The CME Church

BE BOLD: Face Now – Embrace Next – See New! October 2022 Message from General Secretary Rev. Dr. Leon C. Moore, Jr.

In the Gospel of Luke (Luke 8:4-16), Jesus shares the parable and shows the importance of causing the crowd to hear, understand, and respond. Jesus allowed his disciples to experience his Galilean ministry, the advancement, and expansion of the Kingdom of God.

The church must return to a theology that helps people deal with their life experiences in a practical way. Clergy and laity must understand that the purpose of the church has been to seek out and reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to offer hope. To do this effectively, clergy and laity must understand the need for evangelism. Evangelism can be the arm of God in society seeking human participation and reaching those who need Christ. It begins with a belief in God and then continues to build and grow the church, church community, and other institutions by faith sharing. God’s word and our work will produce a harvest according to the Parable of the Sower. We must expect a harvest and not inspect the work of others. We must look for good fruit from our ministry efforts.

It is vitally important that people of all ages are represented in evangelism in the local Church. The local church must begin to make a difference in the communities and not allow anything less than diversity. The church should mirror the community we serve but often this is not the case, partially because of the lack of evangelism training and faith-sharing material in the local church. The best efforts in evangelism do not try to duplicate but to create space for authentic evangelism.

One of the early fathers of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Bishop Joseph A. Johnson, Jr., was the thirty-fourth Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. He writes in his book, Local Church and Lay Evangelism, “The local Church must be a training institution in which the members are taught basic facts about the polity, the doctrines, and the history of the church. The local church must be a witnessing institution in that its members must constantly feel the need and urge to tell others about the good news of God.” Bishop Johnson’s argument, made in 1976, showed the intentionality and urgency of the CME church then and now.

As the local Church, let’s take seriously the call of the laity to live the purpose of evangelism, then maybe the church could advance the cause of Christ. The new quadrennial theme suggests it is time to see the church thriving and not just surviving. This growth through living out the theme to BE BOLD: Face Now-Embrace Next-See New will be clear in evangelism, which could produce the necessity for church growth, church planting, and church revitalization. Are you up for the task and heavy lifting, intentional faith development, effective witnessing, and soul winning as a part of a ministry that advances the body of Christ?

We are The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church recognizing the importance of Christ in our daily lives.

Rev. Dr. Leon C. Moore, Jr.

General Secretary of Evangelism and Missions

Anderson Chapel CME, Holly Springs, MS