Are there limits to where and how we should evangelise?
Well, I wouldn't use the word 'limits', but there are certainly areas of public life and our own relational networks that we need to be sensitive to and we need to adapt to.
You can't sometimes push a ten-tonne truck over a two-tonne bridge.
You know, you can take the gospel over in components, in parts sometimes or the bridge, the relationship, will break.
And I find it particularly difficult to evangelise into my family, my close family and friends that I've grew up with who are not Christians.
That tends to take years and it tends to take them watching you and watching your life being born out in front of them over time.
Why do you think that is, though?
Do you think it's because they've like, seen you at your worst?
Because I find, with my family, that it's that way.
You know, there's no fooling, you've seen it all.
Well, it happened to Jesus, didn't it?
They said, "Isn't this the son of the carpenter?" and they tried to throw him off a cliff.
And tried to drive him out of town and he just walked through them, so it's nothing new.
You know, a prophet has no honour in his own town or his own family.
Familiarity, it's a funny one, isn't it, really?
But it doesn't mean that we shouldn't share the Gospel but we just need to think strategically and long-term about living our lives out.
In terms of everybody else, we've got the 'Speak Up' resource at the Evangelical Alliance to help people to be more confident, to understand their legal rights in public life, all these different spheres where you can share the Gospel.
And we have many, many freedoms to talk about Jesus in public life, but we have a public square now that's largely religiously illiterate.
They've kind of forgotten the language of faith.
Or they're indifferent.
They just don't really care and don't see it as relevant.
Or even, they're hostile.
People can be hostile to Jesus.
He's the rock of offence.
So, we need wisdom and we need humility and I think, you look through the Bible, them things kind of go together, don't they?
They kind of define each other right through the Bible.
So I would say, when we do share the Gospel, in terms of parameters and limits, we need humility, we need wisdom, but above all else, we need courage.
We've got to be bold.
We've got to take risks sometimes.
I think Gavin's called the ministry of the Gospel 'the ministry of rejection'.
That's a bit brutal and it's a bit hard, but it's so true and once we train ourselves up to have courage and wisdom and humility to share the Gospel, the more we get rejected, the more it's water off a duck's back.
If I'm gonna really press you and perhaps, Gavin, you can answer this one, is there any way that we shouldn't evangelise or any place that we shouldn't?
If we're asking where and how we should, is there anywhere where that, perhaps, is inappropriate, insensitive, or a way that is just wrong to do it that way?
I think that Jesus is for everyone.
Therefore, we need to reach everyone.
However, we need to know the cost.
For example, we go to church in one of the most ethnically diverse parts of London.
It's very multi-faith.
There's a massive Hindu and Muslim population there.
Friends, you got to be realistic.
If you lead a Hindu to Jesus, then you've got to take that person into your family.
Whether that's the church family or the wider family.
We have got to take that person in.
Because the likelihood of rejection in their home context is massive.
So I think what's interesting in the world we live in now is the cost of following Jesus for some people is far higher.
It's easy for your average person who's grown up in Britain all their life and has no faith background.
I remember in Youth for Christ, you'd get mums who were delighted their kid's become a Christian, even though they are a staunch atheist.
Because 16-year-old Jimmy is going to church club on a Friday night.
The mum was delighted.
Kept him out of trouble.
However, we're working with some people where their family will ostracise them off the back of them coming to faith.
Therefore, we need to do responsible evangelism.
I don't think anyone is beyond what we should be doing, but we need to be responsible.
Don't go reaching people you're not prepared to then be all that they will need to grow in faith.
Because I'll tell you one thing.
It's really easy to get decisions for Jesus.
Because it's true and it works.
It's really hard to grow disciples.
And if we're gonna go after decisions, we've got to be prepared to put in the effort of growing disciples afterwards.