Transforming Evangelism: The Wesleyan Way of Sharing Faith

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Transforming Evangelism: The Wesleyan Way of Sharing FaithTraditional views of evangelism are often intimidating and push the limits of personal comfort, leaving the job of reaching out to new and searching Christians for the professionals — the clergy of the church. Knight and Powe show how this basic misunderstanding is contrary to John Wesley’s view of evangelism, which he understood as a complete circle. Once one has been evangelized to and welcomed into the faith, part of the transformation of their lives includes Christ’s teaching, which is to help others to become welcomed in the faith.

The key to Wesley’s way of sharing the faith is to relate to others in love, compassion and gratitude for God’s divine grace. Knight and Powe’s explanation of evangelism is steeped in the Wesleyan tradition, exposing how God’s love and grace comes to each of us as we once received it, through the gift of proclamation. A true transformative act of evangelism is R.E.L.A.T.I.O.N.A.L.: Renewal; Enter; Listening; Acceptance; Testimony; Inviting; On-Going; New Beings; Assurance; Live-It. As Christians, we are not to keep the gift we receive through evangelism; we are to live out what we learn in community and study, by inviting others into this grace. Knight and Powe express that evangelism should not be viewed as an ugly word or act that most fear to live out, but as a way for one friend in Christ to welcome another friend in Christ to the faith.


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About Author

Rev. Dr. F. Douglas Powe, Jr.

F. Douglas Powe, Jr., is director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership and holds the James C. Logan Chair in Evangelism (an E. Stanley Jones Professorship) at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.

Photo of Hal Knight

Henry H. "Hal" Knight III is the Donald and Pearl Wright Professor of Wesleyan Studies at Saint Paul School of Theology. His passion is enabling persons to work for Wesleyan renewal through growth in the knowledge and love of God and neighbor and participation in God's mission in the world. He was written several books on John Wesley and Methodism.