Challenges for the New Zealand church in 2024!

by | 18 Feb 2024 | 0 comments

Challenges for the New Zealand church in 2024!

by | 18 Feb 2024 | 0 comments

Although God is ceaselessly at work, and there remain countless wonderful Christian people and churches in this county, in our current context the New Zealand church is undoubtedly not as robust or effective as it could be.

Within many churches there appears to be some weakening of confidence in the uniqueness of Christ, the power of the Gospel, and the truth and authority of the scriptures, and some waning of spiritual zeal. Among many Christians there is also some uncertainty about biblical moral values.

Across much of the church, there is a crisis with regard to evangelism. Many Christians feel unmotivated to share the faith with unbelievers. Others feel intimidated by the world views of many people in our post-Christian society, and unsure how to connect with them about God and the gospel in a way that will be heard.

There also appears to be a shallowness in Christian discipleship. Influenced by society’s moods of consumerism, individual choice, pleasure seeking, and scepticism, many churchgoers have fallen away.

Some churches do reasonably well in proclaiming the Gospel, and some churches do quite well in loving service to those in need. Some do both, and some do neither. Not all do well at both.

Across secular society, a growing number of people have rejected God, and have become wary of the church. Reported sexual abuse in church-related contexts has helped lower respect for churches. Also, some social legislation in recent years has cast some shadow over Christians’ freedoms of belief and expression.

In the face of such challenges, what should Christians and churches do? Succumb to pessimism? Lie low? Blame someone else? Give up?

No, challenges to Christian faith are neither new nor surprising. The purposes of God can never ultimately be thwarted. Difficult challenges are always a call to Christian believers to be more faithful, more genuine, more grace-filled, more loving, more prayerful, more discerning, more whole-hearted, more strategic, and more truly active in God’s work. (See 1 Cor. 15:58 and 16:13).

Living Lord, by your Holy Spirit powerfully renew and strengthen your Church in 2024 – beginning with every one of us.

Ma Ihowa koe e manaaki, mana koe e tiaki

May the LORD bless and keep you

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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