Our 40th anniversary weekend is only 2 weeks away. We look forward to a time of celebration, reconnection and reflection. Yet most important is our praise of God who has sustained this body and given us grace to continue in ministry for 4 decades.
40 years has also seen great changes in our society and the environment in which we minister. I was 13 years old 40 years ago. Our family attended Brentview Baptist Church in Calgary. Though I didn’t pay much attention to how we did church, I do remember that there was a big emphasis on getting other people to come to church. Most people still believed in God and many would even call themselves Christians. Many had church experience at some point in their lives. So our outreach efforts were mostly about getting people back to church or introduced to our church.
Today, things are quite different. An increasing number of people identify themselves as having no religion. A significant portion of young and middle age parents never went to church as a child and have little or no concept of what a church culture is like. We also live in age where to claim there is only one way to God is seen as intolerant. To claim absolute truth is considered arrogant. The church is regularly charged with being out of step with the mainstream of society.