The summer 2016 Canvas magazine introduced perspectives on the purpose of the Church and what that means for the way we engage with local churches. This discussion takes place in a context of declining church engagement. In New Zealand and two other countries – France and the Netherlands – the non-religious may outnumber the religious by 2050 for the first time. The Pew Research Centre’s “Future of World Religions” predicts that agnostics, atheists and the unaffiliated will make up just over 45 percent of our population.
New Zealand may be ahead of the curve, but “church decline” has long been a topic of conversation. How do we encourage the growth of individuals who are committed to being part of the visible Church – and making it visible for all the right reasons – at a time when an increasing number of people believe it is irrelevant? Here are some useful contributions to this discussion. If you know of others we can add, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growing Young (Christianity Today)
Church and the College Years, by Jon Nielson
Why you need church and not just a campus ministry, by Russell Moore
How a small church grew a large student ministry (Gospel Coalition)
How to love a church you don’t even like by Jonathan C. Edwards
When is it time to find a new church? by Preston Sprinkle
The “churchless” gospel by Joe Ogborn
The dangers of seeking your dream church by Brian Borgman