This story might not sound traditional in the way we know as the regular mode of reaching out to people in evangelism. First of all, the method recognises the fact that there is a desperate need of bringing labourers into God’s vineyard. The second fact that the method recognises is that there are a number of people from other Christian denominations willing to serve the Lord as evangelist and have not received a call from their own church. The third fact, and it might sound awkward, is the very high rate of unemployment existing in the area that make people to believe that at least they can get a job that will help them to feed their families, and even more importantly that the job comes from God.
Here is the story. One of the dioceses in the Province of Central America became very concerned on one hand of the great need for outreach among the peoples of the country and on the other of the tremendous shortage of personal willing to serve as evangelist. The bishop therefore decided to post an advertisement in the local newspaper that the Episcopal Church was hiring people to be evangelist.
It said that payment was not very high but enough, and the requisites were:
a proof of their Christian baptism
a sense of having been called or being called to serve in the spreading of the Good News
a proof of godly live (letters, note from their pastor, recommendations from former employers)
a written biography tracing their spiritual journey
a proof of under graduate studies,
a proof of theological or biblical studies if any and willingness to get involved in an intensive course of preparation.
More than one hundred persons (men and woman) applied, and the diocese made a careful selection of candidates, interviewed them and signed a three years term contract. At the present, ten of the applicants have embarked on their training and are working on the designing of their strategic plan for the diocese in the years to come.
The programme will need a lot of resources and a great deal of prayer.
Communion in Mission 2006
The Rt Revd Armando Guerra-Soria, Sept 2003