Just guest-blogged on A New Name. Here’s the opening…
Picture an evangelist. What are you imagining? Perhaps a motor-mouth with the enthusiasm of a labrador pup, the skin of a rhinoceros’s hide, the social skills of a barge pole and the patter of a “Phones 4 U” sales rep.
Now picture a pastoral carer. What are the images now? Surely it’s endless cups of tea, frowns of concern, shoulders squeezed and pained benedictions: “Aw bless” they say with an empathy perilously close to patronising.
In the popular Christian imagination, these are two different species. One of them we’re very happy to send off to “The Mission Field.” Then, with the wild-eyed enthusiasts out of the way, the pastoral people can settle down to their head-cocked expressions of condolence. And never the twain shall meet, right?