Phil Knox 2

Phil Knox

Phil Knox is head of mission to young adults at the Evangelical Alliance and is trying to be a good friend. His book on the subject, ‘The Best of Friends’, is due to be published in February 2023. You can read his first book, Story Bearer at www.storybearer.com

The power of hello

17 November 2022The smallest gestures can have the biggest impacts. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it feels like the world is creaking at the moment. We have lurched from a pandemic, to the threat of World War III, to a cost of living crisis. The Collins Dictionary word of the year is ‘permacrisis’, an extended period of instability and insecurity. Against the backdrop of an ‘always on’ world, in which we touch our phones an estimated 2,617 times a day, to respond to emails, instant messages, breaking…

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Standing on the shoulders of giants

28 September 2022You don’t need to scroll too far down your news feed to find a story that points to the divisions in our society. Our fractured nation is full of ruptures across divides of politics, race, wealth and worldviews. But one area of division that is often overlooked is that between the generations. I have become convinced that God cares deeply about it and that the church is a significant antidote to the problem. Half of young and middle-aged adults say that they do not have a friend over 70.* Among…

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"I think I’ve just seen my sister for the last time."

6 September 2022When standing alongside bereaved friends, we feel helpless and often don’t feel like we are doing the right thing. Here is some useful advice on how to be a good friend during their time of grief: The power of presence. At times of deep sadness, sometimes we want to be alone. But often we want our closest friends with us, even if they do nothing. I have felt the sheer power of sitting in silence with a friend as I lamented loss. God’s presence is amazing, but sometimes we can also benefit from…

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Why I'm celebrating International Friendship Day

28 July 2022Have you ever wondered what makes friendship so wonderful? The power of friendship is atomic. We were created to connect, crafted for community, designed with unity in mind. When God created the cosmos and its custodians, eight times He declared that “it is good.” The first thing that He finds to be “not good” is for man to be alone. Mother Teresa described loneliness as the leprosy of the west. In the UK over the last couple of years, the number of lonely people has increased from one in 20 to…

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Talking Jesus: Four things we can do to help more people become Christians

1 June 2022Discovering how people get somewhere is of great value. It means you invest your time and resources more wisely. There are reasons why the paths most trodden offer the least resistance. And my favourite pathway is the one that leads to Jesus. I am desperate to know how He finds people. That’s why the Talking Jesus research that was released last week is gold dust to the UK church. As well as a snapshot of faith across the nations and exploring perceptions of Christians, it also asks the key…

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Take heart

14 March 2022The problem was I was just about to preach. I needed a moment to compose myself. For years now, my newsfeed is full of some of the worst news of my lifetime. I’ve begun to stop checking it to guard my emotional health. We must lament and pray. But today I want to bring some balance to your timeline. Jesus is alive. The gospel still works. The church is growing. There is hope. In the words of Paul, “We do not lose heart.” (2 Corinthians 4:16) As the Evangelical Alliance, one of the roles we play…

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4 life-changing habits for good news people in a bad news world

24 February 2022The top three resolutions people make are to lose weight, get fitter or eat more healthily, not surprising after the season of Christmas indulgence, but these are aspirations that tend only to benefit the one making the resolution. My encouragement to you is to implement some rhythms that will change your heart, but also may also transform the lives of the people you love the most. By God’s grace, we all get a part to play in the lives of those around us getting closer to Jesus. We are all good…

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We are all Kevin McCallister

3 December 2021In the Knox house, next week we will wrap presents while getting angry with Alan Rickman for breaking Emma Thompson's heart in Love Actually. Soon, hopefully with at least one eye on the football, I will have to endure The Holiday. Then, Bruce Willis will throw Alan Rickman off the Nakatomi tower (serves him right for buying that necklace). And then, I will do what I do every year, without fail, on the night I finish work for Christmas. I will settle down with a glass of something delicious and…

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The nation’s favourite hymn

12 July 2021I’m a pretty average singer. On the scale of ‘tone deaf to Pavarotti’ I’d place myself precisely at the half-way point. Those who have ever sung in the pew or terrace in front of me would agree that I’m more about quantity rather than quality. And in the last year I have desperately missed singing with others. There has also been something fascinating about watching the crowds of Euro 2020 belting out their anthems with such joy, unity and passion. Why do some football songs catch on and others…

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Back to the future: Maximising mission on re-entry

1 July 2021The ‘new normal’ has been unlike anything that we were used to before. Some of us haven’t stepped into a church building in over a year. Many of us have had to show admirable restraint while listening to ‘How great Thou art’ and only humming or whispering the words behind our masks. Few of us have experienced communion in the way that we so fondly remember. With the potential of restrictions being lifted in the coming weeks, however, things like hugs at the door and belting out ‘Blessed be your…

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Praying for strangers: good news people in one-off encounters

16 June 2021It all started with a dream. A friend texted to tell me he had a dream in which I was sharing faith with strangers. Up to that point, these encounters had been few, but this encouragement felt like God nudging me to step out in a new way. I regularly run and walk around my community, and one morning a few days after the dream, as I ran, I saw a guy on crutches. The words tripped awkwardly out of my mouth as I mumbled something about being a Christian and wondering if I could pray for him.…

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