Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pass the Torch? No, Just Let it Die.

I made a call today on an Anglican church. There were 2 or 3 seniors preparing for a bazaar. We talked a bit about Alpha. Nice people. One of them had done Alpha a few years ago with video's by, "Who was that guy?"

"Nicky Gumbel?" I suggested.

"Yes  that was him."

I gave him some information and my card and he walked over to place it in the Rector's mail slot. I looked into the sanctuary. It was very nice, with seating for probably about 200 or more.

"How many do you get on a normal Sunday," I asked

"Oh, a good Sunday would be about 50," he replied, "Mostly seniors. Young families seem to be so busy these days." I commiserated with him about the fact that there seem to be so many distractions on Sundays - sports and activities for the kids; so many distractions that people seem to place in priority to going to church.

"Oh, it's OK," he said, "As long as they're good people."

I don't know if he knew his church was dying, but I just said, "Thanks. Call me if I can help."

"Good people" can kill any church. Oh well, I guess the land is worth something.

Take Care

Monday, 3 November 2014

Go Figure

I have tried, for the past year or so, to avoid being overly critical, on this blog of certain, what I would refer to as 'liberal' denominations. But some things I just plain must say. I will say this as a mere statement of fact and will leave the editorial interpretation to the reader.

My new home church is now about a year and a half old. We are a group that left a mainline denomination to affiliate with ANiC, the Anglican Network in Canada. Our first facility was a local community hall but now ewe meet in a Christian High School. We are fairly stable (flat, if you are more on the pessimistic side), but growing slowly, seeing new people dribbling in, and not many leaving.

The other day I met and spoke with the pastor of another church that reminded me very much of our own situation. They split off from a local church about five years ago. They met in 6 locations in the first three years. Finally they moved in to their own permanent facility and have grown to between 300 and 400 members in the last two years.

So... a couple of things. We recently hired a part-time youth pastor and just this week were informed that our Pastoral Selection committee have found a new full-time pastor who will be joining us a couple of months into the new year.

We are also in the search for a new facility, one of our own, where we can be more settled and able to offer various ministry activities any and every day or evening of the week. We have found three potentials, and here, finally, is the point of this post. Of the three, one is that of an evangelical denomination who needs a larger facility, and has just turned the sod on a new, larger, church building.

The other two are buildings of a mainline Protestant denomination that has departed from what I would call, to quote the book of Jude, "the faith which was once for all delivered to the Saints." Both are closing their doors.

So, I look at the reasons these three buildings are available and say again,

"Go figure."

Take Care