CHICAGO, IL (February 10, 2011) – Evangelical Covenant Church pastor John Teter has assumed a position as evangelism team leader with the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism, a role that represents a new direction for the denomination’s focus on evangelism.
Teter will work half-time leading evangelism for the Covenant while remaining pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church in Long Beach, California, says Dave Olson, executive minister of the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism.
“We have created a new model in the desire to create greater regional and local ownership for evangelism,” Olson said in explaining the change in direction. “As a working pastor, John will remain close to the challenges and opportunities of our local pastors.”
The ultimate goal will be to identify a team of five to 10 pastors in every conference who will help motivate and lead other pastors in pursuing growth in evangelism fruitfulness. “The hope is for pastors and laypeople to see the fruit of evangelism as a normal and natural expression of the gospel manifested in their own lives and in the lives of their churches,” Olson said. Regionalization of the plan is designed to enhance the contextualization of evangelism – taking into consideration the culture of each region and the evangelism culture within each conference.
“I am overjoyed to have John working throughout the Covenant as the evangelism team leader,” Olson said. “He is passionate to see unchurched people become Christians by studying the Bible. Building on the evangelism leadership of Lon Allison, Art Greco, Ed Delgado and Lisa Orris, John will give a sharp focus to evangelism within the Covenant and each of our conferences. I believe we have the potential to see a grassroots evangelism movement in our churches, which will result in more conversions, more congregational vitality, more regional ownership, and more trained evangelism leaders.”
Teter assumed his new responsibilities February 1 and will spend some time in the Chicago offices on a monthly basis.
“It is with great joy and honor that I embrace this call,” Teter said in accepting the new role. “As church planter and pastor among the poor in Long Beach, the Lord has taught us much about the theology of witness, effective communication, and the role of the Holy Spirit to bring about new birth. As a working pastor, I am very excited to lead from the mission field, serving our church and mentoring our best evangelism leaders. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of the lost!”
Teter was born in Hacienda Heights, California, the son of Korean and Dutch parents. While at college, Jesus captured John’s heart and life through the evangelism ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He served with InterVarsity for 12 years.
In 2007, Teter assumed the position as senior pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church, a multiethnic and multicultural congregation. He and his family moved into the inner city of Long Beach “to incarnate God’s love among the poor.”
A Bible expositor and author, Teter has written two books, Get the Word Out and Jesus & the Hip Hop Prophets, co-authored with Alex Gee. He was a featured plenary speaker on the topic of evangelism at Urbana 2003.
Teter and his wife, Becky, who also is on staff at the church, have three children – Joy, Kara, and Luke.