Commentary by Bob Whitesel,
I took my doctor of ministry students to England to learn from English church leaders who embody a modern spirit of John Wesley. They balance a concern for people’s eternal salvation with people’s need for physical salvation from poverty, crime and lack of opportunity.
One such colleague is Rev. Canon David Male, the Church of England (C of E) director of evangelism and discipleship. Below is a quote he recently gave to the English Guardian newspaper about how innovative “fresh expressions” of the church are coexisting along traditional congregations.
“C of E traditionalists launch fight against worship in ‘takeaway, cinema or barn’” by Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian Newspaper, London, UK, 8/6/21.
“The Rev Canon David Male, the C of E’s director of evangelism and discipleship, said: ‘It is really heartening to see people coming together with a passion and concern for the parish, which is a precious inheritance at the heart of every community in England and the core of the C of E.’
A key part of the church’s strategy was to ‘revitalise the parishes and churches up and down the country,’ he said. ‘Throughout our history there have always been other forms of churches alongside and within [parishes] – from cathedrals and chapels to fresh expressions and church plants, all of these come from and are part of the parishes. We need them all.’