On Monday I traveled to Shalom Hill Farm (just outside of Windom, MN) for the First Call Theological Retreat. First Call Theological education is something that all first call pastors (and other rostered leaders) in SW MN (and other area synods as well) are required to participate in for the first three years of their ministry. Among the various components, an annual theological retreat is held. I finished my first call requirements this past year so in a way I am "off probation" 🙂
But this year I was back…and this time in a teaching capacity. With the various evangelism training I have had combined with my passion for evangelism, my bishop asked me to lead a presentation at this event. I was honored to be asked and joyfully accepted the invitation. But I was still a little nervous. I have never really taught a class for a group of pastors before. I DID lead a workshop at our synod assembly last year on evangelism and blogging, but somehow that felt different.
So I gathered my resources and tried to piece together what I would talk about. There is so much one COULD talk about that trying to narrow things down to a 1 1/2 hour presentation was not easy. My only fear was that I would get so excited that I would begin talking to fast and thus mumble and jumble words and phrases together (that is the main reason I need a manuscript when I preach…to slow me down). But I did it and had a great time. Afterward I had some great conversations with people one on one about evangelism and even more during supper. Now the next question is this: What is next?
I am working on something for here at Salem that I hope will be the beginning of a culture change here. I am not sure if it will work or if I will even see the fruits during my time here, but I am going to give it a whirl (I will talk more about this in an up coming post). So in the mean time I am going to spend some time writing about evangelism and I invite your thoughts and comments. And I think the best way to do this is on another blog that is specifically designed for that purpose. So I have created an evangelism blog called The Heart of Evangelism where we can have some discussion about evangelism, share ideas, resources, strategies and the like along with support for one another.
So there you have it. We will see if this takes off or not. Whether it does or not, it won’t curb my passion for encouraging people to be who we were created to be. After all, if the church is not about evangelism, then we are nothing more than a social club with special tax exempt status. Let’s reclaim the very thing we should not have to re-claim.
[And…as always…this new blog will be done all for the glory of God…because without God, what’s the point?]
Take care and God bless!