Mission - Resources - Guidelines

Guidelines for Mission and Evangelism Co-ordinators

From 'Communion in Mission' Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism (IASCOME) Report to ACC 13 2005

The Decade of Evangelism has stimulated mission and evangelism in the provinces of the Anglican Communion. Many, if not all the provinces, were challenged to shift their thinking and strategies from a maintenance mode to mission. In many provinces a new position was created that of a Provincial Evangelism Co-ordinator during the Decade

These guidelines are a result of a discussion of the participants at the Conference of Provincial Mission & Evangelism Co-ordinators, held in Nairobi in 2001. The guidelines contain:

  • Questions to help clarify the job expectation.
  • Advice from newly-appointed co-ordinators.

These guidelines can assist both provincial and also diocesan co-ordinators of mission & evangelism.

Questions to help clarify the job expectations

Definitions

  • What are the locally understood definitions of “mission” and “evangelism”? What are the differences between these two?
  • What are the various aspects of mission and evangelism that the job will entail in practice?
  • What are the commonly quoted biblical imperatives for mission and evangelism locally?

Strategies and Planning

  • What strategies are currently employed in mission and evangelism in your province?
  • How effective have these been?
  • What other strategies need to be implemented?
  • Is there an overall strategic plan for the work of mission and evangelism?
  • What needs to be done to strengthen this plan and improve the strategies?

Social, Cultural and Environmental Challenges

  • What are the particular social challenges facing people locally?
  • What cultural beliefs and customs will be challenges to the missionand evangelism work?
  • What environmental challenges are you aware of?

Skills, Talents and Gifts Needed

  • What special skills, talents and gifts are needed for the tasks of mission and evangelism in your context?
  • Where can the co-ordinator expect to find help in securing all the necessary skills, talents and gifts?
  • Is there general recognition of these skills, talents and gifts as ministries within the local church? If not, what can be done to affirm the legitimacy of these talents?
  • How will a team ministry be created and/or strengthened for the work of mission and evangelism?

Ecumenical Links

  • What ecumenical partners can be identified who are already at work in mission and evangelism in the area?
  • What needs to be done to strengthen these relationships and avoid unhealthy competition?

Formation Processes for Mission & Evangelism

  • Mission and evangelism is an imperative for all Christians. Is this commonly understood, and if not, what needs to be done to teach this?
  • What programs are needed to prepare lay people for the work of mission and evangelism?
  • What programs are needed to prepare ordained people for the work of mission and evangelism?

Part of the ministry of the church should be to prepare people for mission and evangelism. It should be part of the formation ministry of the church – catechumen, youth, women and men ministry, ministerial formation processes for both the ordained and lay ministries. These formation processes should not only be academic but pragmatic as to ignite in the participants a zeal for mission. It should focus on highlighting the fact that mission is about doing our Father’s business – not an option but a must.

Suggestions for Evangelism Co-Ordinators

Clear Goals

  • Have a clear understanding of what the role of the Evangelism Co-ordinators involves for your province
  • Understand this role in the light of the overall ministry of the province and the individual dioceses
  • Concentrate on co-ordination of evangelism in the province and not the doing of evangelism yourself.
  • Evangelism is for the whole people of God not just for those with special gifting

Know your context

  1. Province
    • Where are the dioceses geographically?
    • Where are the gaps in the province?
    • What is the nature of the dioceses - rural, urban or metropolitan?
    • What are the needs?
  2. Diocese
    • Where are the churches and congregations?
    • Where are the gaps where there is no Christian witness?
    • What other Christian churches are in the area and is it possible to link with them?
    • What are the social needs in the dioceses?
    • Where can the church have the most effective witness?

Know your people

  • What dioceses have Evangelism Co-ordinators?
  • In what ways can you invest in good relationships with the diocesan Co-ordinator of each diocese?
  • What is their gifting, strengths and particular role(s)?
  • What training do they needed? Where can they get the training?
  • What support do they needed? Where can they get the support?

Know your church

  • Visit parishes as often as possible and learn about the local communities,
  • including their problems.
  • Get to know the parish lay leaders.
  • Get to know the clergy.
  • Seek support from the bishop.
  • Plan on paper then get the Bishop’s approval.

Teamwork

One major role of Evangelism Co-ordinators is that of providing leadership alongside of others especially the diocesan co-ordinators. Leadership includes developing positive relationships in the team and showing interest in team members as subjects and not objects of the task to be accomplished. A sense of humour and the ability to laugh at oneself is part of these skills. Having appropriate gifts is helpful in participation and co-ordination but a well- co-ordinated people will be more effective than working alone. The ability of the position holder to be a team player is therefore very vital for effective mission work. It is the Holy Spirit who impacts these gifts and graces. People in mission should therefore strive to have a special relationship with the Holy Spirit and should be most sensitive to His bidding and presence.

Teamwork is important. The Evangelism Co-ordinator should therefore

  • Develop networking skills; connect and link groups together.
  • Develop good and open relationships with your team; be interested in them as people.
  • Encourage contacts and connections.
  • Think through problems with your team before you consider action.
  • Listen to people, share the vision and set apart a team.
  • Set up a public relations programme.
  • Create an enabling environment.
  • Develop networks, so that co-ordinators can meet regularly and foster partnership.
  • Tell people they are doing a good job. (Some people never hear that from anyone else.)

Training

As evangelism is the task of every Christian, training will be on every level. During the Decade of Evangelism retraining in evangelism for bishops clergy and laity was recommended. The involvement of the diocesan bishop in the support of the evangelism co-ordinator and evangelism in the diocese is a priority and is often the key to effectiveness.

Areas of training

  • Training for a co-ordinators before their appointment is important.
  • Personal training for the diocesan co-ordinators in the area of their specific gifting is also advantageous
  • The training of the laity in faith sharing

Consultations

We are living in a day of consultations on varying aspects of mission and these have proved very effective in straightening relationships, networking, sharing of information and learning from one another. Consultations should be encouraged on the following levels.

  • Diocesan Evangelism Co-ordinators - it is important for learning from one another and exchange of ideas, strategies, successes and failures. It is also important for mutual encouragement and envisioning.
  • The same kind of consultation could be done on a diocesan level for parish evangelists

Mission is of God and from God. Therefore in order for an effective co-ordination in mission engagement to be possible, there should be an intimate relationship with God both by the faith community and by the mission practitioner. Evangelism and Mission should be the first priority in all church group activities