Not just a man of deep faith
9 October 2015
United Kingdom Salvationist Phil Wall is the guest speaker for this year’s Just Men conferences in Sydney and Brisbane. MySalvos spoke to Phil about his passion for evangelism and social justice, which stems from a deep-seated faith in God
Phil Wall has always been a man with a fire in his belly. For the past 32 years, since he became a follower of Christ as a 20-year-old, Phil has been a passionate evangelist, innovative business leader, advocate for the marginalised and has an unabated desire for Christian faith that is as authentic in the workplace as it is in a village in Africa.
The son of Salvation Army officer parents, Phil’s been around the Army all his life. More than 20 years ago, he was part of the team that planted his home corps, Raynes Park Community Church in London’s south-west. After starting his career in the police force, Phil spent 12 years as an itinerant preacher and mission teams leader for The Salvation Army and was one of the key leaders behind the successful and innovative Roots Conference, which for 15 years fuelled spiritual renewal and mission throughout the UK.
In the late 1990s, after a life-changing visit to Africa, he established the charity HOPEHIV (which has been renamed WeSeeHope). The charity works in almost 180 communities throughout sub-Saharan Africa. In 2000, as a means to fund HOPEHIV, Phil set up a leadership consultancy called Signify LTD, focused on coaching and developing leaders in the corporate world. His clients include senior executives in some of UK’s most prosperous companies.
Phil’s conviction of Jesus’ “all-or-nothing” call to discipleship is palpable, but there is something in his approach which is more measured and reflective. “I think the greatest need of the church these days is not greater activity but greater depth,” he says, with a gentle but compelling urgency. “Activity without depth never sustains, but depth will always manifest in fruitful activity.” It is a message that he plans to bring to The Salvation Army’s Just Men Conferences in Sydney (30 October-1 November) and Brisbane (6-8 November). “I would hope that through those weekends the men would be inspired to live life more deeply, that it would create a safe place for men to grow in faith and be inspired that we can change the world.”
When Phil talks about “depth” and “living deeply”, he is referring to the energy followers of Jesus put into their inner journey, rather than their external activity. “We are to be an Army that marches on its knees,” he says. “Depth comes from a place of surrender. It is the immersion of ourselves in the life of Christ and the life of Christ in us. It is the discovery that our life only makes sense in him. You know, I look back to those days, when I was working for The Salvation Army, amazing days for many of us, but I regret that we didn’t pray more deeply. I suspect if we had, the work we did would have had a more sustained impact.”
Click here for more information about the Just Men conference.