On this English Evangelical web-site, it’s described in terms of class, but the same thing can be observed here, where we might describe it in terms of money: so many church-planters, evangelical or otherwise, feel called to plant a church in an affluent suburb or the latest fashionable uptown zip code, but so few are called to do the same in poor, blighted rust-belt communities.

A man who was ready to be ordained at the same time I was achieved a certain notoriety among the rest of us in the pipe-line because when the bishop asked him why he objected to his proposed first assignment in an unattractive part of town, he replied that he thought God wanted him to specialise in ministry to the rich. He was notorious for his boldness, by the way, rather than his objection. And he was part of the Renewal community that was just then beginning to use the term ‘evangelical’ to describe itself.

Which no doubt reminds us all of the Archbishop’s recent comments about social policy and the poor. This commentator seems hard to argue with: ‘If Christianity is going to make itself heard on tax-and-spend policies, it has just GOT to lean towards spreading the spoils around’. Hopefully someone can remind us of an Evangelical who went to the inner city when he could have gone to the affluent suburb, so that those of us who don’t like that idea can deflect attention from ourselves.

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