. Participants who successfully complete the course and pay a $100 fee can also earn 1.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Registration opens in January 2018. Sign-up using the form below to be notified when registration opens.

Rev. Dr. Heather LearRev. Dr. Heather Lear

Heather Lear is the director of evangelism for Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodsit Church. Her responsibilities include 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 came to Discipleship Ministries after serving as senior pastor at Fletcher’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Durham, North Carolina. She previously served as associate pastor at both Highland United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Englewood United Methodist Church in Rocky Mount, North Caroline. 

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.

Course Website

You can access all material for the course, including archived webinars from previous weeks once they become available, through the course website: http://markteasdale.net/index.php/evangelism-online/.

Required Textbook

Teasdale, Mark R. Evangelism for Non-Evangelists: Sharing the Gospel Authentically. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-0-8308-5166-9. $16.00.

Course Expectations

  1. Read the assigned chapters from the textbook each week before participating in the webinars.
  2. Participate in the course webinars on Thursdays 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. 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. However, each person will register for the webinars individually, so you are welcome to join by yourself.
  3. Following the webinar, if you are working with a group from your church, you will meet with your group to go through the Study Guide and group exercises for that week so you can begin developing the basis for a congregational evangelism strategy. You might do this right after the webinar or later, such as during a Sunday school class or on an evening you usually provide a book study or Bible study

The material taught in these five weeks are part of an actual 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 seminary course, you will interact with seminarians during the webinars. In addition to the webinars, the expectation is that you will meet with people from your congregation to discuss what you are learning. This could be a leadership group, an evangelism team, or simply a group of people interested in evangelism. Even if several of you from the same group are in the webinars, you would still meet as a group in addition to the time you are in the webinar together.

Format for the Webinars

At the beginning of each webinar, all the participants will be together in a plenary format. During this time, Drs. Lear and Teasdale will walk through the core concepts from the reading you have done. They will then provide you with a specific idea to discuss in small groups.

You will then be placed in small groups that include a mixture of seminarians and participants from the local church. In these small groups, you will work alongside people with various experience to share ideas, develop concepts, and challenge assumptions you have about evangelism. One of the seminarians will facilitate the conversation and take notes on what is shared.

The small groups will reconvene with the larger webinar audience and a spokesperson from each group will share their discoveries. Once all 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.

The entire webinar will take no more than 90 minutes. It will never run over time

Format for the Group Meetings

After you individually participate in the webinars, we encourage you to gather with your local church group to develop a congregational strategy for evangelism. You can organize the group sessions as you like. To help with this, we have provided the Study Guide and the Google Doc group exercises on the course website.

 

What does the course cost?

The course is offered for free. All you need to buy is the textbook.

Participants who wish to earn 1.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will need to pay a $100 fee. CEUs are awarded upon succesful completion of the course.

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 five weeks. Each week requires reading 20-30 pages in the book, participating in a webinar online (90 minutes), and meeting with your congregational group to discuss how to develop a congregational evangelism strategy (60 minutes). 

Is this course for individuals or groups?

The course will work for either. We encourage you to take the course as a group. There will be greater congregational impact if this work is completed corporately. We still would ask that you each would register individually for the webinars, as this will enable learning and sharing of ideas from different congregations in the breakout sessions during the webinars.

If you are taking the course by yourself, you will still 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. Be the change agent that gets evangelism going in your congregation!

Are there speciic times I need to be online?

The webinars will be broadcast live once a week on Thursdays 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) from February 1 – March 1, 2018. 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.

Do I need special software or hardware to take the course?

We will have more information on the technical requirements closer to the opening of registration in January 2018.  In addition, each participant will get tech instructions at registration along with a link to test their system prior to the webinars.

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 watch 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.

How do I contact you?