How can one be engaged in inviting to faith in Jesus Christ and at the same time work well together with people of other faiths? How can one recognize and formulate the concrete message of the Gospel for the people in their respective life situations without becoming overbearing? Therefore, since 2017 there has been a programme of so-called "Evangelism Contact Persons" (ECPs) who have taken on a special task in the field of evangelism. Once a year the whole group meets for an intensive workshop, the rest of the year the ECPs work in and with the churches for which they are responsible. They remain employees of their respective home church and are released with a part of their working time for this overarching task. In their respective regions, the ECPs are now developing trainings and workshops to pass on what they have learned. For them, evangelism no longer means preaching certain dogmatic sentences, but rather formulating the message of God's devotion and the invitation to the community of those who follow Jesus, concretely, creatively, and contextually. Now they want to empower as many people as possible in their churches.
The Programm in 2023:
"We have developed short YouTube devotions. Once a week such a devotion is recorded by young pastors or vicars and then shared on YouTube. There are 400-500 views per video and we get a lot of positive feedback."
Tom Chandra introduces his project: He is Evangelism Contact Person of the GKE*, abbreviated ECP. At the moment, ECPs meet with the department heads of evangelism from their respective churches during UEM workshops. 23 people are part of the current second group, which will work until 2025. The ECPs are permanent employees of their churches who are sent into the UEM programme. Claudia Währisch-Oblau, Team Leader Evangelism at UEM, says: "The group equally consists of women and men. This is rather unusual in the field of evangelism, but it is a principle in the ECP programme." For Tom Chandra, the work has just begun: He and the other ECPs in the Asia region are planning a total of 47 projects for 2023, from youth camps to training evangelists to creating modules for religious education. For the ECPs in the Africa region, the meeting with the department heads is still pending - and there, too, some new projects will certainly emerge.
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