19 April 2017
Member of the month: Kevin Ashman
Kevin Ashman has been an individual member of the Evangelical Alliance since the 1990s. Here he shares who he is and why he's a member.
Tell us a little about yourself...
I'm 59 years old and became a Christian while I was at the University of Oxford just over 37 years ago, shortly after going to a Billy Graham meeting.
I met my wife Margaret on the same night as the Billy Graham meeting: we've now been married for almost 35 years and have four adult children who we see often. Margaret and I currently live in central London. I like to see the family frequently. For many years we went to Baptist churches until we moved to central London in 2013 and joined All Souls Langham Place because we wanted to go to an evangelical church. I'm a member of the PCC.
I'm currently a partner at a global law firm where I specialise in business taxation. I have always tried to serve the Lord as a solicitor. I retire as a partner on 30 June this year, but I'm not retiring as a Christian! Lord willing, I'm looking forward to an active retirement, which I pray will bear much Christian fruit.
Over the last three years I have become more involved in various Christian charities. At the Alliance, I was invited to join the Public Leadership Advisory Group, which advises the Evangelical Alliance on how to encourage evangelicals to actively participate as leaders in every sphere of public life.
Another is Adventure Plus, a charity that provides more than 7,000 holidays for young people and children each year where I have recently been appointed a director. A big thing at the moment is that I'm about to canoe from Whitney to Westminster with Adventure Plus, a distance of more than 125 miles, over six days.
When did you first get involved with the Evangelical Alliance?
I became a supporter of the Evangelical Alliance in the 1990s following an inspirational talk by Clive Calver at Spring Harvest in Minehead.
Why did you decide to become a member?
I became a member because of the Evangelical Alliance's advocacy. I believe that Christians should be actively involved in the political process and should try to ensure that legislation and government policy are informed and influenced by Christian values. Dave Landrum, director of advocacy at the Alliance, is doing great work here.
The more organisations and individuals who are members the more weight is attached to the Evangelical Alliance's views.
What have been some of your highlights of being engaged with the Alliance?
A recent highlight has been the publication of Speak Up jointly with the Lawyers Christian Fellowship. Speak Up is a well-researched booklet that sets out the law about when we can speak up for our faith in a number of situations, for example at work, or in the public square. It was good to see the prime minster respond positively to this in Parliament.
Another highlight has been the public leadership breakfasts where men and women in very senior position have explained how their faith affects their role.
Why would you encourage other Christians across the UK to become members of the Alliance?
I have already mentioned advocacy and public leadership where the Alliance acts as a great encourager and enabler. In addition, the Alliance is great focus for unity among evangelicals.
Finally, the Alliance is actively facilitating evangelism. Evangelical witness is stronger if we act together.
What do you think are some of the most important things Christians can be praying for the UK Church at the moment?
Pray for unity. I'm particularly conscious of tensions within the Anglican denomination, but also more generally the Church is more effective when it acts together.
Pray that the Church will effectively equip people to be active Christian witnesses in whatever circumstances they find themselves and that the Church will seize the current evangelism opportunities.
As a member of the Evangelical Alliance, Kevin Ashman is one of thousands of individuals, churches and organisations supported by the Alliance. We facilitate members' initiatives and campaigns and offer support to increase their impact and provide training for organisations on how to engage with the local government and media.
If you would like to become a member of the Evangelical Alliance as an organisation, church or individual, you can find out more here.