Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The hope of the world

Jesus Christ is the hope of the world. But suppose the church died out. No new younger Christians. Nothing and no one to be the church. There would be no meaning to 'hope of the world'. So, in an important sense, young people with faith in Christ are also 'the hope of the world'.

As I myself grow older I find myself keenly observing where young people are in the life of the church, and where they are not. Of course I know that many young people are in churches other than the Anglican church. Praise the Lord. But I love the Anglican church so I am keenly interested in the presence of young people in our churches. I get worried when I do not see them.

It was interesting this Sunday past to be in one service where there was one teenager and, just maybe, I was in fact the next youngest person present. Then I visited another service. My impression, without actually counting, was that 90% of around about 100 people were under the age of 25. Cool! (But how do we spread the blessing of youth?)

This same Sunday, Bishop Kelvin Wright was heading to Christchurch to speak at a confirmation retreat. His two posts also encourage hope that Jesus Christ as the hope of the world will continue to have meaning in the future of the Anglican church.


Anonymous said...

There needs to be a vigorous gospel outreach to the new New Zealanders, esp. the Chinese, as the Diocese of Sydney has done. Maybe get some missionaries from Singapore? & involve overseas students in this work.
Won't Chinese overtake Maori in unumbers in a few years? & aren't they younger on the whole, with families?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Outis,
I have no idea whether you live in NZ or overseas, but I do not think it is helpful to compare numbers the way you do. Maori are the tangata whenua of our nation. Irrespective of numbers theirs is a special place in any form of community work, whether led by government or the church's evangelists.

There is a rising Asian population within Aotearoa NZ. I don't think it helpful to focus on "Chinese" as there are many Koreans here, to say nothing of Japanese.

It is an important question for the Anglican church whether we will or will not take up the possibility of a concerted missional strategy to Asians. But whether we answer the question affirmatively or not, I am confident that the church in general in our islands is responding to the opportunity, perhaps especially within Presbyterian and Catholic churches.