Another public lecture at the university tonight, unpromisingly titled “Anglican models of evangelism”. The lecture was given by Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Reading.
But do you know what? It was a really splendid lecture, delivered with passion and warmth, engaging and accessible. We had an audience of about 120, but I wish more had been there.
I can’t reproduce the Bishop’s enthusiasm, but i can at least give you the main points of the talk.
1. You can’t share what you haven’t got.
Church needs to focus on prayer and spiritual growth before even contemplating evangelism. An obvious point that most of us overlook most of the time..
2. Church health is more important than church growth.
But healthy things grow naturally.
3. Becoming a Christian is like a journey.
Research shows that most take 4 or 5 years before making a commitment of faith. So the church needs to be in for the ‘long haul’ with people.
Which raises 2 questions every church should ask itself:
“How can we serve the people with whom we have contact in such a way that the gospel is intriguing, challenging and appealling?”
“Does our church have a maternity ward?”
4. Belonging comes before believing.
5. The best evangelism is the witness of ordinary Christian people in the everyday lives.
Best Quote: “Most of us want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity”
Update: Bimbling Along has more…