Friday, January 12, 2018

A theology for Anglican church growth

From The Living Church-

‘It’s just an unspiritual bigging yourself up.” This was the acerbic verdict of one Durham ordinand on the subject of church growth.

His hostility to talking of growing churches is widely shared, at least in the Global North. When two or three clerics are gathered together and the subject of church growth comes up, a multitude of theological objections rapidly appear: It’s the kingdom that matters, not numerical growth; It’s an ungodly sidelining of the need to love one’s neighbor; Isn’t church growth just something those uncouth schismatics obsess about?

These are serious objections, but beyond them, there is often a lurking sense of other fears. For many parish priests in North America, Britain, and much of the West there is a troubling worry that looking for numerical church growth is not only theologically dodgy but also practically futile. In the Western world, nearly every media and academic outlet trumpets the decline of Christianity. When many parishes and even whole dioceses are being spliced together because of their decline, looking to expand congregations can seem like wishful thinking.

More here-

No comments: