Global discipleship for a changing world

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Interview with Archbishop Justin

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was interviewed by Faith2Share member Church Mission Society

member Church Mission Society interviewed Archbishop Justin about Thy Kingdom Come - a global wave of prayer for more people to come to know Jesus. The campaign stretches from Ascension to Pentecost (25 May to 4 June).

What’s the vision for Thy Kingdom Come?

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples went to Jerusalem and prayed for the coming of the Holy Spirit. The vision behind Thy Kingdom Come is to do just what these first Christians did – to pray, in faith, that the Holy Spirit would come and lead the way in witness and evangelism.

On becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, you announced that one of your priorities would be evangelism and witness. Four years on, how are we doing?

A natural part of what we do as a church should be activities which introduce people to Jesus – to pray for them to hear his call for themselves and become his disciples. It’s not about initiatives and projects – proclaiming Jesus Christ is what we’re about. For me, some of the most wonderful moments of the last four years have been when I’ve been present to see people make commitments of faith. I think that above all the idea of evangelism is becoming accepted as a natural part of Christian living. Many dioceses in the Church of England and overseas are becoming involved; we recognise that we cannot leave witness to professional evangelists, or clergy, or bishops, but that it is a calling for every Christian.

Church Mission Society supports many people who are announcing the kingdom in all sorts of ways around the world. How has your own experience of CMS informed your life and ministry?

I’m always thrilled whenever I come across the work of CMS – to see the sacrifice, creativity and faithfulness of lives which are lived in the service of Christ for others. A crucial moment in my own journey to faith was going on the [CMS] Youth Service Abroad scheme to teach in Kenya in 1974; it was there that I first came across people who seemed to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and a whole lot followed as a result!

Church Mission Society encourages everyone in the CMS family to #pledge2pray. More information at: www.thykingdomcome.global Twitter: @ThyKingdom_Come.

The full interview with Archbishop Justin can be read at the Church Mission Society website.