Published October 21, 2004
While churches across the country are finding success in intensive evangelism training, it is possible to train and motivate church members to share their faith in as little as an hour.
One method used in Georgia churches is 59 MET, or "59 Minute Evangelism Training." Created by GBC evangelism consultant David Mills, the hour-long workshop helps people begin to share their faith quickly.
"In the Scripture we see Jesus telling new converts to go home and tell their friends the great things the Lord has done for them. When someone came to Christ, they instantly started witnessing," Mills said.
"It's great to have long-term evangelism training strategies, but we need to make room for something like 59 MET."
The tightly scheduled hour of training includes about 40 minutes of teaching time, where the leader points to Scripture to show the command to evangelize. Mills also spends time with participants praying for lost people they know.
Participants are then taught to work with a tract and share their testimonies. Toward the end of the hour, they share a minute-long testimony with a partner and walk through a tract with that partner.
There is no memorized set of Scripture or scripts, but it's still effective.
"It's simple and it breaks the mold of what we've been doing for the last 30 years - requiring a 13 to 16-week commitment," he admitted. "People leave believing they can witness. It's refreshing to see."
Lin Hoff attended a recent 59 MET session hosted by Troup Baptist Association.
"(Mills) talked about how we need to be ready to share at any time. I had a bad accident earlier this year and it's given me an opportunity to share how the Lord has worked in my life. I realized even in the grocery store I have a chance to share with people," Hoff said.
"We get afraid sometimes and we forget that the Holy Spirit is working with people and we don't have to do this in our own power," she said.
The 59 MET program was developed out of a need to provide short-term evangelism training. When Mills came to the Georgia Baptist Convention to work with the evangelism ministry he often was asked to do evangelism training at churches and associational meetings.
"Then they'd tell me I had an hour to do it, so 59 MET came out of a practical need."
But 59 MET isn't the only way to provide evangelism training.
"It's like a tool belt a carpenter would wear," Mills explained.
"Carpenters carry a hammer, a tape measure, nails and a marking pencil - all sorts of tools for their job. This program - 59 MET - is just another tool in the Christian tool belt that helps people learn to witness.
"I encourage churches to do it all when it comes to evangelism training. Don't place your faith in just one strategy. My home church does FAITH, Sharing Jesus Without Fear, Becoming a Contagious Christian and other evangelism training strategies. That's a good way for churches to train."
The 59 MET workshop is available to churches and associations in Georgia. To schedule a session, call the GBC Office of Evangelization at 1(800) RING-GBC or (770) 936-5233. The GBC evangelism office and programs are made possible through your gifts to the Cooperative Program.
You and your church may send Cooperative Program gifts to:
Dr. J. Robert White Executive Director
Georgia Baptist Convention
2930 Flowers Rd., South
Atlanta, GA 30341-5562
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