Through work I have to admit, I get to do a lot of stuff, and this week was no different.
I drove 45 minutes to stay for 3 days in Northamptonshire for an evangelists conference.
I still don’t really know what it means when people say evangelist, it seems to be a term used to fit people who love sharing their faith into a box that other Christians like to then close the lid on until some sort of ‘event’ comes round and calls on their gifting to help "non-believers" come to know Jesus.
The event was organised by the Philo Trust, which is spearheaded by Canon J John. He’s actually a lot smaller than I imagined…
Apart from Phil Cooke, I didn’t really know who the other guys were, or what they specialised in, so I had prepared for the worst. I expected that I would probably lose interest very quickly and end up doodling or doing anything else but listen!
To my pleasant surprise, this didn’t happen.
144 people attended the event, which started at 9am and generally finished at 9pm, so the days were very long and packed with talks, comedy and food.
The event covered a whole host of areas, from Apologetics to Social Media. I don’t want to give you a run down of each talk, because, frankly - they were all very good, and I don’t think this blog would do each of them justice.
But I will tell you some of the things I learned
Evangelism is for Everyone
To share your faith, all you need is your life story. Some people have a gift in how they communicate that story, but God has given us all the gift of our own story. It’s a challenge I find Christians continually struggle with, fear, prejudice, rejection etc… All these things make us feel like we shouldn’t share our faith at some point. But we have to get over ourselves.
I was reminded of Christmas, and the process you go through when you open your presents on Christmas day…
You are given a gift
You unwrap it (as quickly as possible)
You open it
You show everyone in the room what you have
It occurred to me during this conference: For some reason, a lot of Christians have put this gift away, only to let it gather dust under the stairs, sometimes for years without giving it a second thought. It’s like we forgot the moment we discovered our gift for the first time, or more importantly the person that gave us that gift.
If you look back at the process, do you notice anything?
Every part starts with you.
Without you the gift is useless because the process to sharing the gift is destroyed. Without you there would be no-one to receive it, no-one to discover it’s beauty, no-one to unravel it’s mysteries, and no-one to share it.
There is urgency in the gospel, our gift was given to us to be displayed and shown to as many people as possible, not tucked away. Not to be forgotten.