In this special episode, the roles are reversed as Nicky fields questions from Jon Tyson, lead pastor of Church of the City New York. For any leader, especially the church leader, looking to gather fresh passion for this next year, this conversation is a must-listen.
In this special episode of Leadership Conversations With Nicky Gumbel, the roles are reversed as Nicky fields questions from Jon Tyson, lead pastor of Church of the City New York. For any leader, especially the church leader, looking to gather fresh passion for this next year, this conversation is a must listen.
Jon begins by honouring Nicky and sharing a hypothesis that 100 years from now the story of HTB and Alpha will be shared about commonly as one that profoundly shaped church-mission globally. And in this pandemic season, Nicky expresses that the core mission of HTB and Alpha – to see the lost come to know and encounter Jesus – has become white-hot. While many are referencing the recent projections for when their country will be vaccinated, and doing the math on when this pandemic will end, Nicky is doing the opposite. He does not want to waste the opportunity yielded by this crisis. “This is the greatest evangelistic opportunity of my lifetime. God has got people’s attention – people are thinking, and they are asking questions” says Nicky.
Nicky not only feels the burden for the Church to meet the spiritual needs of the lost in this time, but also the physical needs. He likens the work of the Church to a bicycle – one pedal representing the spiritual needs and the other pedal representing physical needs. If the church can focus on meeting those two needs right now, imagine how the Kingdom of God would advance. “The Church has the infrastructure to meet the people who are in need because the Church is right across every village, town & city” Nicky says. Nicky shares about the thank you notes left on the door of HTB after meeting those felt needs in the community, and Jon notes that people remember those who show up in crisis.
All throughout the conversation, Nicky brims with passion and he doesn’t stop pointing people to the simple, helpful resource of Alpha Online. “We’ve seen it work” says Nicky. Both Jon and Nicky swap stories of how people in the pandemic are giving their lives to Christ not face to face, but screen to screen in the digital space. Jon notes that Nicky could fill a book with stories of people encountering the Holy Spirit in their homes, through Zoom. Who could have predicted that?
The plea from this conversation is clear – we must not wait to make big strides against darkness until the pandemic is over. The Church can start meeting needs now. We can start today. We hope this conversation between Jon and Nicky helps encourage you to move one step closer towards that end.
The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark
Sins of Fathers by Michael Emmett
Nicky Gumbel is the pioneer of Alpha and Vicar of HTB in London, one of the largest Church of England churches in the UK. He is the author of many books and is married to Pippa.
Jon Tyson is a Pastor and Church Planter in New York City. Originally from Adelaide, Australia, Jon moved to the United States twenty years ago with a passion to seek and cultivate renewal in the Western Church. He is the author of Beautiful Resistance, Sacred Roots, A Creative Minority, and The Burden is Light.