Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Because it is better for mission"

The overriding justification for changes within churches in the Sydney Diocese is the claim that these changes will be better for reaching people with the gospel of Jesus. Hallelujah! Praise God that we have churches and church leaders who love Jesus so much, who want his Gospel spread to every ear, who want his grace to fill every portion of our country and world.

And yet.
Have we actually done any better with mission.
In some circumstances, those who have opposed various changes have been seen as suspicious. Often it is the elderly "Oh they just need to be changed, to have a gospel heart".
"They love tradition more than people"
"They aren't on board with the mission"

Yet the stats don't lie. We aren't really doing all that well with the converting and reaching people.
 And our churches are probably over represented with spiritual adolescents. (For eg. "I want the church to be a loving community, that is all about relationships, but I only want to turn up half the time").
This can all be put down to the sovereignty of God , of course. Our changes were good, necessary, better for mission, but God decided not to bless them.

Or possibly we were wrong on some things (like the dumbing down (ie abandonment) of our liturgy).
Just putting it out there. 


alison said...

This morning I started reading a fantastic book: Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, by Thom Rainer. It's based on surveys with 350 people who became Christians in the previous two years and it's fascinating. It dispels a lot of myths that we have created for ourself about what people outside the church are looking for.

The context is American but it's still very interesting!

Mike W said...

Thanks for the recommendation!