2022 Challenges

by | 28 Jan 2022 | 0 comments

As we move into 2022, it already promises to be just as challenging a year as last year, but in its own way.

Front of mind for many church leaders is how our churches may best navigate the complications of life in the Red setting, showing love and respect to everyone while also trying to keep all our people as safe as we can. Covid and the lockdowns have had a negative effect on many churches, in terms of distraction, weakened engagement, reduced attendance, and disunity. But some churches have found many opportunities for spiritual and relational growth, innovation, renewed small groups, and mission.

Beyond all that, there remain some deeper challenges for church and society in Aotearoa New Zealand, such as…

  • The accelerating climate crisis, and widespread unwillingness to accept effectual changes
  • Worsening social inequity
  • The unaffordability of home ownership for so many people
  • A prevalence of broken marriages and temporary relationships
  • Much violence, abuse, and family instability
  • The harm caused by various drugs
  • Stress, loss of hope, and mental health issues
  • Suicide (especially among youth)
  • More understanding, peace, and reconciliation needed between cultures
  • The preoccupation of many New Zealanders with their own choices, comforts, and pleasures
  • The pervasive and often negative influences of social media
  • Much confusion in society (and sometimes in churches) about God, truth, and the Gospel
  • A prevailing loss of confidence in the Bible or the Christian message
  • A general unawareness of the positive influences of Christian values in NZ, past and present
  • A growing disdain for committed Christian faith, and its marginalisation in many quarters
  • Many churches’ loss of younger generations to faith and Christian commitment
  • The struggle of churches to connect well with unbelievers and help them find faith in Christ
  • The politicisation of radical moral views on sex, gender, abortion, euthanasia, hate speech, and ‘conversion therapy’, and their increasing imposition upon society
  • The susceptibility of some Christians to unbalanced and less-than-biblical ideologies

If that is all the case (or even some of it), there is a lot for us to do in 2022!

Mā te Atua koutou katoa e manaaki, e tiaki,
(God bless and keep you all)

Dr Stuart Lange
Author: Dr Stuart Lange

Dr Stuart Lange is the National Director of the NZCN and is a Senior Research Fellow at Laidlaw College, where he was formerly Vice Principal. Stuart wrote and presented the historical DVD documentary Te Rongopai: 200 years of the Gospel in New Zealand, 1814-2014.

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