The Global Network of Evangelists was started by Luis Palau. Their goal is to identify, affirm, equip, and mobilize younger evangelists by developing a network of evangelistic networks that seeks to celebrate and accelerate evangelism worldwide. Today, we are joined by Desmond Henry, the director of the Global Network of Evangelists.
Questions I ask Desmond Henry
How did you become passionate about evangelism?
What is the vision of the Global Network of Evangelists?
What’s the origin story of the Global Network of Evangelists?
What are some of the ways the Global Network of Evangelists can help those called to evangelism?
About Desmond Henry: https://btc.academia.edu/DesmondHenry/CurriculumVitae
For resources on evangelism and to join the Global Network of Evangelists, I encourage you to visit the website: https://www.evangelist.global/
For Evangelism Coaching, check out The Evangelism Coach from King Ministries International
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
The global network of evangelists was started by Luis Palau. Their goal is to identify, affirm, equip, and mobilize younger evangelists by developing a network of evangelists networks that seeks to celebrate and accelerate evangelism worldwide. Today, we’re joined by Desmond Henry. The director of the global network of evangelists.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:24):
Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. Welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Daniel King.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:00):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. I have a special guest Desmon. Henry is the director of the global network of evangelists, brother Desmond. Thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast today.
Dr. Desmond Henry (01:21):
Thanks Daniel. It’s so great to be with you.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:24):
So I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you are in South Africa and you were recently awarded a PhD in mission studies. Tell me a little bit about what you studied, where you studied and what came out of that study about evangelism.
Dr. Desmond Henry (01:45):
Yeah. Thank you for that, Daniel. I graduated with a PhD in the field of misseology from the university of Pretoria in South Africa, actually 2012, if I remember correctly. And so it’s been a little while since the study has been concluded, but I’ve, I’ve done some studies into the, the history, particularly of the Baptist movement in South Africa, its beginnings, how it’s developed and how effective churches are in evangelism and discipleship in the 21st century. And I did that primarily, obviously I taught within the Baptist seminary at that time. And and because I grew up Baptist, one such, you kind of know a little bit more about our history in the country and and, and more recently, of course how we can be effective as ministers within that particular denomination in South Africa and throughout Southern Africa as well. So it was a very interesting research project that took me on a road trip visiting probably about 80 or 85 different back sister congregations in South Africa. And they’re very diverse from like very Calvinistic and reformed on the one hand to very charismatic and spiritful than the other hand as well. And so it’s fascinating studying those different congregations and, and just seeing what God is doing in these movements throughout South Africa. So it was a great learning curve and I’m so glad I did it. I’m pled to, it’s done. Phd studies are not always easy, right? Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:23):
I agree. I graduated a couple of years ago with my doctorate of ministry from oral Roberts university and it was good going through the process, but I am glad it’s done to praise the Lord. So while you were studying and then before and after, you’ve also been very involved in, in planting churches and pastoring churches and in ministry and churches, you’ve always had a passion for evangelism. Where did that passion come from? How did that develop in your life?
Dr. Desmond Henry (03:55):
That’s a, that’s a great question. Daniel. I remember being a kid probably seven years of age, standing on the sidewalk in a city called Florida in Johannesburg. Can you believe it? We have a Florida here and, and this big bus came past and the driver stops right next to me and then asked me, Hey, young man, do you want to come to church? And what was particularly interesting about that experience because I’d never been to church before. And this, this bus driver was was nonwhite in, in South Africa. And those were during the, the, the days of apartheid in South Africa. And so it was very unusual for you know, to have a, in nonwhite best driver. And so I was really curious, like, what, why is this happening? You know, what is this got to do with church? And, and why does the church suddenly look very different to, to what you know, society does in general.
Dr. Desmond Henry (04:51):
And and his name was Willy and incidentally. He actually comes to the church that we pastor and we helped appliance a couple of years ago in Johannesburg now. And it was just such a wonderful experience that just catching up with him a little bit and and just hearing, you know, how he, he kind of served the board in, in ministry, but that was his deal back then in the early nineties or late eighties rather he served as the best driver and he brought a number of children to Sunday school back then as they called it. And I gave my life to the Lord at a young age and really had amazing mentors in my Christian faith. And, and that was probably what led me to become more evangelistically minded, I guess, is because that was the culture that I was brought up into our pasta moments, Schaffer.
