One of the central tenets of the church growth movement, which has so deeply influenced the new suburban churches at the edge of town, is that non-growth is just as important to discover as growth. If the church isn’t growing in a given area, a new strategy is needed to move to another more promising area. The work of God’s people is to claim all places as God’s and to fashion ways for others to see the holiness, the new creation unfurling around them.
Recently, I met a gentleman who, upon discovering I taught theology, asked me what was the good of studying religious ideas in our secular world today. When I told him religious ideas have continually made the world a better place, he challenged me to name one. I told him there are plenty of simple religious ideas that have created such a ripple effect that they changed the course of history, and shared a few of them with him.
‘Love’ is the attribute of Jesus that Australians connect with the most. This is consistent across: 73% - regular church attenders; 62% - Australians identifying with Christianity who never go to church; 56% - non-Christians who are warm to Christianity; 21% - non-Christians who are cold to Christianity
Understanding Congregational Government in the 21st Century - Dr Brian Winslade, National Director Baptist Union of Australia
For thousands of years now missionaries have been willing to undertake thankless tasks in overlooked corners of the planet, serving unknown people for no material reward, often with little discernible effect. Are you willing to be numbered among them? Am I? Because our dear mother-sister in the lavender cardigan is doing it right now. And humanity is built on such as these.