OPEN MIND

“About ARISE evangelism” – Rev. Young Joo Lee

I had been thinking and praying long and hard about how to evangelise to different ethnic groups in the UK when I came across AMNOS Church Planting School. During the year I spent studying at AMNOS, our group of seven students got on really well like a family. My English, which was only elementary at the time, also improved so that I could pray and deliver a short sermon in English. I also met Pastors Elizabeth (a Nigerian pastor) and Gemechisa (an Ethiopian pastor) through Amnos, who both planted new churches. Our church attended their first services and helped evangelise in their local areas on a regular basis.

Out of the many topics covered in the school’s curriculum, evangelism was the topic which had the most impact for me. The principal of the school, Rev Daniel Chae, is a well-regarded academic, having had his papers published in distinguished journals. But first and foremost, he was an evangelist and carried a gospel tract in his pocket everyday to spread the Good News. During his lectures, he shared many testimonies of how people came to believe in Jesus and how their lives were transformed afterwards. They provided a strong motivation for why I should and can evangelise as well.

Before launching Amnos school, Rev Chae was the Managing Director of MV Doulos for 5 years, where he, along with 350 other missionaries from around 50 countries, travelled around the world on the ship to do missionary work. He also founded Eastbury Church in 1997 in an upper-class neighbourhood of London, where he saw the church grow during his 7-year ministry. Based on his experiences, he established Amnos school with a vision to re-evangelise in Europe and to train future church planters.

When Rev Chae was starting and growing a new church in the UK, the thing he never skipped was his weekly door to door evangelism. You can imagine how uncomfortable this method of evangelism must have felt for the congregation, who were mostly from upper-middle class backgrounds. When there was opposition, he said ‘If you have an alternative method of evangelism, please let me know. Until then, we’ll keep evangelising in this way”. There was no alternative method which was put forward, so he said that’s the way they evangelised until the end ^^. Through door-to-door evangelism, he had met everyone in the community at least three times during his 7-year ministry.

Every Saturday, he would put on his clerical clothing and ring the doorbell. When someone came to answer the door, he would politely greet and introduce himself by saying, “My name is Daniel Chae, the founding pastor of Eastbury church over there. As a church pastor in the community, I feel that I have a responsibility over not just my church members, but also over all members of the community. So every Saturday, I go around the neighbourhood and visit people’s homes. Is there anything that our church can help with or pray for?” At first, the local residents were not so welcoming, but slowly they began to open up and some began to invite him into their homes for tea. During those encounters, he got to understand the needs of the local residents and hosted community events in the church. He later became a local celebrity with some saying that they would vote for him if he ran for local councillor.

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