Lay parish evangelist
Lay Parish Evangelists are able to communicate the gospel by word, action and prescence so that people can respond and grow deeper into relationship with God and with one another. They are able to do this in ways that people without any theological training can understand.
The Diocese of Sheffield provides its own programme of initial training through the School of Ministry.
How do I know if God is calling me to be a Lay Parish Evangelist?
Some people would say, ‘That’s easy – is your heart’s desire to lead people to Christ? If so, you’re an evangelist; any other answer, you’re not.’ Having worked with lay evangelists for many years, I am not sure it’s that simple. Firstly, some people wouldn’t use those particular words in their church tradition but their aims might be remarkably similar. Of more importance is the fact that I have seen a wide range of types of evangelist. I think it is this, more than anything else, which can free people to realise that God could be calling them to this ministry. This is partly about breaking through the stereotype that the only model of evangelist is Billy Graham; it isn’t.
If you are considering becoming a Lay Parish Evangelist, the first thing to do is to have a discussion with your incumbent. The incumbent and the PCC (Parochial Church Council) may then recommend you to take this further. The Diocese of Sheffield provide an information session called the ‘What Next’ open morning where you can find out more and discover if you feel you are making the right decision. Check here for 'What Next' dates and select 'Exploring Your Calling'.
You would then go on to apply for the Foundations 1 year course. You are required to complete an application form and meet with the training team to discuss the next step including enrolment on to the Foundations for Ministry course. For those selected there will be three induction sessions before the course formally starts in September.
This course gives you an opportunity to continue to test your calling. Foundations is a one year part-time course and is a pre-requisite to further licensed lay ministry training, some even going on to ordination. The course is designed to fit around busy lives and runs from September to July involving one Sunday a month and three Saturdays a year.
After the Foundations year is complete you would then need to apply for the School of Ministry which would be a similar format to the Foundations year for a further one year's training.
Taking this further...
For more details about this process contact:
Trish Stafford, Training Administrator
firstname.lastname@example.org 01709 309147
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