I’ve been reminded of a time when I went to visit Bletchley Park,a country house which became the home of the British intelligence service during the second world war. For the entire duration of the war, Britain has hundreds of mathematicians, cryptographers, linguists and a whole lot more working round the clock to intercept and decipher German communications. At the park, the team managed developed a machine called the Enigma machine which was able to decipher encrypted messages. They also build one of the first computers called Colossus (right), which was dismantled once the war ended. The work on Bletchley Park remained a secret not just during the war, but for about 30 years afterwards too.
Anyway, I’m reminded of my visit because Bletchley Park today is a visitor attraction, but the tours and exhibits are run almost entirely by volunteers, many of whom worked on the park during the war. This means that each tour is personal and every volunteer is passionate about what they were telling you. They weren’t just employees, paid to do the work of escorting visitors around and explaining things. There was a passion and enthusiasm in what they were saying because this experience had marked and changed their lives. It really came across so much better than many guided tours at other attractions that I have been on.
It strikes me that there are a couple of ways to do evangelism. There is the passionate and personal way, which shares our life and experiences, because our faith is impacting and changing our lives. Then there is the other which is about sharing information because we feel we have to. I know which one is more attractive and more genuine.