Bureau of Evangelism
The Bureau of Evangelism exists:
- In order that the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church may conform more closely to the spirit and mission of the ministry of our Lord; and employ the most effective means for the accomplishment of the chief end of the gospel – the salvation of souls.
- In order that the Church may more vigorously promote and apply the moral and spiritual agencies by which persons are rescued from sin and trained for heaven;
- In order that a more inviting opportunity may be given our ministers to use their evangelistic gifts more frequently in conducting revivals; and to systematize the work of evangelism among the ministry.
Under the authority of the Board of Evangelism, the mission of the Bureau of Evangelism is to exercise general control over the field of evangelism; to promote revivals of religion throughout the territory occupied by the Church; to revitalize and restore the waste places of our Zion; to equip ministers and laity in the ministries of evangelism and discipleship; to foster church growth in existing congregations; and to assist in the planting of new societies.
The Discipline of the A. M. E. Zion Church sets forth the following points of emphasis:
- The Department of Evangelism shall be continually vitalized with ample administration and adequate budget.
- Every pastor is directed to undertake an annual evangelistic quota.
- Lay evangelism shall be emphasized in every parish and the Lay Council shall make evangelism its primary program.
- Every Sunday Church School shall emphasize “Decision Day” annually, in October and also undertake an evangelistic quota for active membership in the church school.
- Every class leader will be appointed and sustained in office on the basis of his or her individual evangelistic efforts.
- Every trustees and steward must give evidence of his or her desire, ability, and practice of witnessing to the gospel of the kingdom of God in and beyond their environs.
- Every church should have an annual crusade for a month or more for new church members. Coaching, literature, promotional material, and uniformity of approach being furnished by the Department of Evangelism.
This conclusion from the Board of Bishops Quadrennial Address of the 49th Session of General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church: “Zion, we will fortify our faith and secure our future only as we are persuaded and disciplined enough to pursue holistic Christian development, with the aid of the Holy Spirit. This will require faithful stewardship over all that God has entrusted to us, including our minds and scripture, and especially, the church, the ecclesia, the called out ones, the people, as well as the Institutional Church. If we spend time developing our minds through the study of God’s affirming, stimulating, authenticating, and liberating word, we will discover, with the psalmist, that God’s word is indeed, “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path” (Ps 119:105). We will discover that stewardship as a way of life involves the understanding that everything we are and everything we have are gifts from God. Let everything we do – in our worship, in our leadership, in our discipleship, and in our stewardship – reflect back to God our profound gratitude for the life He gives and the love He continuously pours on us.”
Thus, as we embark upon another quadrennial, it is our hope that all of Zion’s Connectional Departments and Boards, ministers and congregations will employ the theme: “Fortifying Our Faith While Focusing on Our Future Through: Worship, Leadership, Discipleship and Stewardship.” There is strength, continuity in unity and re-enforcement.