Making the God Connection – 1 of 3

mmg tiny       by Mary Margaret Gibson
This is the first of a three-post series on Making the God Connection.  First, is an update on who is actually doing evangelism these days.  SMSC-trained pregnancy center staff and volunteers are so accustomed to sharing the gospel–and it is so often well received–that it’s good just to check the temperature “outside” the center from time to time. In post 2, we’ll look at how to make The God Connection very quickly with someone who has come for help to your pregnancy center or other life ministry.  In post 3, we’ll offer you a neat new parent’s class to help them hear the gospel themselves and then learn to Make the God Connection with babies 0-3 years old!

In December, the Barna Group sent out an update with the interesting title, “Is Evangelism Going Out of Style?”  You can find the article at https://www.barna.org/barna-update/faith-spirituality/648-is-evangelism-going-out-of-style#.Ut66p9HnZjo

Salvation is to be found only through trust in Jesus Christ as Savior, and we spend our days training folks and equipping them to share that good news.  So we were mighty interested in the information in this article.  Here’s some news that may surprise you:

The Most Evangelistic Generation    They’ve been called “the social justice generation,” and for good reason—Millennials are actively taking up the cause of the poor, the oppressed, the orphan and the widow. Yet the most common critique leveled at this surge in social compassion is that it comes at a great expense. Sure, skeptics argue, they might feed the hungry and free the captives in this life, but what about the next? According to this view, Millennials are elevating physical needs over spiritual needs and forgoing evangelism altogether.

     Yet the latest Barna research reveals this is not the case.

    In fact, in answer to the question of evangelism on the rise or in decline, Millennials are a rare case indeed. While the evangelistic practices of all other generations have either declined or remained static in the past few years, Millennials are the only generation among whom evangelism is significantly on the rise. Their faith-sharing practices have escalated from 56% in 2010 to 65% in 2013.

     Not only that, but born again Millennials share their faith more than any other generation today. Nearly two-thirds (65%) have presented the Gospel to another within the past year, in contrast to the national average of about half (52%) of born again Christians.”

This is encouraging news indeed!  It tells me that more and more people in the age group served by SMSC-trained pregnancy centers may have heard the gospel somewhere!  It also tells me that there are probably young people in every church who share the gospel regularly.  It gives me great hope that as we share the gospel in pregnancy centers, we may find that Millennial folks may see life ministry as a way to combine their desire for social justice and mercy with a clear, simple way to share the gospel in conversation.

We’d be very interested in your opinions about this article.  Do comment.

BEYOND THE ESSENTIALS: NEW COURSES for SMSC Certified Instructors

FEBRUARY 20, 2014 – THURSDAY

Principles & Essentials to Build on ACT Personal Evangelism Training – making the gospel relevant to women of various cultures and ages; evangelism in the pregnancy center for new and expectant moms AND dads; how to work with SMSC partners to add unique support to your ministry (mentors for moms, fatherhood discipleship and skills training, serve women where they live; work with church-based community ministries). Using evangelism videos in “Earn While You Learn” or other service ministry.
NEW Evangelism Review Course:  Sharing the Gospel in Life Ministries – Materials and Leader’s Guide for a 60-90 minute Review of evangelism and discipleship basics, especially for volunteers and staff who may have taken training some time ago.  Leader’s Guide, poster.
NEW 2-Session Parenting Class:   Building Success in Life Ages 0-3 – a wonderful course that provides insight to new and expectant parents about how to support their baby’s development physically, emotionally, and spiritually – while having FUN!  Show parents “foundations of the gospel” they can teach by their behavior with their baby or toddler.   Leader’s Guide, poster, links to various web sites can be used by staff members.
New SMSC Worksheets & Short Courses:  How to use Transitions & Role Play to help staff and volunteers help people with various needs and backgrounds understand the gospel.  Includes training worksheet to help your staff and volunteers create their own role plays suitable for your clients, patients.  Updates to Instructor Manual provided.
Geography:  National – any Certified Instructor with a current 2014 contract may participate

More details to follow.  Please email Liz Hallquist, ehallquist@evantell.org to receive your Registration Form.
Where:   Holiday Inn DFW Airport South, 14320 Centre Station Dr., Fort Worth, TX 76155 (Free shuttle from DFW), request EvanTell Meeting Room Rate
When:  Thursday, February 20, 2014 – 8:30 am – 4:00 pm – lunch provided
Course fee:  ONLY $55.00, payable with your Registration.