By Robert Meneses
Many people want to witness but are nervous and scared because they don’t know how. Others want to witness but don’t know what to say because they’ve never given a Bible study.
Understanding these limitations, God placed a desire in Pastor Robert Meneses’ heart to start the United Parkway School of Evangelism (UPSOE) at University Parkway Seventh-day Adventist Church in Pensacola, FL. The responses from students of the school have proven that the classes have served as a great revival for those who attend, not just equipping them with evangelistic techniques, but drawing them closer to God and each other. Participating in the training has also increased their understanding that God loves them and wants to use them to be co-laborers with Him-- sharing the word of God and being missionaries for life, whether they are reaching their neighbors, co-workers and family or traveling the globe sharing the good news of Christ's soon return.
This is God’s call for each one of His disciples.
In the Desire of Ages page 142, author Ellen G. White, says "God could have reached His object in saving sinners without our aid; but in order for us to develop a character like Christ's, we must share in His work. In order to enter into His joy, the joy of seeing souls redeemed by His sacrifice, we must participate in His labors for their redemption."
The evangelism classes span 4 weekends starting on Friday from 6-8 pm, Saturday 3-7 pm and Sunday 9-12pm, for a total of 36 class hours. Students are charged a nominal fee of $50 to cover the cost of the materials.
Throughout the classes, attendees learn the history, definitions and Biblical basis of the role of evangelism. They also study practical information about the cycle of evangelism, learn how to initiate conversations and prepare Bible studies, practice learning how to answer objections and encourage decisions. In addition to class time, there are requirements for outside reading, personal devotion, scripture memorization, personal testimonies, community outreach and preparing and delivering a Bible study in class to the instructor.
Brenda S., one of the attendees, expressed that her experience at UPSOE has been “Powerful! I saw the Holy Spirit working and witnessed people’s lives changing, including my own. At the end of the sessions our class had been drawn together with bonds that only the power of God can provide. If you are a pew warmer and want something more, I highly recommend this for anyone seeking a deeper walk with God, desiring to help finish His last day work!”
Similarly, for Nichole S., she found UPSOE to be a blessing.” It aided me in recognizing biblical truths and where we are as a people in this age. I had a better understanding on some of the topics and gained new insights. With the help of the Holy Spirit and the seminars, I am better able to share my faith with others.”
God is calling you to be a co-laborer with Him. He will use any willing heart; the battle belongs to the Lord!