New Wine Ireland offers a two-year practical training course in evangelism for people who are passionate about reaching out with the Gospel. Here's some more info about what it is all about.
George Newell heads up the course which was formed as a partnership between New Wine Ireland and Through Faith Mission. In a nutshell, the course is a two-year distance learning, practical course to train and equip evangelists.
George explains, "We are looking for people who have a heart to see others won for Christ. It is about equipping, encouraging and enabling and sending out. It is not so much about the qualification but encouraging people in the call that is already on their lives. Biblcal teaching and practical application."
Run since 2002, the course has trained over 100 students. It consists of six units, accredited through St. John's Theological College in Nottingham.
- New Testament
- Old Testament
- Ministry and Mission
- Plus one other module of the student's own choice
The sixth unit is a portfolio which records evangelism experience, a series of training weekends and an assessed mission.
George said, "Anyone can do the theory and the theology of evangelism but that doesn’t mean you are an evangelist. This sixth unit runs throughout the two years. It is a portfolio detailing your evangelism experience with 12 different learning outcomes. Things like being able to communicate the gospel in a way that is relevant to their culture. Leading an evangelism team. Leading someone to Christ. The reality is that if you are an evangelist and you are doing an evangelism… it is easy enough to complete.
"We are all different and God has called us all to different roles. We can think of evangelists as either a preacher in a pulpit or someone on a street corner. We are looking for people who have a heart to train others.
Course requirements: Eight hours of study a week, three residential weekends per year and monthly meetings for worship, teaching and ministry.
Cost The course costs 2,496 sterling (24 payments of 104 pounds) or the Euro equivalent. New Wine Ireland encourages students to raise support from their church to help cover these fees.
Application process: Letter of reference from your church leader which outlines your experience including evangelism and your suitability for the course. Details of another referee. A CV outlining your experience and role in ministering to others. Find out more at www.newwineireland.org.
Closing Date: Applications in for Friday 30 October and after that there is a selection process. The induction weekend takes place in Willowfield Parish Church in January.
What was it like?
The students shared their own experience of the course:
Robert Graham said, "I’m from a farming background. It is amazing how God works in your life. I’ve become so involved in my church. I was always scared about the questions I couldn’t answer. Now my own rector has me doing sermons. I started a new Messy church as a result of the course. I’m very passionate about it. God set me on fire for this. I used to be in the business of harvesting crops - now I’m in the business of harvesting souls! People are getting to know Christ through the ordinary people! It is amazing how our church has come on.
Sandra said, "For me one of the things God is doing is giving me permission to try things. I’ve had a learning curve - doing things I would not have had the opportunity to do or be comfortable with or preaching and doing kids talks. We are learning from each other and the camaraderie is wonderful. It is an uncomfortable course but it is good. it makes you more aware of situations that God opens up and gives you the confidence to step into them."
Willie is on the first year of the course, He shared, "On the first weekend, we had to prepare a sermon and then say our sermon it to each other. I had never preached a sermon in my life. It was daunting but I thought, everybody here is on my side. When I did it, it was like a legal high - it felt so good!
"I’m not a great reader so the course has been a great challenge. I’m doing this course because I want to be equipped when those questions come to give a good account. It is forcing me to learn but when I’m doing it, I’m enjoying it. You don’t evangelise for your church, you evangelise for Christ!"
Colum added, "I left school at 16 with no qualifications and I was 43 years old when I started the course. I would have no computer skills so I write my essays out by hands. I’ve found since I started the course, I’ve been able to share my faith with people I work with and with customers. I've even offered to pray with them. Before I started the course, I would never have done that."
"If you want to be equipped to share the gospel, the course is brilliant for that."