What We Are About
Tagline: Speak the Story | Live the Story
Mission: Developing and mobilizing Jesus-followers for individual and communal witness.
Vision: A world transformed by the gospel
We believe that effective and faithful Christ-followers live lives of authentic witness, seamlessly blending together living on mission with God, while speaking words of the truth of Jesus.
We believe in the power of both developing and mobilizing Christ-followers to do just this: Speak the Story and Live the Story. We are committed to developing and forming lay Christians and leaders for ministry with the goal of seeing the Church mature in Christ, reaching a lost world that is groaning under the weight and pressure of sin and death. We are confident that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1.5).
Our mission is to develop and mobilize Jesus-followers for individual and communal witness. When we speak of developing and mobilizing, we recognize that our mission is grounded in deep discipleship and development, with the ultimate goal of seeing God’s Church powerfully impacting our world in word and deed. Simply stated, we seek to pour ourselves into both leaders and lay Christians so that we will see a Church filled with Christ-centered, Christ-modeled gospel witnesses. We pour into others so that they will go and be the Church of Christ, thus moving us closer towards a world transformed by the gospel.
When we speak of individual and communal witness, we express our intention to develop and mobilize individuals, churches, organizations, businesses, and schools which will impact our world for Christ and his kingdom. We believe this can and will happen as we train teams of Christ-followers to speak and live out their commitment to Jesus Christ.
Christ is the center of our message. Our efforts are grounded in salvation through Christ alone, forgoing non-essential issues that will distract us from the simple and honest gospel message.
Christ is also the very model we seek to emulate as we go about this. The incarnate Christ displayed attributes we seek to follow as we witness. The message he proclaimed was enriched by the character he manifested and the compassionate deeds he performed.
How We Do It
Our training takes on a number of forms: teaching and preaching in churches, classrooms, and conference settings; providing online and print evangelism training tools; and mentoring one-on-one and in group contexts. We also offer Masters-level studies in evangelism and leadership and missional church movements through the Wheaton College Graduate School.
We train those in leadership roles (pastors, directors, heads of organizations, emerging student leaders), as well as Christians of all ages and walks of life in direct response to the New Testament command that all believers are to be Christ's witnesses in the world.
Our skilled staff and faculty have trained thousands to share their faith effectively. Topics of expertise include evangelism leadership, developing evangelistic churches, Muslim and multicultural evangelism, witness and evangelism in the marketplace, evangelism in prison contexts, and developing personal evangelism resources.
Why We Do It
The need to equip the Church in the area of gospel witnessing is great: A recent Barna poll showed that only 73% of born-again Christians believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith verbally. Additionally, only 52% actually did share their faith verbally in the past year.
We have been given the command to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19) and we have each been called to go in Jesus' name (John 20:20-21), filled with the indwelling Holy Spirit. We also face challenges—fear of knowing how to share our faith verbally, fear of being judged by others, pressure to operate in the marketplace and the workplace in ways inconsistent with the gospel, and cultural and linguistic barriers, to name a few. The BGCE is committed to helping Christians overcome these barriers and train them to witness to their faith in a manner that has Christ as both the subject and the model of authentic gospel witness.
Our allegiance is to our Lord and his call to us. Our desire is to see every person sharing Jesus with those who don't know him.
Senior Fellow Dr. Ed Stetzer shares how the BGCE is leading the conversation on evangelism.