Intro Ch 1 Ch 2 Ch 3 Ch 4 Ch 5 Ch 6  
  Ch 7 Ch 8 Ch 9 Ch 10 Ch 11 Ch 12  

Chapter 11: The Snowball Programme

Many years of experience training evangelists for mission in Europe, some of them full-time missionaries of long standing, led us to embark on the development of a full-scale training programme which would equip evangelists not only to succeed in their own ministries, but also to mobilise and train others. The intention is that evangelists trained by us would build substantial team ministries of their own and so be far more effective in reaching large numbers of people with the Gospel on a regular, day-to-day basis. Hence the name "Snowball" which of course grows as it rolls along. Mark Howe and his team in France who set up Europe Now, the European missions division of OAC, produced the following training programme. Paul Hazelden of Europe Now introduces it like this:-


Eternal Truth operating through devoted followers produces transformed lives.

The Main Areas

1. Character, 2. Ministry and 3. Truth

These are the same for any Christian work. The ministry must be based on the truth, and flow from a life which embodies that truth by living in a close relationship with God.

1) Character: who we are and what happens within us. Our relationship with God, and how we live to express that relationship. No ministry can be maintained without personal integrity and a rich devotional life.

2) Ministry: extending God's Kingdom both down and out - on the one hand digging deeper into God's word, deepening our relationship with and love for our Lord and Saviour. On the other hand, bringing new people into God's Kingdom, and extending His rule in the lives of His children. Ministry is always what we do to serve God and what He does through us in the power of His Spirit.

3) Truth: what God says is true. Also known as "reality". Only the truth has the power to set people free.

Making it happen

Between truth, ministry and character come the other four areas:


These are the four aspects of transforming the abstract and eternal truth into a concrete and specific ministry which transforms peoples' lives.

TOOLS: what we use. Techniques for gaining attention and communicating clearly, ways to create a context in which evangelism can take place naturally. We need to be skilled in a variety of tools so that we can exercise an appropriate form of evangelism in each situation.

EVANGELIST: what we are and what we do. Personal disciplines, spiritual life, team work, how we organise and maintain a ministry, and the accountability structures to support this.

AUDIENCE: the people to whom we are reaching out. We must understand them if we are to love them and communicate effectively with them.

MESSAGE: what we say, and to which we invite people to respond (this is not as obvious as you may think!).

The Approach

The approach to training used by Jesus was "on the job" and we seek to do the same. As far as possible, each of the training modules is used in a specific way in the ministry we undertake during the course where possible, or practical exercises used instead.

We cannot teach character or programme the ministry. Just because they cannot be checked as memory verses can, that does not make them unimportant. To be granted an academic qualification you must be able to complete the course by doing all the work and completing the exercises to an acceptable level - but that will not make you an evangelist, nor guarantee that any evangelistic organisation will want you to work for them. Your love for the lost and the way you relate to your fellow Christians have a far greater impact on your ministry than your understanding of eschatology. The syllabus covers what we can teach and test. We will help you with the rest, as you are willing to be helped.


How to communicate.
How to share the Gospel with adults (Evangelism Explosion).
How to share the Gospel with children.
How to proclaim the Gospel.
How to answer difficult questions.
How to use a sketchboard.
How to run an open air meeting.
How to run a children's club.
How to use questionnaires and local visiting (door to door).
How to use entertaining conjuring tricks and escapology in presenting the Gospel.
How to use puppets and ventriloquism.
How to use music, drama, mime and dance.

Organising a ministry

How to raise support (news letters, deputation).
How to work with churches.
How to bring other people into ministry.

The Evangelist

Your spiritual life - remaining spiritually healthy, personal discipline, coping with stress, prayer and contemplation, spiritual warfare.
Your social life - friends, family life, singleness and marriage.
Your church life - worship, small groups, leadership.
Your ministry - use of time and money, teamwork, accountability, goals, self-assessment.
Your future - guidance.
Your predecessors - learning from those who have been there, evangelists/missionaries.

The Audience

Understanding different cultures (national assumptions) and world views (philosophical assumptions).
Understanding different ages (children, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged, elderly).
Understanding different social groups (perceived class barriers, unemployed, homeless, addicts, minorities).

The Gospel Message

Communicating the right message (love and respect).

Communicating what we believe (we believe in Jesus).

Communicating why we believe (testimony, reasons for faith, apologetics).

Communicating yourself (incarnation, integrity and testimony).

