Idaho Conference Members Train Others To Evangelize and Retain Members
Evangelism—it used to be the responsibility of the professionals. But several dozen Idaho Conference members now have the know-how to put on a series themselves.
On Sabbath, July 21, the Payette Church hosted a marathon ShareHIM evangelism training event. Presenting were Dan Hunt, Payette (Idaho) Church evangelism coordinator, Brian Yarbrough, Vale (Ore.) Church pastor, and Craig Bonson and Tim Ellis, Vale Church members. But instead of merely teaching the attendees how to put on a series, the group also shared how to tie a regular evangelistic series to the beginning of a solid small-groups program.
The group's presentations concentrated on five areas. First, attendees were reminded to prepare themselves spiritually and learned to make contacts with people before the meetings. They learned how to promote with advertising and bulk mailing. They learned the best ways of presenting the ShareHIM materials. The most lively discussion of the afternoon ensued from the discussion on protecting new members from family influences, distractions, and most of all "well-intentioned" long-time members. The day closed with a critically important presentation on empowering through small groups, using peer mentoring and discipling to grow new members into church leaders.
ShareHIM evangelism, which consists of pre-made sermons tied together with professional-quality slides, is designed for anyone to be able to do. Idaho Conference's emphasis on ShareHIM began at camp meeting in 2006, when Robert Folkenberg Sr., ShareHIM director, invited Idaho members to commit to putting on the series in their home churches. The conference put on a training event in September of that year. This presentation was done by members who had successfully presented a series; Hunt and Ellis also received small-groups training at Andrews University's SEEDS church planting seminar in June.
"When I first heard about ShareHIM, I had very mixed feelings," says Tomm Lemon II, Payette Church pastor. "On one hand, having lay members give the presentations is genius because it cements them in their faith; on the other, without a plan for keeping new disciples, it becomes just another prophecy seminar. That's why I appreciated my friends' research into tying ShareHIM to small groups. The small-groups concept helps people understand the basics of following Jesus, and it creates a family atmosphere in the church that is satisfying, exciting and worth sharing."