The recipient of one of the youth 2020 Harry Denman Awards for Evangelism is Rylan Harty. Rylan is a member of Evergreen United Methodist Church in Wahpeton, North Dakota.
The award is given in honor of Harry Denman, a United Methodist layperson who sought to live his life as a testament to Jesus Christ and fulfill his calling to evangelize. It is meant to honor United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism – expressed in word, sign, and deed – brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
Rylan is a person who shares his passion for Jesus by welcoming everyone to join him on his faith journey.
“Rylan's invitational personality means he doesn't know what a stranger is and he's always quick to invite others to join him in whatever is happening,” shares Rev. Jen Tyler, who served as his pastor at Evergreen UMC and now serves as the lead pastor at Watertown First UMC in Watertown, South Dakota. “This is true in his faith, too. Over half of our active youth are a part of our church because Rylan invited them to come with him to youth group.”
Tyler describes that Rylan’s invitation is rarely just found in words but is also measured in action as he has been known to drive out of his way to pick up a friend.
“He is quick to invite and slow to judge. He doesn't seek perfection and he doesn't expect it either. Rather, he seeks to meet people where they are, loving them as they are,” says Tyler.