It was a great privilege to be invited to speak at Teatime@Trinity, an informal Sunday evening meeting at Perth’s Trinity Church of the Nazarene. For me it was a return visit to Trinity after many years, as I preached there many times when they had a long pastoral vacancy, long before Solas had started. Andy Bannister from Solas had spoken at a Teatime@Trinity event last year, and Solas has many friends there. For me, it was my first opportunity to speak there for Solas, and the opportunity to catch up with many old friends too – as well as admire their amazing new premises!

Teatime@Trinty events are low-key guest services which attract people from all over the place. While there were lots of folks from Trinity and several other churches, there were a good number of people from outside the church too.

With food served around beautifully decorated candlelit tables, they created a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for everyone. They had music, and a quiz around the tables too – which got everyone involved.

Pastor Ian Wills then interviewed me about Solas and evangelism. As well asking me to describe our work of evangelism and evangelism-training, Ian asked me some really probing questions about gospel work today. He asked about the changing nature of objections to and questions about Christianity in our society. I tried to explain that our speakers get asked fewer evidential questions (eg science and faith) these days and many more around questions such as identity, value, purpose, and agency. Tshi affects our starting point in sharing the gospel.

My favourite question that Ian asked me was “Are you optimistic about the future?” That’s a brilliant question, because by nature I am a card-carrying, ‘glass-half-empty’ pessimist! I spoke about the difference between optimism, which is a baseless feeling that things will turn out OK, just because it will; and personal faith in a personal God, who can redeem even very difficult circumstances.

After some singing, I was asked one final question: “What is the purpose of life?” In less than ten minutes I pointed the people there to John 1, where it says, “the word became flesh and dwelt among us”. The Greek philosophers had been debating whether there was a ‘word’  (logos), meaning a point to it all. John writes that the point of everything is not a book, thesis, philosophy or thing; but a person – Jesus Christ. That’s why later in the New Testament, Paul said that he ‘counted everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ.’

It was such a joy to see everyone at Trinity, so talk about evangelism, culture, contextualisation of the gospel and our shared mission. It was also an honour to be able to speak a bit about Jesus and to tell people who don’t know him yet, that life in all its fullness is found in Him.

We hope we can work with Trinity Church again soon!