Faith Today: As you prepare to step down at the
end of December, have you accomplished what you
hoped with this immense, diverse global body?
Geoff Tunnicliffe: Ten years ago when I
started, in some ways I knew what needed
to happen in terms of the WEA. We need-
ed to step into the space that really only
the WEA could step into. There are three
Christian world bodies – the Vatican
representing Catholics, the World Coun-
cil of Churches representing mainline
Christians, and the WEA representing
Evangelicals/Pentecostals. We needed to
fill out that space more. Ten years ago, if
you told me where we have come to today,
it’s far more than I could have imagined.
It is by God’s grace, and I don’t say that
with a false sense of humility. The oppor-
tunities have come before us. There’s no
way you could manipulate those doors to
open. There was an obedience on our part
to say we want to lean into this space and
serve the global Christian family, our tribe
in the evangelical world, in a way that is
meaningful and significant, and in some
ways going back to the roots of the WEA.
FT: What are those roots?
GT: Christian unity, religious freedom,
theological orthodoxy. And a commit-
ment to the holistic nature of the gospel.
WEA came out of the era of the William
Wilberforces. It was that kind of evangel-
icalism that was holistic in nature. Those
are the kinds of elements, and then
bringing clarity to our voice where there
was a sense of strong unity.
Because of the globalization of the
Church, the move of the spirit in the Major-
ity World, the Global South, however you
describe that, we had to answer the ques-
tion, “How do we as a world body serve the
depth and extent of the global Church?”
The WEA has a presence and place and
a voice in a global context, whether it’s the
United Nations or the World Bank or
governments, or other religious bodies.
We are the responsible voice in the evangelical world.
This year, Canadian GEOFF TUNNICLIFFE steps down
as chief executive officer of the World Evangelical Alliance
(WEA), the international body representing 600 million
Evangelicals around the globe. And around the globe he has
been. During his tenure as the WEA’s 13th and longest-serving
leader so far, Tunnicliffe has visited at least 70 countries and
enjoyed a unique bird’s eye view of a growing, diverse body
of believers. Tunnicliffe visited spots as far flung as the White
House, the Vatican, Hollywood and Haiti. He shares what he
saw – and what he’d like to see next.