2043 again


The statistics make sobering reading. I think I understand why they reach the conclusion they do. I don’t believe that the church will be extinct in 2043. But it will almost certainly look very different

Most of our clergy and people recognise the challenge we face. There are important things to say about both the nature of the church and the nature of Scottish society. But at its simplest there are too many congregations which either have an age profile uncomfortably tipped towards the older end or which are just too few. There comes a point beyond which it is simply very difficult to grow back because the existing congregation doesn’t have enough contact across the spectrum of age in its own community.

As I say, most of our clergy and people understand the reality of that challenge. That’s why a commitment to mission and growth – call it Casting the Net or whatever you like – is becoming normative in most of our congregations. We have a far better understanding these days of what it takes to make disciples and to build congregations.

Of which more another day

One comment

  1. It seems to me there is “the Church” and “the church-as-we-know-it” and we want to believe they are the same thing. But we know they are not. I can easily believe that the-church-as-we-know-it will be dead by 2040 or thereabouts. I’m radical enough to think that is a good thing. Because the Church will not be dead. I’ve thought for quite some time about dying congregations, because in the North East US where I live, this is true for many mainline churches (RC, UMC, Preby, TEC, UCC, RCA, etc.). Someone pointed about to me some time ago – death is part of the Christian story: death and resurrection. So we need not fear the death part. But the church that resurrects is likely to be very different in outward ways. It is exciting to think about.

Comments are closed.