A Manual for SDA Ministers of South Brazil to Train the Laity in Understanding How to Evangelize Roman Catholic Basic Ecclesial Communities

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Rocha, Jose Miranda
Missions and World Christianity
project description
Problem. Roman Catholic Basic Ecclesial Communities in Brazil have been a socio-religious phenomenon during more than two decades. As militant Catholics, members of the communities share four fundamental premises, i.e., a new way of seeing reality, a new way of being the Church, a new way of approaching Scripture, and a new way of doing mission. These premises challenge Seventh-day Adventists to develop new strategies when attempting to evangelize Basic Ecclesial Community membership. To date, no specific study by SDAs addresses the evangelization of Basic Ecclesial Community members. This raises the question of how Basic Ecclesial Communities can be evangelized. This research intends to provide a manual for the Seventh-day Adventist ministry of South Brazil for the purpose of training the laity in understanding how to evangelize Roman Catholic Ecclesial Communities.Method. The method used to complete this project was a review of representative literature discussing Roman Catholic theology, Brazilian Basic Ecclesial Communities, and the evangelization of such communities. Selected bibliographic sources concerning the training of lay people and techniques used to evangelize small religious groups were also examined with special emphasis placed upon the lay people and their role as evangelists.Conclusions. Four conclusions of this study are: (1) that for Seventh-day Adventists to attain the evangelization of Basic Ecclesial Communities, they must begin by understanding who the members of the communities are and how they think; (2) that Adventists should build an approach based on the common theological ground between those communities and Seventh-day Adventist theology; (3) that those communities must be evangelized through a holistic and relational approach built through friendship; and (4) that the first and basic doctrinal point to be affirmed by Seventh-day Adventists is the absolute authority of the Bible as God's revelation.