Chris Duffett, the new president of the BaptistUnionofGreatBritain, talked recently with EthicsDaily.com via Skype. The interview, which focuses on Duffett’s work as a street evangelist, is now live on Vimeo.
Duffett, founder of TheLightProject, will serve as BUGB president for 2012-13. The Light Project encourages, trains and chronicles ways in which Christians actively and creatively share the life and message of Jesus.
The project has included “free hugs” and art installations on the street. (Click here for examples.)
Duffett spoke with EthicsDaily.com from his home near Cambridge, England.
“I must say as I’m traveling around working, predominantly with Baptist churches, there is such a hope among the churches that the good news of Jesus can be connected with people who haven’t got a clue what it means to be a Christian, let alone a Baptist or anything else,” says Duffett. “So there’s a great deal of hope and creativity among Christians in the U.K.”
“I’ve got the joy of working with lots of different Christians in that task,” says Duffett, who also serves as a chaplain in Peterborough. “We’re finding that the tools for evangelism, perhaps that we’ve relied on in the past, are broken.”
Duffett was born in South Africa but grew up in Hampshire and Cambridgeshire. He took a degree in art, drama and theology from the University of Chester, and then a master’s from Cliff College, where he focused on the role of friendships in street culture.
He brings his academic training, artistic bent, 18 years of ministry experience and “big heart” to his new role as BUGB president.
In the Skype interview, Duffett talks about some of the people he’s encountered on the street: people who confide in him that they’re contemplating suicide, people who simply wonder what God is like, people who say they don’t know any Christians, and more.
“Will we be big-hearted enough to let others in on what we’ve got?” asks Duffett.