Michelle Tepper is an itinerant speaker for RZIM ministries Europe and a guest lecturer at the Oxford Centre for Apologetics. She is a gifted communicator and Christian apologist engaging on a variety of faith issues in various forums around the UK and Europe, as well as addressing audiences across Canada and North America. She will be speaking at our Weekend Away in March.
How did you become a Christian?I was raised in a wonderful Christian family where I was brought up hearing about God’s love demonstrated through the cross from as long as I can remember. However, it was not until the end of my time at school, when I realised that the words in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world” was a personal message to me. I heard a message about the cross, and for the first time I accepted Jesus’ great sacrifice as His personal demonstration and invitation into His great love for me – and it changed everything.-What is your favourite Bible verse? Romans 8:38-39-Tell us about your family:I come from a Sicilian-American background, all of my grandparents emigrated to the states from either Sicily or Naples and my husband Peter, though American-born, was raised in Spain as the son of missionaries. So needless to say, the Tepper household is very Mediterranean at times. We are passionate about everything: food, family, faith and fun! Peter and I met studying theology at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford and through a divine turn of events ended up co-pastoring students from Oxford and Brookes University at St. Aldates church for 7 years. We absolutely loved the chance to minister the gospel together during a time in people’s lives that will often either make or break their faith. During this season God blessed us with our now 4 year old daughter Sophia. She became “the mascot” of the student work and she has literally been beside us in ministry since day one, as I went into labour while leading the response time at a student event! She is feisty and fearless in love and life and our prayer is that the ministry that God has led us into currently as a family with Mommy travelling around “making friends of Jesus” and Daddy leading a church plant called Latimer Minster, would always complement and confirm the greatest ministry we are called to, which is showing Sophia how much God’s love is real and personal for her.-What is the last good book that you read? Love Does by Bob Goff-Your favourite film? A League of Their Own (about women’s baseball during World War II)-How many of your close friends are you praying for to become Christians? The closest people to me that I am regularly praying for are all family members.-Do you enjoy all the travelling you do with your job? I have always loved visiting new places and experiencing new cultures, but it is always bittersweet because whenever I go somewhere new it means I am leaving Peter and Sophia behind for a while.-If someone asked you, ‘why should I believe in Jesus?’ what would you say? It really depends on the person and the conversation, but the answer would always center around the reality of who Jesus is and how that changes everything.-What do you think Christian women should be doing in their neighbourhoods and communities? Making the most of every opportunity to get to know and love others. Whether that is at the school gates, petrol station, office, gym, Sainsbury’s, park, kid’s parties, date nights,..get my point?-Favourite album? I tend to favor self-made playlists instead of albums. A favourite playlist in the Tepper household normally includes a random blend of Hillsong, Misty Edwards, Katy Perry, Worship Central, Jessie J, Bethel Music, John Mayer, Labyrinth and Matt Redman. Basically anything Sophia and I can rock out to in the car 🙂-Favourite food? Good fresh seafood with an Italian kick (i.e. mussels or calamari in a spicy tomato sauce)-Favourite worship song: It changes often. At the moment, for personal worship, I love You Know Me by Stephany Frizzell. Cornerstone by Hillsong has been a favourite congregational worship song for me for a while now.-A normal day in your life? What does that look like? Hmm a ‘normal’ day for me starts at 5 am. I go for a run, get dressed and out and commute to Oxford for 7am to either lecture on theology, write an article for a magazine, do a radio or film interview answering a question like, ‘Is the Bible sexist?’, edit or prepare a talk for an upcoming event, get home by around 3 to have the afternoon with Sophia after nursery, then make dinner (often for 15+ people or more depending on what mid-week church event is going on), bath and bed Sophia, feed who ever is at the house, catch up on the day with Peter as we clean up together. That’s all pretty normal – pretty often!-Advice in ten words for someone fearful of trying evangelism…Perfect love Casts out Fear, Talk about Who You Love.