This year the National Seminar on Evangelism (NSE) celebrates 50 years. There’s a reason it has been around so long—it’s effective. Soldiers and officers spend a week in the glorious mountains of Colorado and then return to their corps not only deepened in their faith but with tools and techniques—and an urgency—to share the message of the gospel. Read on to learn the difference NSE made last summer in the lives of a few Central Territory delegates and consider if this is your year to attend.
For the first time in her officership, Major Toni Dorrell, Kansas and Western Missouri divisional general secretary, attended NSE with four other soldiers from her corps, Kansas City Westport Temple, Mo., which is led by Captains Joaquim and Gabriela Rangel. Captain Joaquim served on the NSE staff leading the Spanish-language track and providing translation services.
Using the approaches taught in the week-long seminar, Major Toni saw how easy it was to strike up conversations and begin friendships. “We spent time with people discovering their stories and sharing our own. Those encounters usually gave opportunity to talk about how my relationship with Jesus is changing my life,” she said.
According to the major, just spending time away from everyday life gives delegates the rare opportunity to focus on the skills they’re learning, as well as on their own spiritual growth as they spend time in God’s Word, praising Him each day and fellowshipping with other believers.
“NSE can be a life-changing experience,” Major Toni concluded. “Armed with relational-skills training and foundational salvation scriptures, anyone can share their faith.”
Soldiers Martin and Joy Hernandez from the Elgin, Ill., Corps attended NSE with their corps officer, Captain Heather Montenegro, and Corps Sergeant-Major Mark Bender, who also serves on the NSE staff.
“My husband, Xavier, and I attended NSE as young adults. We were blessed by the experience and saw the impact it can have on personal evangelism,” said Captain Heather. “Now as corps officers, we have the opportunity to equip and disciple our soldiers through NSE as we look for continued corps growth and development.”
She said the biggest blessing she received during NSE 2018 was watching Martin and Joy grow. For the first time, Martin was able to give his testimony publicly. “I didn’t think I would ever be able to stand up and share my story, but I did it!” he exclaimed. Martin returned to the corps on fire to share his faith and has dedicated himself to finding ways to engage the neighborhood.
Reserved, Joy felt uneasy when it was announced on the first day delegates would have to sit with people they didn’t know during meals and classes and on teams that would practice sharing their faith. But by the end of NSE, Joy had developed confidence and now makes it her mission to sit with visitors to the corps. At NSE she and Martin gained not only tools for growing into confident evangelists but life-long friends.