When I was writing for Challenge Weekly, a nondenominational Christian newspaper, and church and non-church papers, I went with the story or subject that inspired me at the time and I also went with stories that didn’t take my interest as much. Now that I have had time to reflect on my articles, there are a series of pieces I did about church. I have had time to put those in a cohesive, logical order in a clear file folder, so one theme follows another.
It makes for an interesting, intriguing picture.
There’s some who contend that church should become less institutional and must engage the ‘church-less’ culture which has a strong spiritual element, although is ‘church-less’. There’s also spiritual hunger out there and a seeking spirituality and some say the church can resource this hunger and offer a “great hope”. Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement have been growing as they seek to fill the spiritual hunger in people coming through their doors.
Meanwhile, the church can be fractured, and people have left, Christian religions are down in some countries, and some say the “old way is creaking and groaning” as people say goodbye to church, sometimes indefinitely, sometimes forever, with issues such as psychological and spiritual abuse.
Some say the church needs to innovate to survive.
The Church, in my time writing about churches, has faced other issues and challenges. Allegations of improper investing was refuted in my article, the Catholic church in New Zealand responded to child sex abuse claims with moves to improve it’s reporting and response system, and shortage of church ministers was addressed in a pro-active way. Barna Research concluded in 2002 that the church was able to get on top of the changes in the culture that posed a challenge to the church.
Otherwise, the church is all go, with increase of inter-church unity, community presence, expansion of premises, and other positive activity. At least where I have been.
I aim to post the articles I have written that follow the order of these themes in a series about the church, called the church series.