Mission is at the heart of everything we do at the Evangelical Alliance. Underpinning all our work is a desire and a passion to make Jesus known.

Meet the team

Our core mission staff team is small but mighty. Rachael Heffer is head of mission, she is the queen of celebration and loves partnering with our membership organisations and churches to help share the good news of Jesus. You may have known Phil Knox under a different role, but he now serves our team as evangelism and missiology senior specialist. Phil always brings his trademark energy and enthusiasm for relationship and the gospel. I’m the most recent addition to the team as the mission coordinator. While I’ve only been at the Evangelical Alliance for eight months, I’ve loved hearing stories from across the country of how our members are boldly making Jesus known and getting stuck in with the work of the mission team.

Talking Jesus: Making a difference


Talking Jesus, our UK-wide research into the spiritual temperature of the population, remains an invaluable resource for church leaders and members. Seven years on from the first report in 2015, the 2022 Talking Jesus research continues to inspire, challenge and equip us all to talk about Jesus. The latest report explored what people in the UK think of Jesus, Christians and evangelism. It is full of encouraging findings; some of which were so positive we had to double check, just to make sure they were true! However, that is not to say that the report did also reveal some challenges, particularly around non-Christians and whether or not we are close enough with them to talk to them about Jesus.

"As we reach out to our communities, speak up for the issues that matter and unite the UK church, we do so while proclaiming the good news of Jesus and His Kingdom."

As part of a six-way partnership, with Alpha UK, CV Global, HOPE Together, Kingsgate and The Luis Palau Association, our team has been travelling around sharing the findings of the report at all sorts of different events, churches and organisations.

In fact, Rachael alone has connected with over 50 organisations over the past year to share the findings of the report with them.

The findings of the research have real implications for the way we do mission and evangelism in our churches, and you may be wondering how it affects your own contexts. We’re developing the Talking Jesus toolkit which contains a variety of tools to help you take the findings and think about what they mean for you. My favourite element of the toolkit is the health check: a live, online survey which you can run in your own church or group to discover their attitudes towards evangelism. It’s ideal to run in a church service, small group meeting, team gathering or any other context.

Another key area of our work is running the online Perspective Conversations. We live in a missional landscape like no other, and in a time of cultural crisis it’s vital that we share the good news of Jesus bravely and boldly. Through Perspective Conversations we want to encourage you to reset and reframe your perspective for mission and evangelism.

"The Talking Jesus report did also reveal some challenges, particularly around non-Christians and whether or not we are close enough with them to talk to them about Jesus."

Perspective Conversations Online 

So far, we’ve held two big-picture conversations. For our first one in November we were joined by Bishop Mike Royal from Churches Together England and author and theologian Amy Orr-Ewing, who challenged us to think through a collective response to trauma and a biblical perspective of evangelism in this season. 

Our second event took place in March and we were delighted to see the growth in numbers from just over 100 attendees for the first event to over 250 sign ups for the second. Patrick Dixon shared insights about signs of the times we’re living in, what they mean for the future of the church after Covid, and how this affects our mission. We then heard the first-hand experience of Amy Key from River Church in Ipswich, who planted a church with a particular focus on reaching young adults and gained amazing insight into what mission can look like in a post-Covid world. 

Our team are always thinking about how we can better serve the church and our member organisations and work together to provide useful support and resources. You may have heard about Phil Knox’s new book, The Best of Friends, where he encourages us to develop meaningful friendships that can have a kingdom impact. Some of the wider mission team members are particularly thinking about how we build relationship and respond to the 2022 census data, with a particular focus on how we reach those who identify as having no religion, and how we as the church do missions on the margins of society. We’re excited to see what God will do in and through us over the coming months and are praying for you as we share in the mission to make Jesus known wherever we are. 

To learn more about the mission team and to access our wonderful resources, check out Great Commission.

Related pages:

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

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

Phil Knox explores four of the most powerful and effective ways to reach out with the gospel, backed by Talking Jesus research – which will you try today?
Phil Knox Phil Knox


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