The Evangelists Service Team (EST) began a new chapter in 2023. In 2022, the need for an evangelist service team was identified and voted on at the delegates meeting in Orlando just before the Summit. The EST was given the charge to focus on church growth and help shine a light on the need for us to better spread the Gospel.

Each regional family of churches was asked to submit an evangelist and women’s ministry leader who was leading a growing church and could help galvanize our fellowship to fully embrace the Great Commission and seek and save the lost. The following brothers and sisters were selected to be part of the service team:

Javier & Kelly Amaya (Boston)
Tony & Cassandra Fernandez (Broward)
Collin & Beth Sherrill (Minneapolis)
Kelly & Cheryl Boyd (Portland, Oregon)
Chip Mitchell (Philadelphia)
Ayanna Booker (Maryland)
Johnny & Glory Rivera (Central Jersey)
Charles & Sarah Setiawan (Jakarta)
Will & Chelsea Thorne (Sydney)
Dillibabu Varadharajan & Preethi Rajasekar (Chennai, India)
Emmanuel & Yanne Agnès Koffi (Ivory Coast)
Sam & Michelle Cameron (Sydney)
Steve & Carie Lounsbury (L.A.)

After selecting Johnny Rivera to serve as the chair, the service team began to meet to discuss the purpose of the group and how we could best help. We quickly established that although none of us had all the answers, we agreed that we really wanted to be part of raising the awareness and hopefully sparking a change in our fellowship of churches.

As we began to have discussions, we quickly noted that our lack of numerical growth seemed to be more of a U.S. and Canada problem and not as much an issue for our churches in other parts of the world. We began by discussing characteristics of a healthy church and agreed that healthy churches grow, and if we were not growing, there was likely something unhealthy about our churches. This led us to develop a plan for a series of online workshops that we entitled RISE. These workshops were geared towards all staff and elders in U.S. and Canadian churches. The classes were intended to address the different perspectives of the EST members and what we thought would best help our church leaders. We represent a fellowship of churches with different needs and even more perspectives on what was the best way to address the lack of growth. Our workshops reflected those diverse perspectives. We believe that even more important than the presentations themselves was the need for us to pull together and simply focus on the issue at hand. We believe we began to build some momentum towards that end.

We are continuing to discuss how we could best serve our churches outside the U.S. and Canada and our truly international fellowship. We also hope to continue to do RISE Workshops in 2024 on a quarterly basis to continue the conversation on us becoming healthier growing churches to the glory of God.

We ask for your prayers as we seek to serve God and his people so that all of our churches worldwide could be like a city on a hill shining brightly for God.