I recently met a guy in Olive Way who has recently come to faith. He had done an Alpha course in the city, partly on a whim, and enjoyed it. Later he invited his wife and his younger kids to do it, and they too enjoyed it and have all started attending a church in the city. 

It was a delightful chat, and very refreshing to hear of people still finding their way to faith despite all the many obstacles placed in front of them. He still had questions, he was still wrestling with stuff, but on the whole he felt at home in the community of faith. 

At our recent church council retreat we were reflecting on this question of how we do evangelism. 

And given the damage that’s been done in the name of evangelism in the past, do we even want to? It was a very stimulating and challenging discussion, but it got me thinking about the role that Olive Way can play in this. 

For us it is important that Olive Way is a place a welcome and hospitality and for that reason it is not primarily forum for evangelism. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t share our faith. Of course, it is important that faith sharing is not simply the imparting of religious dogma, theological ideas, or apologetic argument, or the denigrating of other religious traditions. Faith sharing that comes from our own experiences, our own encounters with God, our own learnings, speaks so much more powerfully. There is room for this in Olive Way and it is generally respected. It’s all about adding to the very full melting pot of urban spirituality.

Peter Blair, Olive Way Pastor