In 2017 the Diocese of Harare (CPCA), under the visionary Leadership of the Bishop , the Right Reverend Dr CN Gandiya decided to grow its lay ministry through the ministry of Evangelism. This led to the calling of men and women who felt called into this ministry to submit their applications to the Canon Missioner Fr. P. Gwese who worked with several other senior Clergymen in the diocese to interview the potential students for the training program. This is not a stipendiary ministry but it is a voluntary service to the Church as part of her Mission.
In response we had eighty three applications. However, we did not have the capacity to start the program with such a big number given that this was the first in-depth training program in the Diocese. Our first intake had twenty three students comprising of nine women and fourteen men. These candidates were all recommended by their respective Parish Priests. Apart from the gender parity , we also focused on generational consensus by including young men and women in the program. Those who did not get an opportunity to be in the first group were initiated into another program which aimed at guiding them to explore their vocation furthermore. As we speak some of them will be the core of our second intake.
The students attended compulsory taught causes in Old Testament , New testament , Anglicanism , Missiology , and Homiletics. The tutors for these courses are our own Diocesan clergyman who dedicated their time and resources in the training program. The lecturers for this particular group were Canon P.Gwese, Rev D Mundenda, Rev Dr I.S Gusha and Rev T. Gusha. As part of their formation the students attended several retreats and missions visits in parishes such as Mazowe Valley .
The 15th of April saw the first Commissioning of the 22 Evangelists at St Luke Parish Greendale by the Right Reverend Bishop CN Gandiya. This was a very moving moment for the Diocese given that was the first ever such an event. Secondly, the Bishop expressed his joy and gratitude for this milestone achievement in the history of the Diocese as witnessed by the huge turnout of the Clergy and Laity for this ceremony. This indeed is an indication that this is the future of the Church as we refocus on our core business of making disciples.
The Canon Missioner is calling for more people to offer themselves if they feel that God is calling them into this ministry. Indeed the harvest is plenty but the laboures are few. Our desire and prayer is that every parish must have a number of well trained and devout evangelists who can assist the Clergy in winning souls for Jesus .Therefore , we must do the work of Him who called us through the great commission.