Dr. Desmond Henry (05:43):
I was very missionally minded. He loved serving the community. He took me on, on mission trips and, and he really encouraged me in that way. And so I started my first church plant with a former rugby player, a national rugby player called Johnny Bookner. And we planted a church when I was, I think, 16, 17 years of age in a squatter camp, which is an informal settlement or shanty town just across the, the, from where we lived in Florida. And we, we planted a church in a bar and eventually the owner of the bar came to faith and we turned the bar into a meeting hall and eventually the church grew so big that the bar close down and replant the church in its place. And so just so encouraged to see God at work. And that’s really how I became very passionate about serving the Lord in evangelism and mission at a young age.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:42):
Wow. What a great story. The bar becomes a church and hopefully everyone who was in the bar becomes a believer. So that’s wonderful. And so recently you were asked to be the director of the global network of evangelists, and I’m also part of the global network of evangelists. I’m on the council, which I’m very honored to be a part of that. So let’s talk some about the, the vision of the, the global network of evangelist. What’s that all about?
Dr. Desmond Henry (07:15):
I know we certainly are very pleased to have you as part of our, our council there. And the global network of evangelists of course, was was something that was planted the seed that was planted at the 500 celebration of the reformation in Vincent Berg, Germany, where through the Lausanne Movement, they gathered a cup about a hundred leaders from around the world in Wittenberg and Kevin Palau got to sit around the table with a number of different leaders, Rafael Anzenberger from France, Emmanuel, Chris Xera from Kenya and Emma barista from Botswana. And they spoke a little bit about what God was doing around the world. And it was the vision for GE was really spot at that time. Now, of course, the Luis Palau Association have been working collaboratively through what is known as the Next Generation Alliance for about two decades, a ministry that was started by Luis Palau to encourage and equip and mobilize younger evangelists.
Dr. Desmond Henry (08:22):
But of course, this had been primarily a North American movement, and hadn’t really seen a lot of growth around the world. And when Kevin Palau made some of these leaders, of course, the vision was to take this expression and model those around the world, including evangelists from Africa, from all over Europe, Southeast Asia, and all parts of the world to join in those, this global network that would again identify from equip and mobilize evangelists around the world. And so the vision of GNE was born a number of years ago and has gained momentum and keeps growing as we progress forward in this great vision.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:10):
Let’s talk for a moment about Luis Palau. He is a great evangelist. He was born in Argentina and has often been called the Billy Graham of Latin America. He started his ministry doing lots of crusades across central and South America, and is been very well known in Spanish speaking countries for, for many years. And then he came to the United States and started doing large festivals, using a festival model of evangelism here in the United States and, and has done tremendous work. And I’ve had the honor of going to several of Luis Palau festivals. I went to one in New York city a few years ago where he said that when he was very young, God put the dream and vision in his heart to do an evangelistic outreach in New York city. And it took almost 60 years for that dream to come to pass, but we went and he preached the gospel right there in the, the middle of New York city in, in central park and then a new times square.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:25):
It was so awesome because of course, times square has all the big television screens and, and all the advertisements. And for 30 minutes while Luis Palau was preaching the gospel, all the advertisements went away and it was just a presentation of the gospel that the thousands and thousands of people that go through times square every day could hear a clear presentation of the gospel. So, so Luis Palau is a, is a great evangelist. And in about 20 years ago started the next generation Alliance, which was the goal of that was to, to raise up evangelists. And one of the things that I really like about the, the Next Generation Alliance, the NGA was this phrase that they have, there are many expressions, but one message. And so in the, in the next generation Alliance, they have many different types of evangelists. Some of the evangelists are what people typically think of, of evangelists, you know, standing on a platform, preaching the good news, but they also have action sports evangelists that ride bikes and do bicycle tricks, and then preach the gospel as a way of attracting attention that the, the everyone comes to watch the bicycle tricks, especially the young people, but then they take it an opportunity to, to share the gospel.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:48):
And then they have musicians that are involved in, in sharing the gospel and a motorcycle trick riders and many different expressions. And, and they’ve been very open in extending their arms to evangelists and making a place for evangelists to build friendships together, and then to collaborate, working together, to do evangelistic events, which I think collaboration is such a great value to have because none of us can accomplish what God has called us to do alone. We need one another. And so I’ve done several large events in different countries where evangelists from the Next Generation Alliance have come and participated and we’ve joined hands together. We’ve linked arms together in the fundraising aspect of it, and then in the preaching in the ministering. And so I’m very grateful for the Next Generation Alliance. And now there’s been this transition from the next generation Alliance to becoming the, the Global Network of Evangelists, which, which the next generation Alliance has 700 some evangelists that are participating many of them from North America. But now the vision is to develop a network of networks that the, all the different groups of evangelists from many different parts of the world can join together, work together, be in relationship with one another, encourage one, another cheer for one another, and start to develop relationships with one another. So, so talk to me some about this, this network of, of networks and, and kind of the vision, the goal of the global network of evangelists for building a worldwide network of evangelism, people who believe in evangelism.
