Evangelical Catholic Missions: K-teams

Some of our readers lamented the lack of evangelistic missions within the Catholic Church. Here is the statement from Kerygma Teams, a group which I think can really claim to be evangelistic AND Catholic:

It is a ministry within YWAM but run by and for Catholics. Kerygma Teams is a branch of the interconfessional lay - missionary organisation YWAM Youth With A Mission. Kerygma Teams supports Catholic parishes, renewal movements, and groups active in evangelisation, mercy ministries, and training in the Catholic Church. In addition, Kerygma Teams offers opportunities for Christians to become involved in short and long-term cross-cultural missions projects. Ke-ryg-ma, a Greek word meaning the proclamation of salvation through Christ.

I see this as the best possible example of what the best of evangelicalism (YWAM is profoundly evangelical) and the best of Catholicism together can accomplish. I think that the strengths of evangelicalism like the emphasis on personal holiness, devotion to study of Scripture, and the belief that every Christian is responsible for sharing their faith and evangelizing can all be, quite easily I would say, incorporated into the life of the average Catholic (or Orthodox, for that matter).

So check out the K-teams website and hope for more groups like this. May I also mention that such groups rely on the financial support of Christians for their sustenance and support? I think I read somewhere that the average Catholic gives about 1/3 as much to the church and her ministries as the average evangelical.

But enough of my remarks, I will leave you to read this very interesting history of YWAM and K-teams:

Youth With A Mission (YWAM), which now fields more than 12,000 full-time workers in more than 140 countries, was founded in 1960 by Loren Cunningham, an ordained Pentecostal pastor of the "Assemblies of God" denomination in the U.S. Cunningham's original aim was to offer young people from various churches the chance to participate in international evangelistic endeavors during their school holidays. The concept caught on quickly, and by the beginning of the 70's there were YWAM ministry centers in North America, Africa, Australasia, South America, and in Europe. With the growth of the YWAM came an increase in opportunities to ministry to, and along side, Christian groups of all kinds - including groups within historical churches.

Even with its Pentecostal roots, YWAM has always tried to cultivate a "heart" for all of God's people. Therefore, as doors of service opened up with Catholic groups in Spain, Austria, Poland, and elsewhere, it seemed logical to walk through these, even if many "YWAMers" had little, in any previous contact with Catholics, much less training on how to sensitively serve them.


Lessons were learned over the years (some of them the "hard way"), and by the early 90's YWAM not only had an ever-increasing amount of ministry in and with Catholic groups, but also a growing number of Catholics working on staff in some of the ministry centers. As one can imagine, this encouraging development brought with it its own unique set of challenges. Foremost among them was: How could YWAM create space in this predominately Protestant mission for Catholics to participate in YWAM's calling, and at the same time remain rooted in their church and fully able to express their Catholic faith.

An international group of 35 Catholic and Protestant YWAM leaders met in Dublin in the summer of 1992 to examine this and other related questions. This "Dublin Consultation on Evangelization in the Catholic World" laid the groundwork for what eventually became Kerygma Teams.


[I know about K-teams from a lay Catholic missionary in a Muslim country. He and his family are wonderful people. Their work there was more to support the local church rather than evangelize Muslims though.]

Comments

AVEMARIA said…
Hi

I am Mr.Xavier.I worked with neighbour's ministry Ywam for about 6 years running a Bible correspondence course for Muslims.During this time I had a thorough Bible study on covenants, Canonical Laws,MonoGod theology.And also my love and appreciation for Catholic theology and church was so much.later I joined kerygma teams, And now here in my home town teaching catholic seminarians and involved very much with my local diocesse.Thanks to Ywam and the Godlly leaders there.

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