03 March 2014
60 seconds with Geoff Tunnicliffe
idea: How did you become general secretary of the WEA?
I usually tell people that I drank a lot of coffee (or tea) with people around the world. That is actually not far from the truth. For many years I was an executive with an international mission agency. In that role I saw a great need for much more collaboration. On leaving this agency I began to serve the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada as director of global initiatives with the mandate of building such a strategy. It was out of this context I began to work with the WEA and was eventually asked to serve as secretary general. I was deeply humbled to be offered that role more than nine years ago.
What excites you about the WEA’s vision?
I have seen the transformative impact of the Church when it is united and works together. At the heart of WEA we are committed to seeing the Church living out this unity as we seek to be good news people. It is a great privilege to serve as a platform that builds this collaboration. We have also seen remarkable open doors to speak to the highest level of governments, international bodies and other faith communities.
What are the major issues facing the Church in the next decade?
We are facing both huge challenges and opportunities in the next 10 years. With thecontinued growth, particular in the majorityof the evangelical Church world, how will we steward our influence and resources for greater kingdom impact? How will we seek greater Christian unity not only among evangelicals but in the broader Christian family? How will we deepen our biblicalengagement so that all of life is guided and influenced by scripture? How will we deal with on one hand greater radical secularisation and on the other radical religious movements? How will we morefully engage as a global community to respond to the big issues facing the planet; extreme poverty, corruption, environmental degradation, national and regional conflicts/wars, human trafficking etc. How will we connect Sunday to the rest of the week so that all Christians are equipped, empowered and released for service? How will we more effectively disciple the nations? I think there are more but I will stop there.
How would you describe the work of the Alliance in the UK?
I love what EAUK is doing. It is a great model on how to build unity for strategicpurposes. We deeply respect how EAUK engages with many challenging and complex issues faced by the UK Church with a prophetic yet respectful voice.
What’s your favourite Bible verse?
I have been thinking a lot about Acts 4:13: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” I ask myself more than my knowledge, position oreducation, will people see that I have been with Jesus?.