Sadly, they have a point! We will be filling out census forms soon, and I’m sure, like in years gone by, many with no engagement in “church” will happily tick “Christian” for their reli-gion. I read a claim that there are now more people around who have left the church, than are left in the church.
As a Pastor this is something that I often struggle with. I find myself pondering some kind of response. I have concluded that shouting, “NO, YOU’RE WRONG, THE CHURCH IS RELE-VANT” (with volume for effect), might not be the best response.
And so we are left with this question: other than being the religious service department of “Births, deaths and marriages” (and who knows for how much longer given recent debate), what is the church’s role in our society?
It’s good to look and see what Jesus might have said. In his famous “Sermon on the Mount” Jesus says this: “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth...You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world.“ (The Message Translation)
The role of God’s church is not to be the tradition keepers; the moral police; or a “nice” group of people who meet on a Sunday morning. The role of the church is to remind us all that God is God; to point the way to where God is at work in this world; and to encourage others to seek out and find God through his Son Jesus Christ.
I’m not sure if this is “relevant” in the popular sense, but what I do know is that Jesus changes lives, and He calls on His church to be salt and light in the world.
Blessings. Pastor David Auty.