The purpose of this ministry focus paper is to offer a culturally appropriate, theologically formed strategy to empower lay people from Denver Colorado’s Sixth Avenue UCC for a way-of-life approach to evangelism, informed by both the biblical narrative and personal stories.
Sixth Avenue United Church of Christ is a small, vibrant, growing congregation guided by a biblical, progressive, inclusive, liberal theology. The church leadership embrace a moderate to low Christology within an open and affirming environment. The congregation has had limited practices of evangelism, and this paper offers a plan for expanding Christian witness through Sixth Avenue.
The paper contains three major sections. The first outlines mission challenges embedded in the local context, beginning with a general overview and history of the national denomination and a description of the local congregation and surrounding community. Additionally, it explores the church’s fears, hesitancies, values, successes, failures, and celebrations around evangelistic efforts, past and present.
The second section describes the biblical and theological foundations—the platform for empowering lay Christian witness—guided by the stories and relational style of Jesus. The section begins with a review of nine books, then folds in theological reflection of six personal encounters Jesus had in his ministry, and proposes a theology of ministry for the church’s future.
The third section provides a practical strategy for empowering lay Christians to engage actively and naturally in evangelism in their workplaces, families, communities, neighborhoods, and friendship circles. The strategy is delivered through small groups, and the essence of the strategy is developing skills for listening, storytelling, conversing, welcoming, and abiding in Christ. A plan for implementation, evaluation, and adaptation is also offered.
Content Reader: Richard Peace, PhD
Material is subject to copyright.
Morgan, Jennifer J., "Empowering Christian Witness at Sixth Avenue United Church of Christ through the Stories of Jesus" (2010). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 22.