Proclamation Evangelism

In the gospels we read that Jesus ‘appointed twelve [disciples] that . . . he might send them out to preach’. In the book of Acts the Apostle Paul publicly proclaimed the gospel time after time as his primary strategy for connecting with those who had never heard (eg Acts 17 in Athens). In his letters Paul affirms the role of the evangelist and mandates public proclamation to his disciples such as Timothy (2 Tim 4:2). And so it has been through two thousand years of church history.

In convening Lausanne I in 1974, Billy Graham modeled the pattern by conducting an evangelistic outreach in the city of Lausanne during the Congress. This gave the vision for Mission Africa where, in fellowship with the Cape Town 2010 Congress, African and international evangelists partnered and proclaimed the gospel on behalf of the local church in 12 African countries.

The direct preaching of the gospel, with proper preparation and follow-up, is at the heart of true evangelism. It engages the spiritual gift and calling of the evangelist in partnership with the church to publicly proclaim the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and to call people to repentance and faith.

We must proclaim the truth. Spoken proclamation of the truth of the gospel remains paramount in our mission. This cannot be separated from living out the truth. Works and words must go together. The Cape Town Commitment II-A-1

The Lausanne Proclamation Evangelism issue network exists to encourage and support the work of proclamation evangelists around the world by:

  • Modeling biblical evangelism through partnering evangelists with churches in any given location to conduct effective community missions.
  • Encouraging and supporting proclamation evangelists in their ministry and calling.
  • Providing training in evangelism for pastors and church leaders to better understand the calling of the evangelist and how it applies to the church.
  • Organizing regional conferences to impart the vision for evangelism and teach how to organize stratified evangelistic outreaches in cities and towns.
  • Heightening the profile of proclamation evangelism within the Lausanne Movement.

We are still in the early stages of building a global network, but plan to connect a network of people committed to proclamation evangelism, to collaborate on regional strategies involving proclamation evangelism. In partnership with Lausanne, we plan to organize a conference on proclamation evangelism for approximately 300 evangelists from all 12 Lausanne regions. This conference would provide a forum for ideas, networking, and encouragement. We also hope to publish a Lausanne Occasional Paper on the biblical basis, historical background, and the opportunities and challenges of proclamation evangelism, drawing on the experience of many who have seen the fruitfulness of proclamation evangelism.

Lastly we are considering questions such as the ones below, raised at a recent Mission Africa leadership team meeting. How might the Lausanne Proclamation Evangelism issue network . . .

  • reflect the definition of evangelization as the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world?
  • be an instrument in bringing clarity of vision, synergy, and a platform for authentic partnership to the many scattered initiatives and attempts to evangelize the world?
  • empower young people in the global church for life-long commitment to evangelism?
  • encourage partnerships of mutual benefit between churches and mission agencies, empowering each to contribute to a common, strategic vision?
  • become an empowering catalyst to mobilizing prayer, funding, and resources for global mission?

We value your prayers for this small but critical aspect of Lausanne’s global ministry and encourage any expressions of interest to be part of it.

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