The Church – Dead or Alive?

ALIVE Magazine, May 2002
Welcome to the new Alive Magazine!
Over the past few months we have asked hundreds of you what you like best and least about Alive and how the magazine can serve you.
You have told us that Alive needs to be more challenging, immediate, controversial and significant. You need Alive to help you in your walk of faith in your work, family and church. You need it to focus on issues relating to business, politics, work, leadership development and how we are to be the church in the 21st Century.
We have listened to you, and we are excited to take the magazine in this new direction.
Although many in our community are ready to dismiss the church as irrelevant, and others herald its death, we at Alive Magazine believe that the fundamental gospel story has not lost its power to save. What we, the church, need to do is change our forms, metaphors and language to meet the challenge before us.
It is true that the church in Australia is under pressure. Nevertheless, Australians are still very much engaged in the search for meaning. Materialism and secularism have not led to the abandonment of this search, just changed its focus.
This poses a unique challenge for the Australian church, a challenge that is forcing change upon us. This journey of change has the potential to bring renewal rather than demise. Alive Magazine is committed to be a support and resource as we travel this journey together.
What’s more, we believe God’s people can do it. It is we, the church, at work in the world, as we go about living our lives in our homes, work and schools, who will make the difference. It is we, the church, who gather from time to time in small and large groups during the week and on Sundays. It is we, the church, whom Jesus declared the gates of hell would not prevail against. It is we, the church, who are salt and light in our community.
Alive Magazine is changing to meet your needs and the needs of the church in Australia at the beginning of the 21st century. As we’ve reflected, prayed and worked towards change, our excitement has grown—we see what we, the church in Australia, can do as we rise to meet the challenges we face. We trust you are inspired too!
Stephen Baxter
Publisher, on behalf of the Alive team
May 2002

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