General Synod supports evangelism

First published 20th November 2013
General Synod has approved a motion, moved by the Archbishop of York, to re-evangelise England, including the creation of a new Task Group.

The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu , introducing a debate on intentional evangelism, called on Synod to put evangelism at the top of its agenda, saying: next to worship, witness is the primary and urgent task of the Church.

Compared with evangelism everything else is like re-arranging furniture when the house is on fire, he said. The word evangelism needs liberating - it belongs to the whole Church."

Taking forward the spiritual and numerical growth in the church through evangelism is one of the goals highlighted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in his first Presidential Address to the General Synod in July 2012.

In the Diocese of Bristol, Bishop Mike has called for Christians to be "equipped with the confidence to share their faith with others" and, in 2014, a theme of creating confidence in evangelism - in sharing what God has done in our lives by offering the world something different in the way we live and speak.

Synod voted to support: the creation of a national Task Group on Evangelism in the Church of England, a call to prayer around the evangelism agenda, support for a programme of action around the seven disciplines of evangelism and a call to every PCC, diocese and deanery Synod to allocate more time to initiatives for making new disciples.

It also supported amendments to extend the membership of the Task Group and to urge every local church to prayerfully find a new way of evangelising in their own context.

We need to be intentional in our evangelism in this next period of our life as the Church of England, not for a five or ten year period but for a generation or more, the paper submitted to Synod and prepared for the College of Bishops and the Archbishops Council, recommends.

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