International Church reaches the Nations in D.C. posted by Evangelism Explosion on Feb 26, 2021
International Church reaches the Nations in D.C.
One church is reaching the nations without leaving their neighborhood. McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. has trained more than 2,000 members, many of whom are internationals, to share their faith through Evangelism Explosion. As they go out into the community, they are engaging with people from around the world.
“People started to realize that they can see and experience a lost person coming to Christ through themselves as a messenger,” said Sunny Bender, Director of Evangelism Training at McLean Bible Church. “Knowing what you believe and being able to share with others are two different things. One is simply understanding; the other is the ability to be a clear messenger.”
When Sunny joined McLean Bible Church in 2005, the church only had a few minorities. She used her previous experience to integrate the international community into the church.
“I wanted to bring minorities into the mainstream of the church,” said Sunny. “My heart and vision were for an intercultural church. That means, we are all focused on one another through intentional unity, through our diversity.” She began a translation ministry so everyone could listen to the same message from the same pastor. They studied the same materials in discipleship classes. “From common ground, we grew as a church together, which would eventually include evangelism training.”
Sunny had experienced the power of EE in her own life when she learned the verbal presentation of the Gospel and how to teach others during an EE training in 1997. She began leading evangelism training at McLean in 2012, so when she shifted into her current position, focusing on EE was the natural next step. To date, the church has trained 2,275 individuals from within their large congregation in Washington, D.C.
Those who took EE over the years began having a greater overall impact on the church itself. Many are now taking leadership positions in other ministries. One trainer shared Jesus with 60 women during a short-term mission trip. Another trainer was the only one on a mission team who knew how to share the Gospel. Other ministry team members who see EE team members sharing their faith like this also want to learn how to do it too.
“They have seen the need for training focused on the full presentation of the Gospel through personal witnessing,” said Sunny. God is leading them, and we have been serving quietly and proactively. My burden is that they all learn the full verbal presentation of the Gospel through on-the-job training so they can teach others.”
The EE team at McLean Bible Church naturally became international. Participants who take the training often go to the local mall to practice having spiritual conversations with people they don’t know. There, they meet people from many different nations.
“This is an international city,” said Sunny. “God is leading us not just to the D.C. area, but to other states and different countries too through the people we evangelize.”
The scope of their reach became evident during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. As EE classes went online, believers in other states and a few other countries who didn’t have access to EE in their own communities have been joining them.
“More and more, people are seeing the value of EE. Our team members are the ones visibly capable of clearly sharing the whole Gospel message. They are being great examples, because they have the power of the Gospel ready! Our ministry team is very active and alive, filled with joy from the Holy Spirit which overflows into other ministries. EE is true leadership development.”