Dr. Desmond Henry (14:05):
Awesome. I just love the way you described this ministry and and I think you’ve captured it so well. You know, we’ve, we’ve really had a heart to see evangelists working together for the sake of the kingdom for so many years. And I think part of that comes from the reality, of course, there, the plows association is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. And so I think in, in many ways, being in Portland has shaped more of a creative mindsets and innovative mindsets around how we can effectively reach secular cities for the more Jesus Christ. And what we’re really excited about as you, as you mentioned, is is in the next three years or so launching about 50 country networks of evangelists around the world where we elevate evangelism at a national level. And, and very often going into a particular country, you will see that there are pockets of things happening in different areas, but really at a national level, will you see leaders coming together and be willing to lay aside what we call their logos and their egos,ufor the sake of pursuing ways of reaching people in their country from a national perspective.
Dr. Desmond Henry (15:25):
And so we see ourselves as coming alongside these national leaders and evangelists and, and really supporting the work that they’re doing in bringing people together. And so we would love to convene leaders around the world and, and speak through what’s happening in their country and their cities and help structure them more of a plan towards evangelistic effectiveness and further in their particular communities. And so ultimately we have to be in 150 countries but we’d really want to do some deep work in these nations, working with leaders. And so for us, it’s not about numbers, it’s about names, people, ministries, countries, bringing people together for the sake of unity and working together with those countries. And so we’ve, we’ve pursued that and continues to do so, but even national level is not probably deep enough. You need to move down into cities.
Dr. Desmond Henry (16:25):
And so we’ve selected about two to three cities in every region, and we have UN nine regions around the world where we going to be focusing in and meeting with city leaders are doing a little bit of research as well to ask them, you know, what is the temperature evangelism in this city? What’s, what’s happening. And often we find that just bringing pastors and leaders together in a particular city can have a profound impact on what happens in their particular city. So asking some key questions around what’s happening, vandalism, what resources are there that what they feel is lacking what’s some of the needs are around this and what they feel God could do that particular city and another wonderful initiative that we, that we are very focused on it right now is what we calling advanced advanced group mentoring. And so this is more on a local basis.
Dr. Desmond Henry (17:23):
We have the national, we have the city, and then we have the grassroots level where evangelists majority world evangelists are bi-vocational generally speaking. There are very few evangelists that have ministry that sustains them financially. And so they serve in business as or have a secular job or they pastor a church. And so there are a lot of pastors to revenge lists too. So we, we like to bring these groups together and we’ve got some great material, great friends at the message trust in the UK has been Ben Jack wonderful mainstream guide that allows leaders to meet once a month for about two hours to pray together, to get sharpened on the word of God, to, to speak about and, and encourage one another about what’s happening in ministry share testimonies of effectiveness and, and even allow each other to share about what projects they have going, which of you to collaborate.
