“While I have led Christianity Explored courses two to three times per year for more than three years, I found Rico’s comments about Mark refreshing.”
Pastor Bill Sutherland shared this reflection at our recent Christianity Explored North American Conference: Building Momentum for Evangelism, held earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
More than 160 people attended the conference, representing 60 churches from all regions of the United States – plus one from Alberta, Canada. In terms of churches represented, this was our most successful conference ever.
According to participants, some of the most helpful parts of the conference were the plenary sessions by Rico Tice. At these sessions, Rico spoke on the following topics:
- What is the Gospel?
- How are we to communicate the Gospel?
- What are the building blocks and blockages?
One participant said of Rico’s training,
“He is one of the finest equipping evangelists I have heard”
Participants also had many positive comments about Randy Newman’s session. Randy, author of the book Questioning Evangelism, led a breakout session about engaging people with gospel through questions. Rico attended one of Randy’s sessions and said, “Randy’s session was a product of 30 years of work – which made it so original and valuable.”
“Confidence!” was the one word an attendee from Delaware used to describe what she took away with her from the conference.
Our annual Supporters’ Evening was held the night before the conference. A supporter from Maryland commented on how encouraging it was to see how much the ministry has grown since 2014, the last time the Supporters’ Evening was held in Washington D.C.
The Big Picture
A 2007 study by The American Church Research Project found that only 17% of Americans are in church on any given Sunday. Only 9% are in an evangelical church. Even in Bible Belt states, less than 25% of the population is in an evangelical church on any given Sunday. Many believe a downward trend has continued since this 2007 study.
In Canada, according to The Center for Theological Schools in Canada, only 10% of Canadians attend any type of weekly religious services, Christian or non-Christian.
It is clear that Christians in North America need to clearly understand the gospel and get the gospel out to people who need to hear it. The need and opportunity in North America are enormous.
At the Christianity Explored North America board meeting earlier in the week, board members affirmed a strategy of building awareness, supporting churches, and raising up supporters through a decentralized, local hub strategy.
We are beginning this work with hubs in the front range of Colorado, the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, the Charlotte-Atlanta corridor, the Washington D.C. area, and Nashville.
To better support this strategy, we are seeking to upgrade our database and hire a part-time administrator (about 20 hours/week) to help with the database and communications. Related, we approved adding a Regional Director for Alberta, Canada.
We’re excited and encouraged by all that God is doing in the US and Canada and are thankful for your continued support and prayers.
Are you interested in learning more about our work in the Americas and how you might partner with us? Click here to visit our website.
Did you attend the conference? Leave a comment below and share your best moments.