Adventist News Network (ANN): Where might repentance fit into how Revival and Reformation is expressed in the United Kingdom?
Ian Sweeney: I’m really glad for the whole emphasis on Revival and Reformation, because to me it’s about remembering our Adventist roots. One of the great challenges Britain has is that it isn’t as God friendly as the United States. Sure, the queen is the head of the church in England but, believe me, this is not a Christian- welcoming society. Christians are often in the media under attack. Having said that, there is also in Britain a search for some sense of spirituality. You have to be relevant to people’s lives where they’re at. Most of the growing churches do things that impact their community—whether it be childcare, mentoring, youth clubs—they are there visibly in the community saying, “We’re here, we see your needs, how can we help you?” I think that’s what we are to do as a church.
ANN: How are you going to integrate faith and prayer into an action plan?
Sweeney: I’m looking at a book by Nigel Rooms, Faith of the English, which talks about integrating Christ with culture. I really want folk to go and witness because they love Christ. Jeremiah cried for the people, cried over Jerusalem. When last have we cried over the lost? And I ask that start- ing with myself. If you’re not crying in prayer for the lost, you’re certainly not going to be interested in seeing them saved and working for their salvation.
—Pastor Ian W. Sweeney serves as president of the British Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
* An extended version of this interview can be found at https://news.adventist.org/en/all-news/ news/go/2011-12-14/church-chat-where-did- londons-majority-white-church-population-go/