Communication with people of different ages in different cultures and social groups.

Communicating the traditional Gospel message:
  • the problem - sin (nature not actions)
  • the cross (substitute, representative and ransom)
  • the resurrection
  • Salvation (Jesus is Lord)
  • the results of salvation (changed lives)


Submitting to God's authority.
Submitting to the Bible's teaching (what does the Bible really teach?)
How to study the Bible (Bible introduction, overview, reading the Bible for yourself and others, understanding the Bible, inductive Bible Study method).

Other Areas

Follow-up. Christianity and Art. Church History. History of Christian Missions.
History of Open Air Campaigners. What is evangelism?


THEOLOGY (100 hours)

ST1: The final authority in matters of faith (12 hrs)


To be aware of the different ways in which God reveals himself.
To understand the primacy of the written and incarnate Word of God in revelation.
To be able to deal with questions on the trustworthiness of the Bible.
To understand the principles involved in interpreting the Bible.


Authority - its meaning, its source.

Revelation - its significance, its likelihood, general revelation, specific revelation.

Scripture - the Bible - Grounds for receiving it as God's written Word. Inspiration. Canonicity. Other issues. Hermeneutics.

ST2: Overview of Biblical themes (4 hrs)


To give a coherent overview of the Bible and its message.
To give the student confidence in his/her ability to handle the Bible.
To create a desire for further Bible study.


The background: God and Creation (distinct but involved); God and Humanity; God and Rebellion.

O.T. Introduction (Themes): Deliverance. Community. Theology (knowing = experiencing God). Inheritance.

O.T. Introduction: Story.

In the Gap.

N.T. Introduction (Themes): Prophecy fulfilled (recognised but not predicted). The True Israel: Jesus and the Church. The True Redemption.

N.T. Introduction: Story.

ST3: Walk thru the Bible (12 hrs)

Aim: To give the students a working knowledge of the content of the Bible and an example of how it can be taught.

Outline: Walk thru the Old Testament ( 6 hrs). Walk thru the New Testament (6 hrs)

ST4: How to study the Bible (12 hrs)


What can I study? A word, a part (verse, paragraph, section or book), a person, a theme (topic or doctrine), a story.

What can I focus on? The key to all Bible study is application and obedience - putting it into practice. With that assumption, a study can concentrate on different areas. I can focus on what the Bible tells me about God - myself - God's Kingdom - the world - common life experiences - common challenges (issues, questions, doubts and fears).

Other approaches: So far we have looked at objective truth and how to find it, but we also need to consider subjective truth and use our imagination, our feelings, our creativity. Drama, paintings, poems, illustrations and modern parables can all make the original message live. The objective of all this is to help the student get inside the passage, experience it, respond to it, express (as an individual or group) what it says to us.

ST5: The doctrine of God (10 hrs)


To be aware of orthodox Christian teaching;
To be aware of some of the more important areas of controversy;
To understand the application of these doctrines in personal life and ministry.


The being of God - The grounds for Christian theism. The rational proofs of God's existence. Presuppositional apologetics. Evaluating the rational approach.

God the Holy Trinity - The Biblical basis. Understanding the doctrine. The importance of the doctrine.

The attributes or perfections of God - Glory. Lordship. Holiness. Love.

The work of creation - Creation "out of nothing". Continuing creation. A question of language. The scientific enterprise. Miracle. The question of origins. Creation of the spiritual world.

The work of providence - The extent of providence. Necessary distinctions. God's providence and evil.

ST6: Mankind and sin (10 hrs)


To be aware of orthodox Christian teaching.
To be aware of some of the more important areas of controversy.
To understand the application of these doctrines in personal life and ministry.


Essential human nature - The perennial question. Mankind in relation to God, to himself, to his neighbour, to the created order, and in relation to time.

Humanity in sin - The fall of mankind. The nature and extent of sin. The effects of sin. Further issues. Present debates. Summary.

Humanity in grace - Jesus Christ, the God-Man. The Christian, the new creation in Christ.

Humanity in glory.

ST7: The person and work of Christ (12 hrs)


To be aware of orthodox Christian teaching.
To be aware of some of the more important areas of controversy;
To understand the application of these doctrines, in personal life and ministry.


The humanity of Jesus Christ - His religious life. His limited knowledge. Temptation. Post-resurrection.

The deity of Jesus Christ - Direct statements of his deity. Jesus' identity with Yahweh/Jehovah. Other Gospel evidence. The conclusion of this testimony.

