Evangelicals should be recognised as good news people, says Joel Edwards
One of the UK’s most influential church leaders will be revealing his Agenda for Change with a nation-wide farewell tour this month.
The Rev Joel Edwards, outgoing General Director of the Evangelical Alliance, begans his 28-date tour in Canterbury on Tuesday, April 22. He will be outlining a new vision for evangelicals, as described in his new book, An Agenda For Change.
“Evangelicals must re-imagine themselves as good news people and ask what that should look and feel like in the world today,” he said. “And people should recognise us as good news citizens who are integral to our communities and the public square. During the tour I’ll be challenging people to be part of the change that they want to see.”
Mr Edwards, who will be leaving the Alliance in September after 20 years service, said Christians are not called to tip-toe through the 21st century, but to transform society by presenting Christ credibly to the culture.
He added: “This isn’t about me talking at people. It’s about inviting Christians up and down the country to join the beginning of a conversation. It’s about them coming together to lay the foundations for the long term, strategic, transformation of society.
“I am hoping this short book gets picked up by Christians everywhere who wish to be part of the great unfolding Christian story – the story of the church sent out to advance the kingdom of God, not with a defensive posture, but as servants of transforming good news.”
More about Mr Edwards’ book and the tour can be found at www.anagendaforchange.com
Mr Edwards is available to be interviewed.
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
The Evangelical Alliance, formed in 1846, is the largest body serving evangelical Christians in the UK, and has a membership including denominations, churches, organisations and individuals. The mission of the Evangelical Alliance is to unite evangelicals to present Christ credibly as good news for spiritual and social transformation. According to a Tearfund survey (Churchgoing in the UK, 2007), there are approximately 2 million evangelical Christians in the UK. For more information about the Evangelical Alliance, go to www.eauk.org.
Mr Edwards, a British immigrant from Jamaica, is an honorary Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral. He was a probation officer for 14 years and the senior pastor of Mile End New Testament Church of God for 10 years. Mr Edwards was offered the post of General Secretary of the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance in 1988, becoming UK director for the Evangelical Alliance UK four years later and General Director of the Evangelical Alliance UK in 1997. He received a medal of appreciation for services to Jamaica in 2003, an honorary doctorate from St Andrews University last year, and is a published author.
Mr Edwards was appointed as commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in November last year. His role is to provide knowledgeable, impartial and balanced perspectives on a range of sensitive and complex issues, and to be an advocate for a positive culture and human rights. Mr Edwards is the EHRC’s representative on the Prison Race Scrutiny Panel and REACH, an independent group set up by Government and drawn from a range of disciplines working with young black men.