Having just returned from being in attendance at this year’s General assembly, much was yet again discussed regarding different aspects of the church’s future. It has been an ongoing issue for some time. There is a shortage of ministers with a sizeable number retiring within the next five years.
To match that, we have shrinking congregations where a few gather in buildings they can no longer pay for heat and light or the fabric upkeep which can be a major drain on finances. The drive to recruit new blood in ministry has flat-lined after a big recruitment drive a few years ago.
This often leads to conversations about the church in crisis. Doom and gloom takes centre stage and so the downward spiral continues. At the Assembly it was mentioned that 50% of churches have less than 20 children or none at all attending church.
We cannot turn a blind eye to these facts but neither should we let them create a spirit of the last nail in the church’s coffin! Jesus is not dead! He is a resurrected Saviour. From death to life is a motto well worth holding on to. The gospel is a message of hope and is to be preached as such. God has not abandoned us! God is with us! If you spend enough time with someone who continually talks of doom and gloom you end up believing it……..you begin to look for fault rather look for hope.
There is no perfect church out there so it is a matter of focussing on where God wishes us to be. One thing is for sure, he is a God of surprises and only do we experience those opportunities when we hold fast to our faith in the leaner times and trust God to engulf our lives with the Holy Spirit. The event of Pentecost began a new era the result being the birth of the church……Why not pray for a new Pentecost……where God doesn’t only open new doors to his church but opens hearts as well. With God nothing is impossible!
Yours in His name