The one person - The early debates. Other important concepts. Modern interpretation. Further comment.

The atonement: Biblical teaching - Atonement in the Old Testament. Jesus the Messiah.

The atonement: historical perspectives - Interpretations - objective, subjective, modern.

ST8: The person and work of the Holy Spirit (10 hrs)


To be aware of orthodox Christian teaching.
To be aware of some of the more important areas of controversy.
To understand the application of these doctrines, in personal life and ministry.


The person of the Spirit - Old Testament teaching. New Testament teaching.

The Spirit of promise - The Spirit before Christ's coming. The Spirit and Christ.

The Spirit and Christian beginnings - The foundation: the grace of God. The essence: union with Christ by the Spirit.

The Spirit and Christian growth - Assurance. Sanctification. Perseverance. Means and end.

Historical perspective: the Holy Spirit today

ST9: The Church (8 hrs)


To be aware of orthodox Christian teaching.
To be aware of some of the more important areas of controversy.
To understand the application of these doctrines in personal life and ministry.


The identity of the Church - Biblical images of the Church. Characteristics of the true Church

The life of the Church - Worship. Fellowship. Ministry. Witness.

The Church's growth - The Word of God. The sacraments. Prayer. Fellowship. Suffering.

The church in history - Forms of organisation. Historical perspectives. The Church's future.

ST10: The last things (8 hrs)


To be aware of orthodox Christian teaching.
To be aware of some of the more important areas of controversy.
To understand the application of these doctrines in personal life and ministry.


The Kingdom of God - Old Testament background. Jesus and the Kingdom. Late New Testament teaching. The Kingdom and Christian experience.

The second advent of Christ - New Testament terms. Biblical passages. The Second Coming - its nature, its purpose, its timing. Related issues.

The final state - Death. The intermediate state. The resurrection. Judgement. Hell. The life to come.

The last things in Christian thought - The early centuries. The Middle Ages. The Reformation. The 19th Century. The 20th Century.

THE WORLD (50 hrs)

SW1: The cultural context (10 hrs)


To understand how Christianity relates to the world.
To be familiar with different notions of truth.


Christianity and culture - Changing people or changing society. Church and state. Christianity and the arts.

Different cultures - What is truth? Truth in modernism. Truth in post-modernism. Truth in the Bible.

Science and religion

SW2: World views and religions (25 hrs)


To be familiar with the major world views.
To know how to talk to some of the groups more commonly encountered during evangelism in Europe.


"Areligious" world views - Atheism. Agnosticism. Nihilism. Existentialism.

Religious world views - Pragmatic. Judicial. Mystical. Relational.

Some specifics on: Roman Catholics. Jehovah's Witnesses. Mormons. Muslims. The New Age.

SW3: Answering Questions (15 hrs)


To understand the potential and limitations of rational defences of Christianity.
To have a basis on which to respond to the more common questions raised.


How to handle questions.

The "big three" questions - Science. Pain. Other religion / ways.

Some other questions and "red herrings".


SE1: My identity (10 hrs)

Aim: To understand my identity in Christ and the importance of my gifting, personality, gender and family circumstances.


Who I am in Christ.

My gifts and capacities - Gifts, fruit, talents, skills, jobs and vocations. What are my spiritual gifts? How should I use them?

My personal style - The Myers-Briggs Temperament Inventory. Individual applications; team applications.

Gender -Value and roles. Gender in creation, fall, redemption and glory. Gender in culture and history. Personality/family implications. Ministry implications.

Singleness, marriage and family life:

  • Singleness: God's plan for everybody, for at least part of our lives. Single does not have to mean "alone". It is not good to be alone. Learn to be successfully single; desperation is no foundation for marriage.
  • Marriage: Different expectations and models of marriage (mutual support...) Not made in Heaven. Hard work: requires commitment to make it work. Maintain healthy relationships with other people.
  • Sex and love: Love is an act of the will. Sexuality is part of life; God created humans as sexual beings. Sex only belongs within marriage, whether you are married or not. Simplistic rules do not help. A commitment to holiness does.

SE2: Walking with God (15 hrs)

Aim: To understand the key spiritual disciplines and practices, and their personal, vocational and corporate applications.


