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Churches in Ontario are hungry for information about evangelism, judging by the attendance at a recent conference hosted by the Home Missions Eastern Canada Regional Team.

Almost 300 people, including local church leaders and congregants, gathered at the Georgetown (Ont.) CRC for a one-day conference titled “Evangelism for Normal People: Turning Your Church Inside Out.”

The conference was led by Dr. John Bowen, associate professor of evangelism and director of the Institute of Evangelism at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, and the author of the award-winning book, Evangelism for “Normal” People.

During a workshop, Bowen challenged people to see evangelism as a process in which everyone can be actively involved. Whether through serving, praying, or explaining the Bible, all church members can impact the lives of the people around them, he said.

The event also featured workshops and seminars led by Home Missions’ Eastern Canada regional staff, including small group ministry developer Marian Lensink, mission-focused church ministry specialist Jack Tacoma, and ministry developer for evangelism Hilda VanderKlippe.

Lensink led a session on the principles of small groups and how they can provide places of connection for seekers. Tacoma led a seminar on needs-based evangelism that explored how meeting people’s physical needs can make church members feel excited about sharing the gospel. VanderKlippe spoke about how to impact a community through prayer.

Other workshops were geared to church leaders, including “Turning Your Church Inside Out,” which spotlighted two CRC churches, and “How Friendly Is Your Church Really?”     

This was the third year in a row that the Eastern Canada Regional Team presented a special educational event. The team hosted special ministry networking events in 2005 and 2006. Those events were attended by Canadian churches partnering with Home Missions.

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