Raphael Anzenberger is general secretary of France Evangelisation >> and president of the Francophone Evangelist Forum. Evangelist, missiologist, church planter, author, and speaker, he seeks to raise a new generation of young evangelists who will bring the message of the cross throughout the Francophone world. Married with four children, Raphael lives in Loches, France.
What is the main focus of your ministry and why are you passionate about it?
My main focus in ministry is proclaiming the gospel, multiplying evangelists and helping churches rethink their evangelistic strategy. I have a theory: more evangelists + better church consulting = increased evangelistic impact. Part of the success in this equation is to help churches understand what an evangelist is, while giving them clues on how to best release this ministry in their own setting.
What does evangelism mean to you?
Evangelism is a two-step process: proclaiming the gospel (inside-out) and inviting the hearer to respond (outside-in). The proclamation moves from the inside of the church to those outside of the church. The call to respond moves the hearer from being outside of the church to being inside of the church. This double move guarantees that the call to discipleship is never separated from the call to repentance and faith.
Tell a story of how you shared your faith in Christ and saw God woo an individual one step closer to himself.
On our street, we have a young man who prayed every night to an unknown God. He spent the first year of our church plant observing carefully how we, as Christians, were conducting ourselves. His main question was: Are they really living what they are proclaiming? He then proceeded to speak to each member of our core team, asking them how they met God. We gladly shared the gospel to him and invited him to come to church. He started attending our daily prayer meetings (morning and evening). Head down, seated in the lotus position, he listened to our prayers of blessing for him. I knew God had his grip on him. We encouraged him to read the Gospel of John and to start praying in the name of Jesus, which he did. Soon after, he had a powerful encounter with Jesus. He is now being discipled by one of our young evangelists. Inside-out. Outside-in.
What is your favorite quote/scripture?
“Man is always looking for better methods. God is always looking for better men.” - EM Bound
How can people learn more about you and your ministry?
They can visit the France Evangelisation website >>
ABOUT THE WORLD
What is the biggest issue that the Church in your part of the world faces today and why?
French is one of the most spoken languages in the world. The Francophone world is made of 56 countries representing 970 million people. A large number of these countries have very little evangelical presence (North Africa, Equatorial Africa, Quebec, Belgium, France).
The biggest issue facing French-speaking countries in the West (Belgium, France, Switzerland, Quebec) is the rapid secularization process which is pushing churches to the fringes of society. The biggest issue facing the evangelical Church in this region of the world is to come out of a “ghetto mentality” and find its own voice amidst other competing voices (Catholics, atheists, Marxists).
In the French-speaking countries where the evangelical presence is larger (Central Africa, Antilles), there is a need for a more cooperative effort toward reaching the unengaged (geographically and sociologically speaking). The call of MANI (Movement for African National Initiatives) is to bring the gospel to North Africa, which is largely unreached. This enormous task requires the whole of French-speaking churches to bring the whole gospel to this largely French-speaking African zone.
What is the biggest issue the Global Church is facing today and why?
Procrastination. A church leader once told me, “We spend our time analyzing Goliath, but who is actually picking up the stones and has enough courage to throw them?” We could call this procrastination, but ultimately it is disobedience to God.
I believe that part of the solution is for the David-type evangelists to help the Church move out in faith into the world and to exemplify boldness in sharing the gospel amidst the giants of our time!
What is your hope for the Global Church in the next ten years?
I have been very impressed with the upcoming generation. I see God raising gifted young leaders, male and female, who know how to network for a greater purpose than social gathering. In our movement, we started a training program to identify, develop, and release such leaders. It is amazing how much impact for evangelism these 60 young evangelists can bring at a national level. I can only imagine what could happen if they could network with others across the globe!