In May, our church planting project Comunidades de Shalom launched a new evangelism training series in one of their local house churches. This 6-week series is a practical, skill-building course on being a “Contagious Christian” and looks at 6 different styles of evangelizing. The idea to offer the training came about because the Comunidades de Shalom had been trying to encourage people to talk about Christ to others, but with little success. It turned out people had only ever been taught one way of sharing Jesus, which was either approaching strangers on the street or going around knocking on doors. Since most people weren’t comfortable with such a confrontational approach, they simply did not evangelize.
Thanks to the “Contagious Christian” series, the participants have discovered that sharing Jesus doesn’t have to be a stressful, artificial process. During the course, each person first identifies their own personal strengths. Then they use that knowledge to find out what style of evangelizing comes most naturally to them. Based upon their own particular style, each participant has identified a list of 5 names of people they could begin sharing with. In the next few weeks, the participants will begin reaching out to those people. The participants have been very enthusiastic and excited about what they are learning. Several have commented that they had never thought of evangelism in that way before. They say that this new way of evangelizing makes the process more personalized and allows them to be themselves.
Each Friday there has been an average of 20 adult and children participants. Comunidades de Shalom has also been streaming the training live online and there has been an average of 15 to 20 people throughout Latin America logged in to watch each session. Our objective is that, as the participants go through the training series, they begin to evangelize more and to have a greater impact on their communities. As we head into next stage, each of the current participants has committed to begin reaching out to the people on their list. We are hoping that this will result in a number of new people coming to Christ and some possible new church plants starting up in the future.
A lifetime of suffering, deception and exclusion can leave deep scars and break a person’s spirit. Many slum dwellers have come to believe they have no value and nothing significant to offer. Many are trapped in a web of lies. They believe lies about themselves and their own worth. They believe lies that there is nothing they can do to change their current situation. They believe the lie that God ordained their suffering or that God is punishing them for something. At ConeXión Mosaico we believe that without restoring people’s psychological and spiritual well-being, transformation of any kind is not sustainable. Comunidades de Shalom exists to help people discover that their human dignity is rooted in their identity as beloved children of God. We seek to plant replicating Jesus’ communities where slum dwellers can worship, pray, study the Word, care for one another, share their faith with others and disciple them, engage in social action and become change agents in their own communities. When you partner with Comunidades de Shalom, you have the opportunity to be a part of this exciting transformation. We invite you to join us!