Global Evangelism Training in Scotland

Global Evangelism Training in Scotland

Pr Wilfred Masih

In the 2023 Spring Meetings held at the General Conference (GC) in Silver Springs, Maryland, Ramon Canals, Ministerial Secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association introduced the Global Disciple-Making Evangelism initiative. The concept is about Total Member Involvement which includes every church member and leader in the participation of evangelism and disciple-making. Jim Howard, director of the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries department for the GC explained that this initiative involves the principles of having a full disciple-making process which is primarily focused on people and working with health, literature, media and other ministries.

In a spirit of fervent commitment to spreading the good news of the gospel, Seventh-day Adventists congregated at various locations in Scotland for a three-day training event focused on Global Disciple-Making Evangelism. The event, which took place from 3rd May to 5th May, brought together believers from different walks of life, united by a shared mission to share the message of hope and salvation.
The three-day training session commenced on the evening of 3rd May at the Edinburgh Seventh-day Adventist Church, where participants had the privilege of hearing from Pastor Ebenezer, the Associate Sabbath School & Personal Ministries Director at the General Conference. With his wealth of experience and deep theological insight, Pastor Ebenezer delivered an inspiring presentation on the significance of global disciple- making in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Drawing from biblical principles and real-world examples, Pastor Ebenezer emphasised the importance of equipping believers to effectively share their faith with others, regardless of geographical or cultural barriers. We were reminded that the great commission that Christ set before us was to “Go therefore and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19) and “By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35). He shared how his own churches engaged in the discipleship process and as a result many gave their lives to Christ. His passionate plea resonated with the participants, igniting a renewed sense of purpose and zeal for disciple making evangelism.

The momentum continued to build on the 4th May as the focus shifted to the Glasgow Seventh-day Adventist Church, where Robert Gamboa, another luminary from the Sabbath School & Personal Ministries Department of the General Conference, took the stage. Gamboa introduced attendees to a groundbreaking initiative known as Sidewalk Evangelism—a bold approach aimed at reaching people where they are, in the midst of their daily lives. At the heart of this approach is a simple method of engaging with people in four basic steps: Pray, Mingle, Invite, and Study. Churches can distribute thousands of invitations to people to study the Bible. The principle is to sow an abundance of invitations and reap an abundance of souls who are hungering for God (2 Corinthians 9:6).

Throughout the day, Gamboa delved into the intricacies of Sidewalk Evangelism, providing practical strategies and tools for engaging with individuals in public spaces. His dynamic presentation captivated the audience, sparking lively discussions and fostering a spirit of innovation within the community. One of the participants from Glasgow commented "I had such an uplifting and inspiring day! The morning presentation by Robert Gamboa was truly enlightening as he spoke passionately about the significance of proclaiming the present truth in the time we are living in. His emphasis on the practicality of sidewalk evangelism really resonated with me and the rest of the audience. The whole day was dedicated to this important topic, and I am certain that everyone in attendance felt truly blessed by the experience". Gamboa also touched on his testimony about how Christ changed his life from a life of drugs and alcohol to evangelism. Adding a touch of musical inspiration to the proceedings, attendees were treated to soul-stirring singing by Robert Gamboa's wife, Charinette. Her melodious voice lifted spirits and created an atmosphere conducive to reflection and worship.

The final stage of the weekend of training took place on the morning of the 5th May at the Paisley Seventh-day Adventist Church, where Robert Gamboa once again took centre stage to share insights on Sidewalk Evangelism, however, this time with translation into Ukrainian for the Ukrainian church members who are passionate about evangelism. Also present at this session was Pr Jimmy Botha, President of the Scottish Mission. Building upon the foundation laid during the previous two days, Robert imparted valuable wisdom gleaned from global hands-on experience in the field.

As the training drew to a close, participants left equipped with practical skills, renewed passion, and a sense of unity that cut through geographical boundaries. One overarching theme throughout the weekend was that every church is a training school. In total, more than 220 individuals had the opportunity to participate in the training sessions throughout the three days, an indication of the growing momentum behind the global disciple-making evangelism initiative.

Reflecting on the training weekend, Pastor Wil Masih, Personal Ministries Sponsor for the Scottish Mission, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with Pastors and church members from diverse backgrounds in pursuit of a common goal in organising this weekend. Also on the organising team were Pr Claudiu Popescu (Glasgow SDA Church), Pr Ratko Risteski (Paisley SDA Church) and Pr Fitzroy Morris (Edinburgh SDA Church). "Our time together has reaffirmed our collective commitment to fulfilling Christ's mandate to make disciples of all nations," remarked Pr Masih. "As we return to our respective communities, may we carry forth the torch of authentic compassion and love, shining brightly in a world in need of hope."

Looking ahead, the organising team expressed optimism about the impact of the training on local outreach efforts and also in organising follow up training events throughout the year. With a newfound sense of resolve and unity, many believers now committed themselves to stand and be ready to embrace the call to disciple making evangelism and spreading the message of God's love to Scotland.