Dr. Desmond Henry (18:35):
And another big part of this, this movement called advance is is accountability, very evangelist you know, develop character alongside competency and skill in, in their particular focus area. Because I think character matters a lot in, in, in, in, in how we serve the purposes of God in our generation. And so asking those deep accountability questions. And so that’s, that’s a strategy that we have, and we’ve got the grassroots level, city level national level. And we’re really excited about what God is doing in exploding. These groups. We have advanced groups meeting now in over 35 nations, we’ve translated the material it’s about nine or 10 different languages with about six or seven store to go. And it’s just wonderful seeing hundreds of these groups meet around the world. And and we’re working in a number of cities around the world
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:35):
I’m involved in, in several different groups of evangelists. I actually have my own group of evangelists called the, the, the soul winners Alliance. And it really came out of a desire to build relationships with other evangelists and to see how I could help other evangelists. And so we’ve had a variety of meetings here in Tulsa of gathering evangelists together. And then I’m also part of the the network of empowered 21, which is a group of Pentecostal, charismatic spirit, empowered evangelists called the Global Evangelists Alliance. But I’m also part of the global network of evangelists. And I think it’s important to paddle your canoe and many different rivers to not limit yourself to just one group of relationships or one group of friends, because what God is calling us to do in these times is bigger than what any one group can do.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:41):
We all need to work together and to have relationships with one another and to, to join hands. And, and I think during this time, it’s important to draw circles of inclusion and not lines of separation for too long members of the body of Christ have, have been separated over sometimes very small theological issues. But I think it’s important to, to open our arms wide and to accept people of many different expressions of the faith. And so I’m just so delighted in, in what the global network of evangelists is doing, building these, these networks of evangelists in these different countries and the advanced groups. This is going to have a significant impact on evangelism around the world, which, which it’s harvest time. People all over the world are ready to come to Jesus. If someone will just go and talk to them about Jesus. And so part of the, the mission of the global network of evangelists is, is to encourage and lift up those who have a gift of evangelism upon their lives, and then to connect them with others so that they don’t feel alone so that they feel like many of us together can, can accomplish something great for God.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (22:03):
So if someone is listening and they have a calling to be an evangelist, what are some of the things that the global network of evangelists can do to help people who have a a calling in evangelism or have that desire in their heart and how can people get connected with the global network of evangelists?
Dr. Desmond Henry (22:25):
Thank you. Thanks, Daniel. That’s great. And I so agree with you. Luis Palau has often been quoted saying you know, one evangelist, one church, one leader can only go so far, but together we can do so much more that you can rapidly capture God’s heart for us in this cultural moment, unity and the coming to all these streams.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (22:49):
What’s the website of the global network of evangelists.
Dr. Desmond Henry (22:54):
If you go to the evangelists.global, I think you’ll be absolutely blown away by some of the amazing resources available to you. The first one is a resource on collaboration where we’ve got some practical guides that we’ll be able to help you to take your collaborative efforts to the next level of collaboration, manuals, and helpful resources along the way, and advanced groups section, where you can download great curriculum and join advanced groups that are meeting globally and bespoke resources on a number of practical areas that will really bless you as an evangelist.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (23:32):
So I encourage you if you’re listening, if you’re a, an evangelist, a missionary, a pastor who has a heart for evangelism, if you want to be used by God to lead people to Jesus, go to evangelists.global, find out more about the global network of evangelists and more of the resources that are available to you. And, and so the website is evangelist.global and, and it will be a blessing to you Desmon. Thank you so much for joining me today on the evangelism podcast. I really appreciate you taking the time to share with us about the global network of evangelists.
Dr. Desmond Henry (24:14):
It’s been a great joy and privilege for me, Daniel. Thank you so much for having me. God bless you.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:20):
Thank you for listening to the evangelism podcast today. I want to encourage you to go to Apple iTunes, subscribe to the evangelism podcast. And could you do me a favor, please give us a review on Apple iTunes. Your review will help other people who are excited about evangelism to find this podcast. And if you need coaching in evangelism, give me a call, check out my website, King ministries.com
Speaker 4 (24:52):
For more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches. Visit King ministries.com. Again, that’s King ministries.com.