Message Raughton Head Parish Magazine Rose Castle
Happy New Year to one and all!
On 28
th January, I spoke at a service for Christian Unity and I spoke on the terminal decline of mainstream Christian churches. Our church is actually doing quite well. Our current Sunday congregations represent quite a healthy proportion of our local population and our special services attract even more. If you compare us with churches across the nation we are in good health. 
However, mainstream churches are in terminal decline because we have failed to share the faith with the next generation. I was chatting with a committed Christian from the Millennial generation, (aged 23-38) she believed the issue was the way we do church, her generation does not join things in the same way as previous generations. I think it is something deeper. I think there are millions of people in the country who have been introduced to church and could not find any passion and integrity in it. 
They looked at the church and they did not find something they needed. They should have found the meaning of life. They should have found a relationship with the almighty creator of the universe. They should have found teaching on lifestyle which led them to love and service and complete fulfilment and contentment in life. Instead, what did they find? Arguments about petty issues. People who do not practice what they preach. Prayers which expect nothing of God. Worship which does not love Him. A church which abandons the truth we have been given in an attempt to be popular with people who don't believe.
Denominations are in terminal decline but I do not believe individual churches have to be. I believe "the local church is the hope of the world." We have a gospel to proclaim which is good news for all people. We have an almighty heavenly father to worship. We have a mission to love God, love each other and love our neighbour; showing God's love to all. I believe, in Jesus name, that every church can be revived. All that is needed is to preach the gospel with integrity, to worship in Spirit and truth, and to truly love each other. Let’s see if we can do that in our parish.
Ben Phillips - 070360 99123

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