The Church Evangelism Initiative curriculum moves pastors and churches through various learning stages throughout 12 cohorts.
Our Mission: Growing a national evangelism movement through converted and reproducing lives and churches.
Our Vision: We want to see an organic and rapidly reproducing movement of God resulting from churches across the U.S., and beyond, becoming communities where many people come to Christ and where every church leader at whatever level is equipped and mobilized to make and multiply new disciples in their ministries.
Our Method: Through creating and multiplying learning communities of senior pastors and outreach influence leaders growing in personal evangelism and leading their churches into renewal as cultures of evangelism.
Session One: Overview and Invitation to the Learning Community Experience
You will receive a taste of the learning community experience that we want to invite you to participate in over the next year, and that we have seen change pastors and their churches in substantive and sustainable ways. In particular, we will assess our church in light of the mission of Jesus to reach people, restore the world, and reproduce. Then we will look at the leadership change process we are inviting you to lead your church through over the next year and beyond.
Session Two: Model Outreach - You First!
In this cohort session we will explore the power of our modeling as leaders and realize that evangelism will accelerate as our people see in us a life worth imitating. We will begin to take steps and tell stories to help us grow in our own personal outreach. As part of that growth, we will think through family and friends God may be calling us to reach. And we will start using the five BLESS (Begin with Prayer) missional practices in our personal lives so that we can then pas them on to our churches.
Session Three: Instill Vision for Outreach
As we begin to grow and take steps in personal outreach, we can then begin to instill vision and passion for outreach in our congregation from a place of authenticity! We will consider how to pass on what we are learning, and prepare our congregation for change. We will engage with a number of ideas for instilling vision and passion for outreach. And we will continue to walk more deeply into the BLESS (Listen) missional practices by reporting on how beginning with prayer went, and then start to deepen our skill in listening to others and their life stories and spiritual stories.
Session Four: Plan and Structure Outreach
We need more than prayer and good intentions in our leadership of our church into Jesus’ mission. We also need intentionality and a plan and a good structure to carry our passion and vision for evangelism through everything we are doing. We will discuss and apply what we have been learning about the Organic Outreach operating system for our church, and we will get ready to create a plan for how to move forward as a church. We will begin to consider who might be our church’s Outreach Influence Leader, and we will continue to report on and deepen in the BLESS (Eat) missional practices.
Session Five: Appoint an Outreach Influence Leader
We need to lead outreach in our churches, but we can’t lead it alone. In this session we will focus our energy and efforts toward choosing an Outreach Influence Leader, an 8-10 hour a week paid staff or volunteer who will help mentor leaders into better personal outreach and better outreach leadership in their ministries. We will also explore a model, the home metaphor, which can help us think through 2-degree vectoring of our ministries in ways that will best serve the conversion process of unchurched people. We will review our initial plan, and continue to grow in the BLESS (Serve) missional practices.
Session Six: Develop an Outreach Influence Coalition
In order to see our church culture change and shift toward outreach, we need to begin to bring leaders together, and also meet with them one on one to keep them accountable and inspired for outreach in their personal lives and in the ministries they lead. We will look at the first few meetings that we might have with our church Outreach Influence Team, and start passing on the BLESS (Story) missional practices to them. Each time, we will share our personal temperature and our church temperature for evangelism, and track whether we are moving forward. And the home metaphor will guide us as we pursue best practices in local church outreach.
Session Seven & Eight: Implement Outreach, Parts 1 and 2
In this session we will begin to examine how we can serve people in the first stages of their spiritual journey. We will talk about how to pursue common concerns and organically enter into neighborhoods and social networks where Christians can gain trust and build relationships with non-‐Christians at the earliest stages of spiritual interest.
Session Nine: Multiply Outreach
Evaluate, Celebrate, Recalibrate and then Multiply: What you celebrate is what gets valued and imitated! As you experience this process and now have led this process in your church, you are ready to multiply. And throughout, we will reiterate that small actions applied consistently over time have huge impact for culture change and for fulfilling the mission of Jesus! Research shows us that if you get 16% of your people adopting new practices in relation to outreach, your church will reach the tipping point. The new practices will spread throughout your church and change your culture. We will also finish our experience with the missional and invitational practices of BLESSING others.
Session Ten: Where Do We Go from Here?
We will look back over all that God has done through our learning community, vision for the future, consider multiplying to other churches, and work through the final stages of the home metaphor. Together we will commit and pray for the future of outreach in our churches, our city, and our denominational and associational networks.
Session Eleven Plus: Multiply Learning Communities in Your City or Neighborhood
We will implement our vision for multiplication within and beyond our churches! Real culture change within your church takes 2 to 3 years as a minimum!
The typical cohort meeting will be two and a half hours and will be structured as follows:
- Personal evangelism check-in and story sharing
- Review of our last meeting and report of what has happened since
- Teaching on main new idea of the session
- Personal reflection
- Group discussion, problem solving, and application to individual churches
- Practical application helps and resources
Visit www.wheaton.edu/ECI for more information