Rotating evangelism proves effective outreach strategy

By July 25, 2006

Argentina (MNN) — Several years ago a team with World Gospel Mission traveled throughout Argentina and discovered that many towns didn’t have an evangelical presence. That began an initiative to plant churches in those towns.

WGM’s David Kerney says it’s through friendship evangelism and a strategy called “rotating evangelism” that WGM is helping meet that need. Kerney, a national pastor and several other believers will regularly visit these towns to deepen relationships, study the Bible, pray together and show Christian films. The goal is to raise up leaders to eventually plant churches.

Kerney says the impact is not only on the townspeople, but also the visitors, “And through all this process the disciples are learning how to share their faith, and also we’re reaching people there for Christ and developing relationships with people in these towns that never had a gospel church. And it’s a very slow process, but slowly we’re developing those relationships.”

Barriers are slowly breaking down and people are coming to Christ through Bible studies, prayer, and the work of God in people’s lives. Kerney says it’s about the long-term impact of God’s people faithfully ministering through care and friendship. “Overall we have to pray strongly beforehand that God would open their hearts to His Word and to Him and so the response is not dynamic; it’s very slow. We have to look at this whole process as long range planning.”

It’s seed-planting, says Kerney, “It’s not like, okay you can go throw seeds out, they’re corn seeds, and sow those and they come up real soon. These are like seeds you put in and it may take months, years, actually before we see fruit.”

The visiting team of “rotating evangelists” are gaining the confidence of the people in the communities they visit as they reach out to children, youth and adults. Kerney says the impact is spreading, “Even the people that we’re discipling, then they’re putting it into practice, and it’s creating a desire in the people, they’re opening up their hearts more and more. We’re able to converse with them and share with them the Good News.

Pray for the work in Argentina to continue growing and spreading, that God would enable churches to be planted and strengthened through this church planting strategy.

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