Dear friends in Christ,
As I write this, I’m returning home from a wonderful weekend with Anglicans and ecumenical friends in Vancouver. While I was there, I offered a workshop at Vancouver School of Theology, entitled “The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail: Why We Don’t Need to Save the Church.” I also preached and taught at Christ Church Cathedral.
Sometimes people look at the precipitous numerical decline in the church and declare, “We need to save the church, or it will disappear!” In my workshop, I reminded us that Jesus has promised that nothing will defeat the church. And Jesus’ promises are steadfast and reliable.
We do need to prepare for the church to change, to look different. In North America, the church is likely to be smaller and to lose prestige. That’s fine, because Jesus didn’t tell us to have impressive institutions and to be powerful. He told us to make disciples of all nations.
I always enjoy my time with Anglicans in Canada. In many ways the Anglican Church of Canada is quite different from the Episcopal Church, but in many other ways it is similar. In both churches, I have seen a desire to return to the basics. For generations, we didn’t always equip people for lives transformed by spiritual disciplines. It’s time to remedy that.
The basics are… basic. Forward Movement’s RenewalWorks data teaches us that we do well to promote three core practices as a foundation for Christian life: weekly attendance at church, daily prayer, and regular scripture study.
In Vancouver, I heard several stories of lives changed by these basic practices. And I heard about congregations that have seen growth as people know God’s love and share it with the world around them.
What about you and your church? If you want support for a life in Christ, you’ll find plenty of resources at Forward Movement to help you enjoy a life anchored in daily prayer and regular Bible reading.
More from our ministry:
Follow the core story of the Bible: The Path
Data-driven tips for spiritual growth: Signs of Life
Daily prayer practices for any routine: prayer.forwardmovement.org