Methodists aim for 'joyous risks in evangelism and growth'
The Methodist Church has announced a new team that will encourage growth and confidence within the Church.
The team will focus on supporting the Methodist Church’s network of 4,650 churches through promoting everyday evangelism, helping churches reach out into their local communities, and starting new churches.
The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God’s love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission. This new team is part of the Methodist Church’s response to God and to the cultural and demographic shifts within society. Facing a declining membership along with other denominations, the Methodist Church wants to connect with people who are currently unaffiliated to faith or exploring spirituality in different ways.
New roles have been created to work alongside leaders across the Methodist Church and with its ecumenical partners. The emerging strategy promises innovation, experimentation and adventure with its intention to develop hundreds of ‘new places for new people’ and to help existing churches come alive and grow.
Leading the team is Trey Hall (main photo), the new Director of Evangelism and Growth at the Methodist Church, who began creating the team after he started work in the late summer of 2018. Trey commented: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome these gifted folks to the team.
“We want to take some joyous risks in evangelism and growth as we learn to speak and live out God's goodness in honest, inclusive, and culturally compelling ways. This will certainly be a challenge, but it’s a challenge that will build up life, creativity, and energy ahead as we seek to live out our calling!”
These three new members of staff are due to start work in the months ahead:
Emma Nash (right), Mission and Community Engagement Officer, will help existing churches move towards health and growth by equipping congregations to build deep relationships in their communities. Emma is a Baptist evangelist and minister who has worked ecumenically in different church and mission settings, always asking ‘who is God calling us to reach and how might we best do that?'
Matt Finch (left), Pioneering and Church Planting Officer, will work collaboratively to develop and implement a Church-wide strategy for ‘new places for new people’, developing leaders and pathways that promote experimentation, multiplication and growth. His current appointment as a Methodist minister in the St Neots and Huntingdon Circuit has seen Matt establish a café church, a contemplative community and new patterns of children and families ministry.
Steve Hollinghurst (right), Contemporary Apologetics Officer, will help the Church to communicate the foundations of Christianity and encourage congregations to confidently speak of God and to share faith with others. Steve has 28 years of experience in mission, evangelism and communicating Christian faith in contemporary culture. An Anglican priest, he is the author of several books and has spoken on national radio about how Christians should respond to the increasing number of people who are spiritual but not part of traditional religions.
The new team will be travelling across the nation over the coming months, meeting with church leaders and congregations, and working collaboratively to equip the Church for new life.