Steve Clifford

Steve Clifford

Steve Clifford served as general director of the Evangelical Alliance for 10 years from April 2009. He is chair of HOPE Together and has previously been international chair of March for Jesus and chair of the leadership team for Soul Survivor. Steve continues to give advice and support to churches and has worked in a variety of church roles, including many among the Pioneer network of churches. Currently, he is a member of the leadership team at his local church.

Steve Clifford: My last 'last word'

1 November 2019When I arrived on the 1 of April (yes, that really was my start date) in 2009, I did so with some trepidation, but also a deep conviction that it was God who had called me to this role. And with that call came a promise of His equipping to fulfil it. It seems highly appropriate that this edition of idea should focus on gospel unity. It’s been the great John 17 prayer of Jesus that has provided a continual focus and challenge for me over the last decade. Jesus, with His close friends, just hours…

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I don't get to decide

20 November 2018Many years ago, while I was working on a farm at Capernwray Hall, a Christian conference centre and Bible school, I responded to the challenge to become a follower of Jesus. I was 17 years old and about to finish school. I look back at that moment and recognise that was the point at which everything changed. There was a lot that needed to be sorted out (though, let’s face it, the process of discipleship in our lives never comes to an end). But, that night, in a small chapel, something…

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Steve Clifford: unity for the sake of the gospel

29 August 2018As I sat on the platform of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) leader’s conference at the International Conference Centre in Torquay, I reflected on the amazing diversity of the evangelical community across the UK. Over the previous eight months, an enormous banner with the words of Jesus’ great John 17 prayer had been carried more than 9,000 miles to more than 30 festivals, conferences and events. John 17:21 says, “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in…

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Opportunity amid uncertainty

1 July 2018I don't know about you, but for me the early months of 2018 have revealed a UK society living with extraordinary uncertainty and increasing fragmentation. The ongoing Brexit debate has exposed significant differences between young and old, metropolitan centres (particularly London) and the rest of the country, Scotland and Northern Ireland and Wales, and large sections of England. Last year's general election was supposed to deliver a strong, stable government, but instead it resulted in a…

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To see the coming kingdom is our hope

1 March 2018The church is God’s chosen instrument to bring change to the world. It is Christ’s body on earth. As an organisation, the Evangelical Alliance exists to serve this church, and we have the privilege of working together to bring the great hope of Christ to the world. I don’t mean the church as an institution. When I decided to follow Jesus, I was captured by a much bigger vision than just my church. I signed up to seek his kingdomfirst, and offer my life to join the great story of what God is…

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Movement Day – What a day!

1 January 2018I began to reflect back on a conversation Roger Sutton and I had almost seven years previously. Roger, after 22 years of pastoral ministry at Altringham Baptist church was sensing God was asking him to respond to a new challenge. In a strange and yet what turned out to be significant conversation, I felt God was asking us to work together. I can't ever remember having such a conversation before or since, but eventually after much prayer and further discussions, we agreed that Roger would join…

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The generosity of God’s people

1 November 2017As I write this Last Word, I realise I've been general director of the Evangelical Alliance for more than eight years. I remember well my first day as Ann and I arrived at Whitfield House (our old resource centre), welcomed by the whole staff team with a large cake to celebrate. These last years have gone so quickly. I admit at times, I still feel like I'm wearing 'L plates'. The overwhelming emotion, as I reflect, is one of enormous gratitude - both to a wonderful team of people I've had the…

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Why we must be a light in the darkness

1 September 2017Here we were, just four days after the fire, standing looking up at the charred remains of Grenfell Tower. The image took my breath away. How on earth had this happened? This is 21st century United Kingdom, with all its sophistication, its building regulations and health and safety precautions. Yet here we were, still not sure how many have died. As I stood there with members of the Church across North Kensington and local residents, many of whom had been directly affected by the fire, I began…

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Race and the UK church: a personal reflection

17 August 2017The issue of race and racism has been a hot topic over the last few weeks, with the twittersphere abuzz with comment and reflections following the violent scenes in Charlottesville, Virginia, on 12 August, and President Trump's subsequent comments [i]. As I've reflected on the scenes over the water, I can't help but turn my gaze to the UK church, asking myself where racial prejudice, injustices and divides still exist in our churches and institutions. It's easy to have a view about what's going…

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