I enjoy disicpling others in the area of public (or “street”) evangelism. When the discipleship is structured, I call it The Timothy Project.
What is The Timothy Project?
Simply put: The Timothy Project is an opportunity I provide to Christian men (only one or two at a time) to spend a week with me engaged in evangelism training, discipleship, and fellowship.
Why I Believe I Can Help
I have been involved in full-time public evangelism ministry since 2004. During that time, I have distributed tens-of-thousands of gospel tracts, engaged hundreds of people in one-to-one gospel conversations, and I’ve preached the gospel in the open-air in various parts of the world to thousands of people. Public evangelism has taken me to places throughout the United States, as well as Canada, Venezuela, Israel, Norway, England, Scotland, Kenya, and a couple of jail cells and courtrooms.
I have overseen and/or directly participated in the evangelism training of well over 1,000 Christians.
I have assisted numerous churches, both inside and outside the United States, in the area of public evangelism.
I have written hundreds of articles and three books covering various aspects of evangelism.
Additionally, and I believe most importantly, I have been called and sent by the elders of my church (Grace Fellowship Church) to serve our church as an evangelist and to reach the lost in our community with the gospel.
I want to share what I’ve learned about evangelism with other Christians and I want to help them avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made along the way.
How I Believe I Can Help
Biblical, gospel-centered books, articles, videos, and podcasts are wonderful resources for Christians wanting to learn about public evangelism. I often avail myself of such resources. However, I believe the best way to learn how to engage in public evangelism is to spend a considerable amount of time, under the tutelage of experienced, biblical street evangelists.
This kind of evangelism training can and sometimes does happen in the context of conferences, training seminars, large and small-scale evangelistic outreaches, mission trips, or a combination thereof. I have led, served, and participated in these various contexts. I am thankful to all those who have asked, allowed, and supported me to participate in such a wide variety of evangelism opportunities. I’ve been greatly blessed and further equipped in the area of public evangelism, as a result.
That being expressed and understood, I don’t think any form of evangelism training can compare to the day-to-day, personal discipleship that can, does, and should take place in the context of the local church, under the leadership of biblically appointed elders. It’s the local church’s responsibility, privilege, and joy to disciple and send out Christians to engage in public evangelism. As part of that work, the local church should also be identifying, equipping, calling, and sending Christian men to serve as heralds–to serve as open-air preachers.
My desire, with the approval of my pastors, is to come alongside other biblical, gospel-proclaiming churches as they equip their congregations to proclaim the gospel to their communities. I believe I can help by providing evangelism discipleship to men who have been identified by their pastors as men to be sent out to engage in public evangelism–men who their elders also see as men who will further equip and encourage their local churches to engage in evangelism.
I provide evangelism discipleship in The Timothy Project through hospitality, training, and fellowship.
Before we take a closer look at the program, let’s talk about money.
What Does The Timothy Project Cost?
There is NO financial cost to participate in The Timothy Project (but for travel expenses, and maybe incidental, personal expenses). The Grace Fellowship Church (GFC) family and my family will provide all meals, housing, and anything else the participants might need while they are here.
There are a number of books and articles participants will be required to read and about which write brief reports prior to arriving for The Timothy Project. I will personally purchase any books participants do not already own.
All evangelism material and equipment needed during The Timothy Project will be provided.
The Timothy Project Program
Participants live with me and my family during The Timothy Project. But for sleeping and private time with the Lord, we will spend just about every waking moment together.
Since project participants are the guests of my church family, and if the participant’s elders allow, I like participants to be with me for at least one Lord’s Day, so they can spend the day in worship and fellowship with my church family.
If the participant is married, of course, his wife is welcome to join him. If the spouse is going to participate in The Timothy Project, she will have to complete the same application process and pre-project assignments as her husband (see below). Women will NOT be permitted to open-air preach.
It is extremely important to note at this point that during The Timothy Project, I am NOT the participant’s temporary elder. I do not serve as an elder in my local assembly. I am a member of my church, in good standing, whose elders have seen fit to assign me the honor and privilege of organizing and lead our church’s evangelism efforts and to spend my life on the streets proclaiming the gospel. I have no spiritual authority in the participant’s life beyond that of any other brother in Christ. All ecclesiological authority during The Timothy Project lies with the elders of the participant’s church and the elders of Grace Fellowship Church.
Again, The Timothy Project is designed to be a full week of training.
Training will consist of the following:
- Open-Air Preaching (ONLY with the participant’s elders’ approval)
- The Timothy Project is NOT first and foremost open-air preaching training, although that is an aspect of the training. The Timothy Project is public (or “street”) evangelism training, which, for some, will include open-air preaching. A brother in Christ will NOT be prevented from participating in The Timothy Project simply because he may not have a desire to open-air preach. If a participant decides he wants to open-air preach after he has arrived for The Timothy Project, approval from his elders must be confirmed before the participant will be allowed to preach.
- Not every Christian lives in an area that is suitable for open-air preaching. Some communities are small, rural, and don’t have college/university campuses nearby or places where people regularly gather. In such areas, opportunities for open-air preaching might be few and far between, if they exist at all. But there are many other ways to reach a community with the gospel.
