The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was interviewed on Premier Christian Radio this morning about Thy Kingdom Come – a week of prayer for the evangelisation...
Justin Welby: Leaving evangelism to 'professionals' is missionary suicide
The Archbishop of Canterbury's told Premier that any church that leaves evangelism to the 'professionals' is committing missionary suicide.
Most Revd Justin Welby's been speaking on Premier's Inspirational Breakfast show as the Church of England launches its Thy Kingdom Come prayer and evangelism campaign.
In the week running up to Pentecost, hundreds of churches have committed to praying for every Christian to receive new confidence and joy in sharing their faith.
The campaign will culminate with six sold out 'beacon events' taking place in Cathedrals across the country.
Speaking about the need for everyone to invest in sharing their faith, he said: "Any church that leaves things to the 'professionals' is committing missionary suicide basically.
"The responsibility of demonstrating in word and works the love of Jesus Christ, in a way that is deeply attractive is the responsibility of every single Christian. Always. Everywhere."
Archbishop Justin spoke out about how the Church has failed to equip people to share their faith for too long.
He said: "If you go back to 1944/5 there was a report for the Church of England called Towards the Conversion of England prepared for William Temple.
"It said there will never be a conversion of England until every Christian disciple is equipped to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
"That has always been one of the greatest weaknesses in many churches - not just Church of England churches. We do not spend enough time equipping people to share their faith."
Addressing the issue of why larger churches are continuing to grow, he said those in smaller churches shouldn't feel inferior when extending invitations.
"What draws people in, above all, is community. It's the fact that they belong. They discover they belong, they're part of the family of Christ, they're children of God. They are loved by others, they are accepted, they're welcomed," he said. "You can have the biggest, liveliest service in the world but some churches in the States are finding they need to relearn how you build community."
And his message for Christians wanting to engage with the Thy Kingdom Come campaign: "Join in, and pray for people to be excited about their relationship with Jesus Christ because we win people to know the love of Christ when that love is apparent in our lives."
With thousands set to attend services this weekend, it's hoped the Thy Kingdom Come campaign will become an annual event building on this year's success.
Listen to Archbishop Justin speaking to John and Rosie on Premier's Inspirational Breakfast.
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