The Participation of Laity in Evangelism in the North and South Minahasa Missions of Indonesia
Public evangelism is the dominant method of bringing people to the church in the North and South Minahasa Missions. The pastor is considered the most capable and successful in doing evangelism. This opinion encourages concept that the pastor is the one who does evangelism while the laity acts as helpers. This study is undertaken to reconsider the role of the laity in evangelism and to help laypeople to live according to the original purpose of God in the context of evangelism.
The true understanding of the layman' s role in evangelism creates a better ministry. Based on the biblical resources, the writings of Ellen G. White, and selected literature on the subject, a recommended program is prepared for implementation. This recommendation is informed by the writer's personal experience as a minister in these missions.
The study shows that the church, as organized by God, has a purpose, and that purpose is to work with Him in spreading the good news to the world. God gives the church the spiritual gifts that are needed to carry out the task through every individual in the church. The study reveals that the special gift of the pastor is given for equipping every member in the church for the ministry. Moreover, it shows the need of both pastor and laity to live a true Christian lifestyle in order to successfully fulfill the commission.
Investigation shows that several things must be done to recruit and mobilize all members in the ministry. First, there must be a proper understanding of the purpose for the church's existence in which each member should know his/her identity, privilege, and responsibility. Second, the pastor who is the equipper should equip himself spiritually and intellectually. Third, the personal experience of each member with the Lord is the first step of every evangelistic endeavor. A person cannot witness for Christ if he/her has no experience with Him. Fourth, a true Christian lifestyle influences others for Christ and that influence in a greater measure is through Christian friendship.