1990s: A Decade of Evangelism

The call at the 1988 Lambeth Conference for a ‘Decade of Evangelism’ leading up to the millennium spawned several high-profile initiatives in the early 1990s. By the middle of the decade the painful lesson had been learned: Expensive evangelistic campaigns achieve very little. A 1994 press release from the Evangelical Alliance described the main achievement as ‘new levels of co-operation between churches’. What matters is not programme-planning but credible witness and lifestyle.

What about today?

A more humble approach to being a Gospel people seems called for. God evangelises; we don’t. Christians are not engaged in mission to do God a favour. It is God’s mission – so “Find out what God is doing, and try to co-operate” (cf John V Taylor in ‘The Go Between God’ in 1974).

The crunch questions for today:

  • What sort(s) of mission is God engaged in?

  • What sort(s) of church are required if Christians are to co-operate in God’s work?

How Parish & People is still at work

The Church of England has always refused to be too precise about who is a 'member' and who is not. The C of E's approach reverses that notion that churches operate competitively in a marketplace of spiritualities and ideas - and that therefore the task of mission is to increase its market share. Parish & People team member John Cole has worked with local churches for many years exploring the implications.

Download this booklet:

Church - Without Price?

by John Cole  -  The language of the marketplace and consumerism is not the language of the Gospel. Does a re-discovery of the meaning of God's covenant love give the local Christian community a new relevance in a consumer society that is losing its way?