From Ben – 10 November

I recently read a comprehensive report compiled by the Northern Presbytery on the state of the church in N.Z. and what the trends look like for the next 10 years.

Sadly, the picture is not what I would have liked to see at all. The statistics speak of a steady decline and a shrinkage of the church across the country and our region. Membership has decreased by 23% in the last 10 years and church attendance has dropped by 44% from 11 300 to 6 300 monthly. There has been a total decline in attendance across the country of 40%. This is truly sad.

The days we are living in are days when people need the Lord more than ever before. Let us not be despondent and discouraged, but, as the letter to the Hebrews says 10:25 Let us encourage one another and not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing.

Let us at GPC not take the privilege of being part of a vibrant and growing church for granted. We are privileged to have a lively, loving and growing church. By God’s grace, GPC is one of a small number of churches that is going against the downward slide. Let us take it even more to heart to attend, be involved, be hospitable and love the Lord more fervently than ever before.

We will not let a spirit of despondency, negativism, or compromise creep in. A positive encouraging attitude is contagious; let it be part of what you deliberately seek to spread in our church. We can’t change the culture of decline in other churches, but we can do all we can in our church to promote growth, gratitude, humility and love.

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