New course to boost rural evangelism

The Arthur Rank Centre has developed a new training course to help churches in the countryside share the Christian faith.

The course has been put together in recognition of the difficulty some churches have with the "concept and practice" of evangelism.

The ARC said rural churches may struggle with evangelism because they do not understand what it is or because they have a "fear" of speaking out about the Christian faith.

Other reasons may include a lack of experience, the small size of the congregation or "confusion over who might be expected to bear witness".

"Some of these reasons are magnified by the circumstances of many rural churches and the communities they serve," the ARC said.

"They are also sometimes made worse by a lack of help – whether resources or training – that takes rural church & community life seriously."

The Journey to Faith resource is not designed for personal evangelism but rather to equip the local congregation as a whole.

The course can be run by any local church – or group of churches - over two half-days and does not require any outside or expert help.

It has been developed by Church Army Captain and Chichester Diocesan Evangelist Gordon Banks, and Arthur Rank Centre Training & Resources Officer, Simon Martin.

To download the course material, visit