Commentary

South England Conference Meets to Discuss Evangelism

‘The end of British Christianity’ challenges the church to act

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South England Conference Meets to Discuss Evangelism

“Death of Christianity in the UK” was the headline in Psychology Today magazine, words met with relish by the secular society and astonishment from Christians. The poll at the heart of the article showed a steady decline of those professing the Christian faith as well as the number of regular church attendees.

The Spectator took these statistics further, with a projection that 2067 will mark the end of British Christianity. This suggests that either the Great Commission which Jesus gave in Matthew 28:16-20 has not been implemented or that the British exemplify a particular type of seed in Jesus’ parable of the sower: “When anyone hears the message about the Kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart” (Matthew 13:19, NIV).

The Evangelism Expo held on January 6, 2019 provided an opportune time to assess the spiritual situation in the UK and instruct members on how to respond. The call drew 1,000 people to Newbold College of Higher Education, where keynote speaker Louis Torres reiterated Jesus’ call to action. 

Using English history as the backdrop for his sermon, Torres charted the relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex, during which, according to Torres, in spite of the queen being 34 years his senior, they shared a passionate and ongoing flirtation. Eventually her beau instigated a coup d’état, swiftly leading to his being held prisoner in the Tower of London. 

The crux of the story came moments after Devereaux’s beheading. After hearing the news of his demise, the queen promptly enquired of her aide, “Did he read my letter?” only to be told that the letter had been sent but not delivered.

Thus, the theme “the undelivered message” became the focal point of the sermon, a reminder that the body of Christ, too, can fail as message bearers. Torres stated, “As individuals we only know the message because of someone who brought it to us and our families. If undelivered, someone’s salvation is at stake.” His challenge met with applause. 

Congregants also heard of those throughout the South England region actively working to ensure the British public hear the gospel. ADRA spokeswoman Catherine Boldeau commended nine churches, including Sydenham, Bristol Central, and others for cumulatively raising more than £15,000.

Following Torres’s heartfelt sermon, the audience dispersed for the workshop section. Maintaining the evangelistic call to action, directors from the South England Conference spent the morning and afternoon educating people in their area of expertise.

The original version of this story appeared on the South England Conference news website.

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