Prayer and contemplation:

  • Questions about prayer: Praying about the past; about people; praying with your own words or other people's. Vague prayers. Praying in groups, praying for groups.
  • Prayer in the Bible: Examples and approaches. Abraham. David. Daniel. Jesus.
  • Mechanics of prayer: To the Father in the name of the Son through the power of the Spirit. Spoken, thought, written and unspoken prayers.
  • Models of prayer: Making things happen. Changing God. Changing the world. Changing me. Destined for the throne. Developing a relationship. Understanding God (learning through conversation). In tune with God ("be ye transformed"). Communion. Direct experience. Opening yourself to God. Combining the models. Exploring the subject. Getting inside the need.
  • Prayer and the body: position, environment, health.
  • Prayer in my life; in my team; encouraging others to pray for me.


  • Be careful of the dangerous examples we can find. Fleeces and tightropes. Over-spiritual - a "word from the Lord" for everything. Over-confident - He will guide my feet.
  • Responsibility for guidance: Guidance is God's job and something He is quite good at. God generally does not provide specific confirmation of guidance.
  • Limits to guidance: God's plan is that with maturity comes discernment. We do not always appreciate what is important in God's sight. God sometimes allows us to learn through our mistakes.
  • Principles of guidance: Scripture. Reason. Consistency. Proportionality. Wise counsel. Honesty. Desire.
  • Guidance at a personal level.
  • Guidance at a corporate level.

God and my time:

  • Principles: Unity. Planning and spirituality are two sides of the same coin. You can only give to God what you have. If you do not have control of your time, you cannot offer it to Him.
  • Motivation: Are we motivated by grace or works, by gratitude or grasping? Do we need to be needed and approved? Should we act only if our motives are pure? Honesty. Pretence is hard work, but honesty is not an excuse for giving in to the flesh.
  • Control: Internal or external?
  • Balance: Work and play, body mind and spirit, church and home.
  • Priorities: Clear but flexible.
  • Practicalities: Diary - take control but leave spaces. Lists - don't try to remember everything.

    Filing - Know where to find what you need.
  • Organising my personal time.
  • Organising my ministry time: Visions, purpose statements and goals in general. Visions, purpose statements and goals for an evangelist. Prioritising: the urgent versus the important. Planning: why, how (portcullis techniques). Decision-making: weighted criteria Handling paperwork: correspondence; filing. Taking control of your diary; avoiding procrastination.

God and my money - Principles. My "own" money. My ministry's finances. My supporters.

Living with stress - Principles. Stress in my personal life. Stress in my ministry.

SE3: A Workman Approved (25 hrs)

Aim:To develop a healthy, Biblical approach to evangelism and mission.


The evangelist:

  • The mythical evangelist.
  • Evangelists in the Bible: Passages that speak specifically about evangelists. What we can infer from the life of the Early Church. Evangelists as the N.T. equivalent of O.T. prophets.
  • Some famous evangelists: Wesley and Whitefield. William Booth. D.L. Moody. C.H. Spurgeon. Billy Graham.
  • Generalisations: Character strengths and weaknesses. What does and doesn't motivate them. How they relate to the rest of the Church.
  • Evangelists as part of a Ministry Team: What they have to offer, what they have to gain. Areas of overlap (church-planting, follow-up, teaching...)
  • Evangelists within Europe Now

Mission - What is a missionary? Could I be a missionary? Missionary Societies. Why some succeed and others fail. Crossing culture and language barriers. Building for eternity. The folks back home. Is it worth it?

Working with churches.


SM1: General Communication skills (8 hrs)


To understand the principles of good communication.

To be able to apply these principles in a variety of evangelistic contexts.


What is communication? - Transmitter, message, receiver, noise, filters, feedback. Principles from Acts 17.

What gets communicated? - The facts. The emotions. The context. The communicator!

Communication media - Sight v sound. Verbal v non-verbal. Propositional v narrative.

Practical hints and tips - Making effective presentations. Effective one-to-one communication.

SM2: Evangelism Explosion Trainers Course (52hrs)


To model a church-based, every-member approach to evangelism.
To ensure that students can make a basic Gospel presentation in the course of their various evangelistic activities. To check that they are themselves saved!
To give them the opportunity to become accredited E.E. trainers.


SM3: Sketchboard Preaching (48 hrs)


Preaching to non-Christians is the core module for the entire course.

How evangelistic messages are put together: to be relevant and effective this is best done using the sketch board.


"Preaching& Preachers" by Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones.
"Lectures to my students on the art of preaching" by C. H. Spurgeon.
"Open Air Evangelism" by Mark Howe.


Why do it? - Proclamation in the Bible. The case for open air evangelism.

