A good piece from the Archbishop of Canterbury. See what you think.
Evangelism is such a word. For Christians, it’s the name for an activity that some love and others hate – it’s a passion for some and an embarrassment for others. For non-Christians, it’s a word that can send them running to the hills, feeling they are in danger of having something ‘done’ to them. (I wonder which of these descriptions fits you – and what you’ve experienced in the name of evangelism to make you feel this way?)
Given all this controversy around the word, it was no surprise that when, on taking office last year, I declared evangelism as one of the three priorities for my ministry. Some people thought I was profoundly misguided, while others jumped for joy.
However, it’s my belief that if only we truly ‘got’ evangelism, we, the Church would live to show what it meant. And to ‘get’ it means to receive it, and to give it. Continually. And if we lived what we spoke of, and spoke of what we lived, no-one would have to point at the Church and wonder what it was for.
This Pentecost the Archbishop of York and myself are calling everyone who counts themselves as a follower of Jesus, to join us in asking the Holy Spirit to work across the country in our parishes and communities, our friends and our neighbours, and in his Church that the Good News of Jesus Christ can be proclaimed, heard, lived and trusted. We are doing this for three reasons.