63% of people in this country would describe themselves as Christian but I think for many of them it is Christian with a small c. Of that percentage is significant smaller number would admit to attending church regularly on a Sunday
Whilst we have seen a falling away in church attendance in recent years by those of a more of white western ethnicity, we have seen real growth in churches where the predominant attendance is of people of Black Afro-Caribbean ethnicity.
At the same time we have seen an aggressive brand of secularism fermenting and embedding itself in society. The thing about secularism is that it doesn’t offer anything, well anything in any real sense. More and more people are turning to atheism and I find that disturbing because what has atheism got to offer.
I would say that it has nothing to offer because it believes in nothing except the here and now it certainly doesn’t believe in the hereafter. Where is the message of hope in the atheist message !
Many churches in order to survive have had to branch out and become more like community centres which in itself is not a bad thing but I would ask you where is the preaching of the word, where is bringing people to faith. My church does a lot of good work for the local community and I struggle to understand why we don’t have a bigger congregation. Is it something that we’re not doing right, perhaps we need to develop new kinds of ministry. The devil is very comfortable when you lock yourself behind four walls. Knock down the walls and lets expose ourselves to the fresh air.
Have we become to exclusive and not inclusive, I think there is something in that argument.
Many churches have coffee morning with a regular attendance but the word is absent from these events and that disturbs me. I am of the belief that where you have an audience particularly a captive audience there are great opportunities to preach the word.
If Christianity is to survive in a Western culture then Christian people have to get off their backsides and do a lot more and say a lot more in public and in private. We don’t have to insult anybody, we don’t have to abuse anybody, we don’t have to show intolerance to anyone, but we must speak up and we must speak the word.