Big Hearted” by Simon Goddard and Chris Duffet
“This book is about evangelism”, an area of Christian witness many would rather avoid. But what is amazingly clear from early on is that this is not going to be some form of guilt trip for those of us who feel inadequate, unprepared and uncertain about evangelism. This book will seek to encourage us to be open, to speak about our faith in a whole variety of ways and in particular to reflect the heart of God as we do so. I was constantly amazed by the pastoral depth of what is being described as evangelism in these pages. There’s no shouting, no crafty tracts left lying on a bus disengaged from any visible presence of God in the form of his people, no four spiritual laws to learn or strategies to turn every conversation around to the gospel in all manner of forced, unnatural conversation-stopping ways that cause me to cringe.
I have to agree with Spurgeons College principle Dr Nigel Wright: “This book is enormous fun to read.” There are a few poems, dozens of stories, some tear jerking, others extremely humorous, and wonderful examples of the use of creative art on the street of our cities and towns. There is rich theology under the surface of a very readable, inspiring and heart warming book. Above all there is an intimate relationship with God being expressed on every page which fires the heart to share his love with others.
As we consider the assembly theme “Come Home Again: participating in the mission of God”, this book catches the essence of that theme when Chris writes, “Rather than in-or-out churches we are called to be in-and-out communities of missionary disciples who, as they focus upon Jesus, point others in his direction.”
One of Chris’ poems captures the heart of the response he would love to see in those who read the book:
“I want to be a questioned Christian,
A provoke hope type of one,
Not a pain in the neck,
annoying or a sigh as I walk in the room,
But a spark off questions follower,
a tell me the answer walker...”
Chris Duffet is a big hearted evangelist who uniquely combines a gift in pastoral care, evangelism and an openness to the Spirit at work in people’s lives as he encounters them on the streets of our cities and towns. We are looking forward to his contribution to the Assembly seminar programme, youth assembly programme and our closing celebration on Saturday night.