When the storm comes and the fierce winds, when all around it is battered and besieged, the tree with deep roots will not be uprooted. It will not fall.”

A board meeting, a training session and a church sermon. I have heard the same analogy and the same call to the church in three very different settings. All were spoken by very different people from very different parts of the church. They all said the same thing. The storm is coming; the church needs to dig deep.

Society seems to be at all sorts of junctures at the moment, be they political, cultural or moral. Debates and ideologies wage war and people up and down the UK are struggling to know what to think and how to behave in this ever-shifting landscape. But, in the words of poet Rudyard Kipling, if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you”, this can be an amazing opportunity for the church.


The church is called to be a light on a hill, a beacon of hope, modelling a different way. When everyone around us is struggling to know which way is up and which way is down, we need to be like a tree, deepening our roots and standing firm. Paul, in Ephesians 4, uses a slightly different analogy, but one that nevertheless carries the same meaning: don’t be like infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (verse 14). Instead, we are to keep unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace and grow in maturity in Christ Jesus.

The church can be the light to the world, the safe haven, the deep-rooted tree when we strengthen our relationships with each other. God has blessed each of us, and each of the streams of church we hail from, but only when we come together do we attain the whole measure of the fullness of Jesus.

I am truly honoured to be director of communications and membership at the Evangelical Alliance. I get to hear the amazing good news stories of what God is doing around the UK in local churches and through the work of charities. I get to cheer, celebrate and champion the work of the church, so that we all can be encouraged and bolstered in our own service.

It’s my privilege to hear first-hand what people are being inspired to produce to strengthen and support the church, and to share what’s available so that we all might be blessed and enriched. I also get to elevate the struggles and the challenges facing parts of the church, because if some of us are suffering, none of us should look away.

The Evangelical Alliance’s founding purpose was to manifest and promote the unity of Christ’s disciples, and that calling has never been more important than it is today. The church in the UK is being called to grow up, to mature, to reach full unity. I am humbled to be part of an organisation so integral to that mandate, and I hope you are too.