Around the world, people are noticing a shift in religion. While there are places that have seen an increase in more believers, there are regions that see a fast decline. Christianity has not been left behind in this entire shift, and people are worried about Christianity dying.
Based on how you choose to look at it, Christianity thriving or dying is all in your perception of the situation. Different scholars and statisticians will tell you different things. Understanding the changing dynamic will help you know why the topic has made its way into many homes.
What Is Christianity?
Christianity is perceived as the world’s prevalent religion. It is a religion that is monotheistic and bases its teachings on Jesus Christ alongside His beliefs and practices. Over the years, it has been spreading to many areas of the world.
Christianity in the West
In the past, the largest number of Christians was found in the USA and Europe. Missionaries from these two regions set out to places like Africa and South America to spread the gospel. The move led to many conversions, and they started churches.
In recent times, however, there has been a decline in the number of Christians in the west. In some churches, pews are empty, with most people in the church being in their old age. Youngsters have stopped going to church or conforming to any religion, for that matter.
The reason for the decline is, many people in these areas have realized they have freedom of choice. There are so many options when it comes to life partners, workplaces, and even religion. Since the church is rigid on such issues, it is difficult to convince the younger generation to adhere to these rules.
Christianity in Other Areas
While there is a decline in Christianity in the west, areas like South America and Africa see more people converted to Christianity. Churches, especially Pentecostal ones, keep springing up and growing in these areas.
The main reason behind this is the perception people have of the church in these areas. Pastors and priests are not just seen as spiritual leaders. They also act as leaders in society. They come out and strongly help in the issues that people might have in the community.
The church in such areas is not just a place of worship but a refuge for many – a way out of living a substandard life. Churches are known to sponsor students to study and take part in relief activities in the community. For this reason, many people do not see the church as just a way to get spiritual nourishment but as a way to sort out their problems.
How the Shift Affects the Church in the West
Since there are so many changes happening in the world, the church needs to be sensitive. The rules that ran the churches in the old days would not do very well in present times. One needs to find ways to make the church more wholesome than having a service.
One of the things the church can do is introduce after-church programs. Having feeding programs for the community is a great way to make everyone see the benefit of fellowship. Offering scholarships to students can also go to great lengths to encourage people to fellowship.
Another thing that can be done is introduce weekly bible study groups. The youth will most likely come to such programs because it is a smaller crowd with people they know.
Extracurricular activities like gifting friends during the holiday can also be a great idea. People can find some cool Christian gifts over at DadsAgree.com to give their friends during such events.
Involving the youth in church activities is another great way to make them feel like they add value to the church. They can get roles like ushering, media coverage, and many more. In this way, they will not feel like the church is a place for the older generation.
The Future of the Church
While there might be people who feel like there is no hope for the church, the truth is further from it. The church has spread far south and east. Countries like China have seen more people converting to Christianity in the present day.
Other than China, other Asian countries also see an increase in the number of Christians in their churches. Africa had seen the number of Christian go up to 500,000 from the 10% that were there when missionaries first came in. Statisticians say that these numbers will rise by about 40% by 2030.
It is up to the churches in the west to come up with ways to bring more people to church. The one thing they need to remember is to be practical in the new measures they bring up. Listening to the people and their needs will also ensure that they stay relevant in the long run.
Many people presently perpetrating the Christianity dying topic should not be a cause of alarm for pastors and priests. Evidence of the church thriving in South America and Africa shows that there is still hope for Christianity.