John Richardson’s A Strategy that Changes the Denomination (reviewed below), and the book which inspired it, Towards the Conversion of England, both contain a number of suggestions that are worth considering. God willing, they will appear on this blog over the next month or two. Richardson’s point that we need to start where the church is now is one we need to take to heart, and the Episcopal Church has its own equivalent of the C of E’s Commission on Evangelism, which produced Towards the Conversion of England: the Standing Commission on the Mission and Evangelism of The Episcopal Church (details here).

On the Commission’s web-page are links to the minutes of all meetings since the last General Convention, and some earlier reports, although there’s no detailed information about their work. But it’s one place where Evangelicals could put their energy, and perhaps a place where that might be appreciated. The minutes are detailed but not always clear, and until I’ve read them all I’m not going to say much. But its most obvious difficulty is the fact that evangelism is only half of the work assigned to it, and since the word ‘mission’ is often used to refer to all the work the church does—educational, social, political etc—it is very easy for that half of its work to consume 90% of the commission’s time, and a cursory glance at the minutes of a couple of meetings suggests that this has been the case.

Take a look at what the commission has been doing, and let’s talk about how we can encourage it to give equal time to evangelism. The report of the commission (known at that time as the Commission on Domestic Mission and Evangelism) to the last General Convention can be read in the Blue Book, downloadable from here. Don’t expect much in the way of anything Evangelicals would understand as evangelism, but do ask yourself, how could I help the commission do better?

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