The Church Army published their report Friday, June 18 on the subject of the theology and practice of evangelism-‘Inside Out’. The report has been seen to make a major contribution to the way of thinking towards mission and evangelism and has been made welcomed by those involved in the education and training of evangelists such as Bishop Jonathan Gledhill, the Warden of the College of Evangelist.
One of the major figures involved in the mission shaped report, George Lings, says, “Church Army has given the church a valuable report full of principles, best practice, summaries and questions for groups. It also puts the rarely heard case for specialist evangelists and pushes our thinking forwards on these issues.”
Of the report, the Church of England’s National Mission and Evangelism Adviser says, “The report relates evangelism creatively and clearly to the whole mission of God. It provides theological and practical foundations for understanding the ministry of the evangelist in today's changing context.”
The report relied on extensive research and publications on the subject of mission and evangelism and was produced by a working party that is chaired by Reverend David Jeans, Principal of Church Army’s Wilson Carlile College of Evangelism. Contributions were also made by the Rev. Tim Thornton (Bishop of Sherborne) and Rev. Dr Gavin Wakefield (Director of Mission and Pastoral Studies, St John’s College, Durham), and Rev. Canon Philip King (former Secretary of the Board of Mission), as well as other serving evangelists. The report aims to give combined insights on the theory and practice on mission and evangelism.
The main focus of the report is a detailed and clear argument, which calls for the recognition of a specialist ministry of evangelists as a necessary component of the church mission with regards to today’s society.
It highlights the key characteristics of the ministry of evangelists such as “a specialist and distinctive ministry within the people of God” and “ministry that seeks to bring people to a living faith in Jesus Christ, while also being concerned with promoting the values of the Kingdom of God”.
This report aids in the recognition of the need to maintain the uniqueness of evangelism within mission, whilst at the same time recognizing a variety of different approaches from an evangelists.