Tuesday, March 02, 2010
A Time to Die: Can Baptists learn from Anglican revitalization?
"If turning around a declining church were easy, more declining churches would be reversing course.
And if Christians in the United States think turning around a church is difficult, think of trying it in the Church of England, where tradition reaches back hundreds of years and a hierarchical structure often hamstrings local congregations when they want to make major changes.
But Bob and Mary Hopkins believe fresh expressions -- a term they prefer over 'revitalizing a congregation' -- can come even to Anglican churches in the United Kingdom.
Although they began -- and continue -- as church planters in urban settings with Anglican Church Planting Initiatives, from 1998 to 2005, the Hopkins served on the leadership team of St. Thomas’ Church in Sheffield, England, which grew to 1,500 in attendance, primarily reaching young adults with emerging-culture interests.
They acknowledge cultural differences between the United Kingdom and the United States, but they emphasize that those differences favor American churches. According to the Hopkins, culture in the United Kingdom is more influenced by secular atheism and is further into an era many call 'post-Christendom.' The Brits have fewer megachurches and a greater percentage of smaller congregations than the United States. In addition, their congregations are attended by older people -- average age 61 -- with fewer financial resources."
To read the full article, click here.
Posted by Robin G. Jordan at 8:05 AM