28 October 2016
The Evangelical Alliance: why we do what we do
On 19 August we celebrated our 170th birthday and it was great. In fact, the celebrations continue. Thanks to all those who made contact - it was great to receive the cards, emails, phone calls and all the social media traffic. We were so encouraged to hear from you as to how much you respect and appreciate the work that we do. I have to confess that although I love the front cover of the last idea magazine, when I saw a copy of it lying around in our resource centre, I wondered what on earth it was – it took me a while to realise it was our special edition.
We've been at work for 170 years, but sometimes it's good to stand back and reflect on why we exist and how we aim to serve you, our members.
Easy to lose the big picture
In the day-to-day challenges of church life, I realise how easy it is to lose sight of the big picture. Overwhelmed by pastoral and practical local issues, we miss out on what God is doing across the nations and how we can play our part in it. That's why we are determined to keep telling the stories that will encourage, inspire and provide ideas that you could implement where you live. idea magazine, our website, Friday Night Theology, Everything Advocacy, social media, the resources we publish and the training days we run are all designed to keep the vision big.
Easy to feel isolated
We are part of a Church that spans the globe, but it's easy to feel as if we are on our own and isolated. We work hard to connect people, build relationships locally, regionally and nationally. Our work in the Celtic nations and the Gather network are all about building unity and nurturing relationships for the sake of transformation, while threads is about connecting a whole community of young adults.
Easy to feel voiceless
With so many voices bombarding us with messages, it's easy to feel voiceless. TV, radio, film, social media and education are all shouting loudly and often with messages that we disagree with. That's why we speak for you with a message and in a tone that we trust you'll agree with. Our advocacy team are out there speaking for you in the media, TV, radio, newspapers and to the government in Westminster and the Assemblies..
Easy to feel powerless
However large or small your church is, it's so easy to feel powerless with no real influence. That's where our public policy teams are at work; they can influence civil servants, politicians and ministers on issues that are important to you. We won't always get our own way with proposed legislation, but your views will be put forward. And of course, we will keep encouraging and supporting you in prayer. Our regular prayer briefings are designed to provide you with all you need to pray powerfully.
Easy to feel stuck
If your church has been around for a while, it's easy to feel stuck - we aim to get you going. One of the great new initiatives which is emerging this autumn is a Great Commission website. It's designed to provide a one stop shop for churches and individuals who are looking to reach out in evangelism. We won't be providing most of the resources, but we will be directing you to those that already exist - and if they don't, we'll be encouraging them to be created. We'll also provide some great videos that will tell wonderful stories of people who have recently come to Christ, or churches that have seen some encouraging breakthroughs. Our work in encouraging and supporting public leaders is all about raising up a whole army of change makers right across society.
So that's what we do and why we do it. Thanks for trusting and supporting us as we work to serve you the church across the UK.
If you want to come with us on this journey, take a look at becoming part of the Alliance here - eauk.org/join