BRF’s The Word’s Out by Revd Dr Paul Weston and Revd David Male seeks to equip the church today where it lacks confidence in its role in evangelism. Their research shows how evangelistic models of the past are waning in value, how the language used by the church to reach out is becoming increasingly foreign, and how society is becoming increasingly estranged from the Christian story as the tides of postmodernity and secularisation change contemporary culture.
How can the Church respond? Paul Weston examines the New Testament writers’ view of evangelism. He shows how the early church possessed an instinctive sharing of the good news because they were people who believed they were firmly within the flow of God’s activity in bearing witness to himself.
Evangelism was, for them, the natural overflow of an authentic Christian life—discipleship and evangelism being directly connected and evangelism being the natural, organic consequence of discipleship.
David Male explores how the local church can embrace this New Testament view. He challenges the Church to throw off the prevailing misinterpretation of the Great Commission and realise that the main imperative of the commission is not ‘to go’ but ‘to make disciples’. In essence, we make disciples as we go, as we live and share our faith in others. As National Advisor for Pioneer Development, Dave is well placed to help churches think theologically and practically about evangelism in the contemporary world.
As the Archbishops call for a ‘great wave of prayer’ for evangelism during Pentecost 2016, does the church need resourcing to speak the gospel into contemporary society? The Word’s Out re-imagines and renews our practice for evangelism and offers churches a way forward for a culturally appropriate engagement that moves beyond any existing caricatures.