Similar research released in Britain last week presented similar findings. Faase suggests these outcomes are cause to further increase our confidence as the UK correlates closely with Australia. Their research showed that despite the negative media portrayal of the Church across the UK, most people actually like the Christians they know.
Roy Crowne from HOPE, a co-sponsor of the survey, said this “is the first time that a study like this has been done [in the UK]. The results are a game changer for churches wanting to share the good news of Jesus. Church leaders can often get discouraged by reports of declining numbers. But these results show that Christianity in England is diverse, full of life, and many people are passionate about sharing their faith.”
This is good news for Christians both in the UK and Australia. For although only about 10% of Australians [9% in the UK] attend church regularly (once a month) most Australians are open to towards faith, especially it seems, when modelled by friends, family and peers.
It’s time to reclaim a passion for evangelism, not the big events that call people to faith and where responses happen – although they have their place – but in one-on-one conversations and small events whether in homes or elsewhere. These can be times of discussions and exploration, rather than a presentation. It is more an opportunity to demonstrate love and concern than winning an argument. As has been suggested, Australians are not so concerned that Christians have the answers, but that they are asking the same questions.
Brothers and sisters, we live in a land of great opportunity, and that is as true for the church as anyone else. It is time to pray and believe that God will grant us the confidence in him so that the Australian church will reach many more Aussies with the good news of Jesus Christ in the years ahead.
Stephen L Baxter