There is a lack of evangelists in the world and those that work full-time training leaders and spreading the Good News are often neglected by denominational leaders, a missionary evangelist in Asia pointed out.
The training and equipping of evangelists is largely absent today and so evangelists have to develop their skills and ministries without any training, GoodNews Evangelistic Association President Dr. Kumar Abraham wrote further in a World Evangelism & Missions report featured in the Lausanne World Pulse.
GoodNews Evangelistic Association is cooperating with two of the largest evangelistic ministries – the Billy Graham Center and Luis Palau's Next Generation Alliance – to enlighten currently practicing evangelists from across Asia and the South Pacific. The Second Asian Advanced Institute for Evangelists is slated to open this coming weekend and run for 15 days in the Philippines’ Antipolo City to intensify the passion of the mission workers for the harvest of souls.
“[T]here is a lack of scholarship in the church in regards to proclamation evangelism,” the GoodNews head stated. “This has resulted in a scarcity of quality teaching tools available to develop evangelists. While there may be thousands of books related to pastoral ministry, theology, counseling and education, books on evangelism lag far behind in numbers produced.”
According to Kumar, the local church has not been of much help to the situation as well. He mentioned a lack of vision for evangelists who are not given equal priority in the church or in denominations as pastors, theologians, teachers or other ministers are.
"Since the beginning of the Church, God's command to the evangelist is clear: proclaim the gospel to those who do not know the Lord Jesus. As the Church evolved, however, evangelists became an expendable commodity to the point that we find them today on the brink of extinction," stated Kumar.
In response, the world-renowned evangelistic ministries are bringing experienced teachers in the evangelism field to address the attendants on the life and ministry of the evangelist. For 15 days, participants of the Second Asian Advanced Institute for Evangelists will network with other Asian evangelists and take part in real evangelistic meetings.
The training institute comes as mission leaders are placing a new focus on Asia. Last week, an evangelism conference was held in Mandaluyong City, Philippines where representatives of several countries focused on recommitting to the evangelization of Asia. The Sixth Asia Lausanne Conference on Evangelism was conducted May 22-26.
With 60 percent of the global population living in Asia, Samuel Hugh Moffett, the elder American statesman of Asian Christianity, told Christianity Today that Asia represents "the future for missions." Although the majority of the population remains non-Christian, the zeal for missions among Asians has grown especially in South Korea which sends more than 1,100 new missionaries annually - more missionaries than any other country except the United States.
The evangelism institute is open to evangelists from South and Southeast Asia Pacific with limited space.