Church Decline And Gospel Opportunity

City Methodist Church 597

City Methodist Church 597 by Michael Kappel on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Alan Roxburgh nails it: much denominational business today is about managing decline.

However … read his final paragraph:

But amazing opportunity lies before us.  Yes, these are disorienting times for judicatories. But there are alternative ways to address our malaise.  Just as the Spirit of God was creating new imagination and new forms of life in difficult places (desert and exile), that same Spirit is inviting us to discover new ways of thriving. These are creative times of hope – the narratives of loss, scarcity and decline are not our only options.

Might it be true that decline is our only option if we are tied to old patterns of being church? Do we have a great opportunity to rethink and reimagine, while still remaining faithful to Christ and his gospel?

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2 thoughts on “Church Decline And Gospel Opportunity

  1. Powerful stuff but would someone care to extrpolate on what this means in the reality of Woking and Walton-on-Thames Circuit? Maybe we don’t need a balanced budget. Isthe only way out of decline to spend the reserves? Otherwise the last people will be sitting on a fortune.

  2. Yes, I think that if something stops working, there is not only the opportunity to ask why, but it is in fact very wise to do so. If I had a job and was having repeated problems I would probably question if I was in the right job. Or, if I knew I was, would ask myself if I was trying to do it in the wrong way, or as someone else would do it.

    I firmly believe that where God calls, he always equips for service, and when we are serving the Lord and doing his will, then he provides. If he doesn’t appear to be providing, in terms of resources, then maybe we aren’t asking him to, or believe that he can. Or maybe God is not providing the resources because it is not actually his will that the group, church or plan continue in its present form.

    Of course it could be that it is, that he wants them to continue exactly as it is and in fact has provided everything that is needed – but people aren’t listening and so don’t respond when he prompts them.

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