Tell us a little bit about yourself 

I’m an enthusiast – which I found out recently means God inspired’, which I love. I love my family – I’m married to Dani and we have two boys, Caleb and Jos. I’m happiest when sat around the firepit, surrounded by friends, family and laughter, drinking something tasty. But most of all I’m enthusiastic about Jesus. What moves me to the core is lives changed by Jesus, so I live to see as much of that as possible. 

How did you find your faith? 

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I grew up in a Christian family. My parents were outstanding examples of Jesus followers to me. I chose to follow Jesus as a child, but my major decision moment came at 21 after the death of my dad. In the grief of that moment, and the subsequent loss of my mum, I have known the presence of God with me in an extraordinary way. I would be lost, self-obsessed and a slave to money and approval without Jesus. With Him, I know real life, forgiveness, purpose, and hope for the future. I’m so grateful.

You have recently published your second book entitled The Best of Friends, can you tell us a little bit about it and the inspiration behind it?

Friendship is amazing. It is so good for us that if you eat badly and only do a little exercise but have good friends, you are more likely to live longer than someone who keeps themselves physically healthy but is socially isolated. God has wired us for relational connection. And yet we are in relational crisis. Millions of people have no close friends, and 40% of young adults always or often feel lonely.

I wrote The Best of Friends because I am convinced that friendship is the most important, but least talked about relationship in the church. We were made to know and be known. Strong churches need strong friendships. Most people come to faith through a friend or family member. I think God is speaking to His church about this area of our lives and I wanted to play my part in that.

God has wired us for relational connection. And yet we are in relational crisis.

The book looks at friendship through the lens of the Bible as a whole, and the life of Jesus in particular. I want to urge people to be intentional and sacrificial in their friendships and dream of a world where the church is known for its relational unity.

Friendship is the antidote to the divisions in our society and good news travels fast through beautiful relational connections.

How does friendship relate to evangelism?

I am a missiologist. I study how people come to faith. All the latest research and almost every story I hear tells us that most new Christians credit a friend with playing the most significant role in their journey to faith. Now, importantly, we don’t become friends with people to convert them, we are the best of friends because we are made in the image of the relational God who commands us to love our neighbour. But we do recognise that friendship draws people to the most important relationship of all. We could be more effective in this area as a church. Research shows that 46% of Christians don’t know a non-Christian well enough to invite them to church. Being better friends is not just good for us, it’s also vital for the kingdom.

What would your friends say about you?

I think they would begin by commenting on my energetic enthusiasm for life and passion for the gospel. They would inevitably mention my closest relationships, but probably first in connection with my family – I do my best to be a hands-on’ dad. I hope they would choose to notice my heart for people and desire to do what is right, while fully knowing and seeing I’m human and make mistakes. I also hope they think I’m hilarious and throw the best parties they’ve ever been to.