Monday, 13 June 2011

Has the Church Gone to the Dogs?

Alan Roxburgh (in Missional Map-Making, Jossey-Bass, 2010) quotes G. K. Chesterton noting "that many commentators through the ages have predicted that the church was going to the dogs with no hope for any new life.  But, said Chesterton, it is the dogs that have gone and the church is still here."

I agree that predictions of the church's demise are premature, even though it is perfectly possible to argue that it is heading in that direction.  Certainly in the UK, for many years, mainline denominations have declined year on year.  But there are also many signs of hope and many places where potential is being realised.

Any reckoning that the church is in terminal decline is ignoring the presence and the power of God's Spirit.  We are people who can.  We can do all things through the strength of God.  Indeed, it is the dogs who struggle to survive - the church is in God's care.

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