Krish Kandiah is executive director for Churches in Mission at the U.K. Evangelical Alliance >>. Raised in a Hindu/Catholic background, he became a Christian at the age of 15 thanks to the Holy Spirit, the Salvation Army, John Wimber, Campus Crusade for Christ (now CRU), and a newly-converted schoolmate. Krish has served in student ministry in the U.K. and Albania, led a multicultural church in London, and lectured on the theology faculty at Oxford University.
What is your main focus in ministry and why you are passionate about it?
My ministry focuses on networking and equipping the church for mission. As evangelicals, we are so tribally divided that instead of pooling our experience, resources, and wisdom, we compete for converts. Sadly, we often dishonor the gospel as we see seek to share it.
I am also heavily involved in frontline evangelism through the local church and university missions. As a reflective practitioner, I am very keen to bring the best theological, missiological, and cultural knowledge to the task of evangelism. Scottish theologian James Denney once said, “If evangelists were our theologians or theologians our evangelists, we should be nearer the ideal.” I live and work in the interface between the academy, the church, and the wider culture, helping as many people as possible to find fresh ways to proclaim and demonstrate the reality of the good news of the gospel in today’s changing cultures.
What does evangelism mean to you?
Evangelism is the verbal proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s intention was that the basic unit of evangelism is a local church that lives out the gospel message 24/7/365. For me, this means that I seek to honour God with every part of my life and do that transparently for the sake of all those friends and neighbours I talk with regularly about my faith.
Tell a story of how you shared your faith in Christ and saw God woo an individual/s one step closer to himself.
A year ago my wife was leading the lively entourage of our children–a mix of birth, adopted, and foster children–across the park to the local school where our church gathers. It was a drizzly, damp Sunday morning and an 8-year-old boy playing on his own said to us, “Wherever it is you are going, can I come too?” Over the following weeks he brought along his friends, brother, sister, nephew, neighbour, and also his mum.
Recently, the mum gave her testimony while partially submerged in a portable baptistery. After a traumatic childhood, she went to live on the streets at age 15. She explained that there were many places she had not been made welcome. However, the love and acceptance of our little church had made a deep impression on her…so much so that she has come to believe in Jesus as her Lord and Saviour. During her testimony, there was hardly a dry eye in the room. Old and young, regulars and visitors, churched and unchurched, Asians, South Americans, North Americans and those from various European backgrounds, and people from different walks of life—all were touched by her story. It was a little taste of how the gospel message clothed in a gospel community demonstrates the power of God for salvation for all who believe.
What is your favorite quote/scripture?
It seems almost sacrilegious to pick a favourite passage, but through my doctoral studies on the great missiologist Lesslie Newbigin I have come to find John 20:19-23 a passage that continually shapes my thinking about the nature, model, authority, centrality, and integrity of the mission of God that the church is caught up in.
How can people learn more about you and your ministry?
I am very committed to using social media for the gospel. I regularly use twitter to collaborate on missiological thought and practice (@krishk). I write a blog that covers evangelism, preaching, technology, and culture >>. I am also excited about facebook as a medium for online discussion >>.
If you prefer print media, I have written nine books. My evangelistic books include How to Save a Life, Destiny, and Life Swap. I have also authored a number of books that help Christians think through the missiological and discipleship aspects of life include Route 66–A Crash Course to Navigating Life with the Bible; Dysciples: Why I Fall Asleep when I Pray and 12 Other Discipleship Dysfunctions and Twenty Four: Integrating Faith and Real Life.
ABOUT THE WORLD
What is the biggest issue the Church in your part of the world faces today and why?
I believe we often reduce the gospel down to an individualistic, pietistic gospel-lite version because of a syncretistic relationship with Western consumerism. I am nervous that much of our evangelism is an attempt to find techniques that communicate this essentially compromised gospel.
What is the biggest issue the Global Church is facing today and why?
One of the biggest problems is that the West is still trying to export this compromised gospel to the rest of the world instead of allowing our brothers and sisters around the world to help us see the truth of the gospel more clearly as they expose our cultural blind spots.
What is your hope for the Global Church in the next ten years?
There are so many exciting stories of churches around the world finding ways to embody and proclaim the gospel in ways that make sense. I believe that the hope for the Global Church is for us in the West to begin to listen well to Christians who have stayed faithful to Christ under extreme persecution or take great joy in the gospel whilst living with poverty.