Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Raising up the next generation

"In Great Britain, the hallmark of the IFES movement's evangelistic efforts has been its threefold focus on personal evangelism, small group Bible study, and public gospel proclamation in the university. This year, IFES has seconded Lindsay Brown, former General Secretary, to work part-time with UCCF in Great Britain in an effort to identify and encourage university evangelists across Europe... "Read more at IFESWORLD

Lindsay is the author of Shining Like Stars.

15 comments:

  1. This is a strong move. Lindsay is a solid evangelist, with a passion for apologetics.

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  2. this sounds brilliant for native europeans to come and see uk models and go back with ideas, but what does it mean for us brits?

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  3. I think it could potentially, help us to see how good we have it, in many ways, and hopefully will help us to better capitalise on our opportunities.

    It might also help UK evangelists, to better understand the language barrier. That might help International students to understand better.

    Let's hope that the effects are felt far and wide, and that he doesn't get tied up in meetings about meetings.

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  4. We can benefit from Lindsay's time directly, alongside what he's doing for the rest of Europe.

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  5. I think this project rocks. I am so excited and pray for it all the time. 30 evangelists for Europe - what an awesome aim!

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  6. Oh, and Chris, we are native Europeans. ;)

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  7. Chris! What continent do you come from? And Tom, I agree, and strongly doubt Lindsay Brown is going to let anyone tie him up (whether in meetings about meetings or otherwise) :)

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  8. I think this is an exciting and encouraging model. BUT was shocked by Chris' comment to the point of offence. Chris - Europe is a continent of which Britain is a very, very small part. There are LOTS of UK models which are imperialistic, culturally laden and gospel lite: Lyndsay won't be supporting or promoting UK models but rather encouraging and advancing gospel ministry from a UK base...

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  9. I think we've made enough of a point to Chris about Britain being part of Europe. No more on that please! :)

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  10. ok, thanks for the postcolonial guilt, but noone's actually answered the question - what will Lindsay's appointment mean for brits? Will it just be finding people with a passion & gifting and languages and saying "woo go and doo it", or "woo! join IFES" or will there actually be means/plans/routes/strategies? It's difficult to imagine the latter.

    At the risk of utterly obscuring that question, a few points to consider:

    1) I wasnt personally making a big imperialist point about exporting models. I was just rattling off the only thing I've heard (cf NB article on the people from germany and what happened last year with 12 or so continentals coming to observe uk missions).

    2) In fact, I feel there's far too much confidence in the "uk/uccf models". My time in belgium made me realise quite how sloganny terms like "mission teams of witnessing communities living and speaking for Jesus on campus" really are. They're so broad they nearly become meaningless.

    4) this overconfidence is worryingly amplified in IFES. Sorry to be controversial, but I seriously fear that far too much is assumed and too much expected of relatively untrained manpower because the method must be right.

    3) I do think this confidence is fairly unreflective, and as a matter of fact it's reinforced in posher circles because the public school camps etc havent really changed in 80 years. Great if it works, but even the posh non-christian world is moving on. Impact is that when a contextualisation lecturer (from NZ) comes to a uk bible college and suggests her surprise that "missions" were still going on in uk, she gets utterly shot down by a bunch of collar-up-fat-face-type ordinands.

    I just ranted, but having reread, it's genuine concern. lots of Eurasian-landmass love,
    chris.

    ps Tom: you're so right. Even short exposure to spirituality in europe makes me realise what a phenomenal thing the holy spirit is doing among his church in the uk, and if we take that for granted, who knows, that lampstand may be removed.

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  11. Now, this is kicking off...

    Andy, how did you know so much about Chris' motive to be able to take offence?? You're more sure of your perceptive abilities than I am - sure you hit a target of asking questions about conventional models... but, I could do that on Bish and he's, well, like... the bible. Totally Kosher if you know what I mean.

    Chris,
    Personally, I know it's fashionable to knock the uccf/uk model, and certainly I think that they have their problems - like most things full of human beings. But, after the last 5 years or so since Richard Cunningham came in, I think that there has been a massive broadening in their strategy and model. I could point to three things. 1) bethinking.org 2) Interface arts 3) appointment of creative evangelism trainers 4) breadth of teaching on evangelism at conferences widened.

    So much so, that I find it quite hard to say what is and what isn't the uccf/uk model anymore. And while the slogany "mission teams of witnessing communities living and speaking for Jesus on campus" might not sound as fresh and authentic as publicity campaigns that have millions to spend, I think that it is okay, considering that it is for a Christian marketplace.

    And whether you call them missions or not, a campaign of coordinated events, that are locally supported by ongoing relationships, are still very effective in reaching people with the gospel. The balance needs to change though. We need more group discussions, music, arts, video clips, and shorter talks, taking the questions of the day, and properly relating them to the gospel. Not just using the event as a pretense to give people a really hard time about being sinners, scare them away by talking about hell a lot, and then explain about the blood. That's what needs robust critique, because its not biblical, but missions, I'm a lover not a hater about missions!

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  12. Blimey Andy,

    I think you have just about managed to misunderstand Chris as much as it is possible to do. At least that is if I know Chris at all.

    Anyway, the offence seems to have resulted in some stimulating and important conversation here and on the CBC blog. All things work together...

    Sometimes I'm glad that I am so far away from making decisions about 'strategies' and 'models'. But well done to you guys for thinking and caring deeply about them for the good of the worldwide church. As usual I think everyone agrees more than they think.

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  13. This is getting a little silly. I'm very sorry for ranting. I didnt mean to create such a furore. I get bees in my bonnet all the time and I totally agree with what Andy was saying. I'm inspired when people bend over backwards to incarnate the gospel as the shuddalls are doing in NZ. God bless you in that Andy.

    As someone tentatively considering ministry in europe, many people have mentioned Lindsay's plans but after 3 months of asking all sorts of people within IFES & UCCF, I honestly have no idea what it could feasibly mean for brits. It's pretty close to the bone for me, and I probably need to get hold of & ask Lindsey myself. I'll leave this here.

    PS fair comment Tom. I'm also pro-marketing & pro-missions. The anecdote was symptomatic.

    chris

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  14. Chris. I don't understand your question. What does it mean for British people? Do you mean "are Britsh people only to be involved as exporters?"

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  15. Chris - yeh, I'd ask Lindsay. I guess the thing is, what it means for Brits is a broad question. It'll mean nothing for many Brits (the best part of 50-60million of them), something for some of the 15,000 involved in UCCF... and maybe it could mean something very specific for you.

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