Street preaching using a sketchboard - Demonstration and analysis of a message. Structure of a message. Message-writing workshop. Equipment. Painting techniques. Presentation. Practice.

Teamwork on the streets - Anatomy of an open air meeting. During the meeting. After the meeting.

Choosing a site.

SM4: Questionnaires (3 hrs)


To understand uses and abuses of questionnaires.
To know how to construct a useable questionnaire and how to use it.
To know how to analyse a questionnaire - by hand or by computer.

SM5: Music and Dance (10 hrs)


To understand what street music/dance is and is not good for.
To be aware of some of the criteria for judging "good" or "bad".
To have taken part in a street skiffle band and dance/banners presentation [Hmm...].

SM6: Drama and Mime (14 hrs)


To understand what street drama is and is not good for.
To be aware of some of the criteria for judging "good" or "bad".
To have performed at least two simple sketches.


Why use street drama? What makes a good piece of street drama? Basic acting techniques.

Turning a Bible story into a sketch. Some classic street dramas. Managing street drama.

SM7: Conjuring Tricks and Escapology (10 hrs)


To understand what Gospel conjuring is and is not good for.
To be aware of the ethical issues.
To be able to perform at least 2 simple tricks with Gospel application.


Why use conjuring / escapology? Principles. Routines. Showmanship. Ethics.

SM8: Follow Up (6 hrs)


To understand the necessity of follow-up.
To be aware of some of the problems that can arise.
To be aware of the benefits of various follow-up "systems".
To know how to present assurance of salvation.

SM9: Working with children (35 hrs)


To understand the importance of presenting the Gospel to children.
To understand the difference between children's and adults' evangelism.
To know how to relate to children of various ages.
To be able to plan and lead a children's club outside or in a building.
To be able to give a children's talk, e.g. for a church service.
To be aware of legal and ethical issues relating to child evangelism.
To be aware of the special issues relating to schools work.
(France) to be aware of the rules/qualifications required.


Children and God. Child development. Contemporary child culture.

Children's clubs using the sketchboard.

Children's work without a sketchboard (just to show it is possible!).

Counselling children. Children and the law.

SM10: Puppet Shows (22 hrs)


To have an understanding of puppet ministry.
To know the basic skills needed to perform in and lead a puppet group.
To build props etc. needed to illustrate your concept.
To create and perform a musical show as part of a puppet team.


Structure of a volunteer puppet team. Recruiting volunteers and leaders.

Equipment needed. Puppet making. Prop making. Screen building.

Puppetry techniques. Scriptwriting. Choreography.

Set-up, rehearsal, performance, take-down.

SM11: Ventriloquism (6 hrs)


To understand the uses of ventriloquism, its principles and skills.
To begin to master the skills required. To produce a first routine.


Introduction, demonstration, breathing.

Puppet manipulation and voices. Imperceptible speech and sound substitution.

Dialogue and showmanship. Performance.

SM12: Working with Teenagers (6 hrs)


To understand the special needs of adolescents.
To know how to present the Gospel to them.
To know what is involved in running a Youth Group.


What is a teenager? Relating to teenagers. Leading thematic discussion.

Playing games. Writing a sketch. Make a Gospel presentation.


The Scriptures: We believe God inspired all the words of the Bible without error in the original writings to give mankind his authoritative message.

The Godhead: We believe in one God eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ: We believe in his full deity, his virgin birth, his real humanity, his sinless life, his substitutionary death, his bodily resurrection, his ascension into heaven, his present ministry as High Priest and his future personal return to this earth.

The Holy Spirit: We believe in his full deity. He convicts sinners and saves those who believe in Christ. He indwells, seals and places believers into the body of Christ. He gives spiritual gifts and the power to live the Christian life.

Man: We believe that God created all things as described in Genesis. We believe that the first man, Adam, sinned, bringing death to all mankind, who, therefore, stand condemned, making the new birth absolutely necessary.

Salvation: We believe that God gives eternal life to those who repent and put their faith in Christ alone, justifying them by the blood of Christ and imputing his righteousness to them.

The Church: We believe in the universal church to which all believers belong. We believe in the importance of the local church which is made up of believers who gather for worship, fellowship and teaching. We believe in the responsibility of the Church to fulfil the Great Commission of Christ, preaching the Gospel to all nations.

The Future: We believe in the eternal existence of the soul, the resurrection of the body, the eternal blessedness of believers and the eternal punishment of unbelievers.