- Gospel Tract Distribution
- One-to-One Conversations
- Door-to-Door Evangelism
- Sign Evangelism
- Abortuary Ministry
Every effort will be made to expose participants to as many of the above forms of evangelism as possible, taking into account the time of year, weather, and the opportunities available.
In addition, participants will spend a considerable amount of time with me talking about evangelism and about life in general. We will also spend time praying together and reading the Bible together. We will participate in family worship together, participate in my church’s mid-week corporate church gathering together, and attend an early morning Men’s Bible Study together.
While plenty of evangelism discipleship will take place during our time on the streets, as much if not more evangelism discipleship will take place during quieter times of one-to-one or one-to-two fellowship.
Evangelism is not merely an activity. It is a way of life. It is part of the Christian life. So, while you’re with me we will do life together.
I Understand You Can Do Better
Look; I understand you can do better. There are many street evangelists who are better than me at what they do–better preachers, better teachers, better people. I don’t offer myself to disciple others because I have it all figured out, or because I’m the sharpest tack in the box, or because I’m the best at what I do. Ask my church family and they will nod their heads in agreement.
I just want to help.
I want to help churches and Christians grow in their public evangelism efforts. And maybe, just maybe, my 35+ years as a husband, my 30+ years as a father, my 30+ years as a follower of Christ, my 20+ years in full-time ministry, and my 16+ years on the streets as an evangelist–with all of the ups and downs, all of the wins and losses, and all of my mistakes along the way–might make me useful to others, to you in some way.
If you think I can help you (and your church) grow in your public evangelism efforts and if you think you might want to participate in The Timothy Project, then here’s the next step:
The Application Process
While no previous evangelism experience is required to participate in The Timothy Project, this training program isn’t for everyone. This training is only available to men who are approved by both the elders of their churches and the elders of Grace Fellowship Church.
All applicants, upon making an inquiry to participate (Subject Line: “The Timothy Project”), will be directed to take these next steps (in the following order):
(Note: your ability and care to follow instructions in the application process MATTERS. The care with which you complete the process is an indicator to me of how much care and effort you will put into the project.)
- …ask your elders to read this article.
- …ask your elders to review the Grace Fellowship Church website, paying particular attention to the church’s articulated doctrine.
- NOTE: Grace Fellowship Church is a Reformed Baptist church, which subscribed to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.
- NOTE: While participants need not be members of Reformed Baptist churches, they do need to be in agreement with GFC’s soteriology and the Doctrines of Grace. These important doctrines, and others, influence every aspect of my evangelism and how I train others to engage in evangelism. Doctrine matters.
- …discuss with your elders whether or not they believe you are spiritually mature enough and ready for this kind of training and whether or not your elders believe this training, away from your church, is suitable for you.
- Again, NO ONE participates in The Timothy Project without their elders’ approval and support.
- …email me again ([email protected]). Your email should include the following
- A written statement indicating why you want to participate in The Timothy Project.
- A written statement indicating all of the previous steps have been completed.
- Your Christian testimony in a Word document attached to the email.
- …after receiving a positive reply from me, have your pastor contact Pastor Mike Reid of Grace Fellowship Church (contact information will be provided).
Once the above tasks are completed and once the participant’s elders and the elders of Grace Fellowship Church approve his (their) participation in The Timothy Project, the participant(s) will be directed to complete a list of pre-project assignments.
The pre-project assignments will include, but may not be limited to the following:
- …read selected books.
- …write a 1/2 page synopsis and impact statement for each book.
- …submit a paper outlining the participant’s own perceived strengths and weaknesses in the area of evangelism.
- …read selected articles.
- …watch and/or listen to selected videos and audios
Meanwhile, the participant(s) will work with me in determining the most suitable dates for their project participation.
Testimony of Two Past Participants
Pastor Virgil Walker and Dan Perina
In 2017, Pastor Virgil Walker and Dan Perina participated in The Timothy Project. Both men serve in their local church (Westside Church). You may recognize Pastor Virgil from the Just Thinking Podcast, which he co-hosts with Darrel Harrison.
Here’s what Pastor Virgil and Dan had to say shortly after their participation in The Timothy Project:
“It was a year ago that Dan Perina and I had the privilege of going to Iowa to get some Street Evangelism training from my brother, Tony Miano. The training forever changed the way I looked at sharing the Gospel with others. Since then, more than 40 people have joined us out on the streets here in Omaha and we’ve witnessed God use our efforts to call others unto Himself as we proclaimed the Gospel through Street Sign Evangelism, Crosswalking, Gospel Tracts, and Street Preaching. I will never again be a ‘sit on the sidelines’ Christian after my time with Tony and I’m forever grateful. The experience was even made more special by the time Tony allowed us to enjoy with his precious family as he hosted us in his home. The Mianos will always be special to me. #forevergrateful” ~ Pastor Virgil Walker
“I couldn’t agree more Virgil. It seems that as each week goes by since that time, I reflect on the conversations we had and the love that Tony’s family shared with us.” ~ Dan Perina
If you think I can serve you the way I served these two dear brothers, then I hope to hear from you soon.