Post by Nigel Coles, originally on his blog which you can get here.
Chris – apologies for the photo, but I forgot I had my camera, until nearly too late, but it’s probably your best side!
Those of you who know Chris will not be surprised he’s manage to help a number of people overcome their fear of the ‘e’ word. One thing we need to work out, however, is how we can encourage more people to engage with the agenda Chris is bringing to our attention. That is, the desperate need for Christians to engage other people, in such a way and with such an appeal (what Ray Brown, when at Spurgeon’s used to describe as ‘winsomeness’) that they ask us the questions.
Chris has also, rightly, rebuked me – ‘what’s happened to your blog?’ I’m not sure whether it’s the encouragement someone’s missing it, or something else, which has provoked me into blogging today, despite a remaining overfull inbox, but thank you Chris.
One thing I’ve been aware of for a long time, is the fact we don’t know what to do with evangelists. Hopefully, BUGB will get full marks for making one BUGB President, but if this becomes merely a nod in the right direction, then Chris’ Presidency will be in danger of becoming tokenism of the worst kind. Obviously, at least to me, we cannot dump the responsibility for this on Chris’ shoulders, so we need to work out how we can better equip more people in our churches as ‘e-Christians’.
– If Ephesians 4 is, first and foremost, a local church text then it’s reasonable to expect a good percentage, of any church, to be primarily gifted in evangelism. Some have suggested 10%, but I’d go for 20% – on the basis five times 20% equals 100%!
– The response to Chris’ Ministry is people who feel they are not primarily gifted in such a way, discover they can do it. So, shouldn’t we (local Ministers in particular at this point) nurture far more people to believe they can act evangelistically, even if they are not primarily evangelists?
Whatever, we do, let’s do something to rescue evangelism for the local church.