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Vigour, Vitality, and Virtue: How to stay awake in church: Breathing new life into Anglicanism


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Title: Vigour, Vitality, and Virtue: How to stay awake in church: Breathing new life into Anglicanism

Vigour, Vitality, and VirtueHow to stay awake
in churchBreathing new life into Anglicanism
Clergy Day 2nd July St Josephs Centre
What is our present status as a Christian
community? Is the church a little ill, slightly
pale perhaps, or just aged and sleepy? How can we
re-en-passion the church lift it from malaise
and rise up in the Spirit of God to become a
mighty, current, informed, prophetic and, at the
very least, interesting voice in this mad,
wonderful, and broken world?  
  • What does the global Christian picture look like?
  • What is the current status of the Anglican Church
  • And what about the Diocese of Johannesburg?
  • Why is the Anglican Church in decline?
  • What might some of our options be
  • Option 1
  • Option 2
  • Option 3
  • Option 4
  • Some recommended principles
  • Discussion
  • Close

  1. What does the global Christian picture look like?

Global data upend usual picture of Christianity
trends Posted on March 19, 2013 1048
AM   Despite a century-long decline, religious
affiliation has shown a marked resurgence
Africa and China have witnessed the most marked
religious change. These are among the findings
discussed by religious demographer Dr Todd M.
Johnson in an overview of religious identity and
trends in world Christianity since 1910,
presented at the Ecumenical Centre, Geneva, on 13
March. Hosted by the World Council of Churches
(WCC) programme on Ecumenical Theological
Education, Johnsons lecture preceded his
participation in a WCC sponsored conference about
the pedagogical uses of work from research
centres on global Christianity. The CSGCs data
stretches from 1910 to 2010 and fully confirm the
large-scale southward shift in Christianitys
centre of gravity. Yet the global character of
the data also yields some striking trends. The
data also illustrate that animist and indigenous
religious traditions remain vibrant but have
dramatically declined among both African and
Asian populations. Africa has witnessed strong
growth in Christian affiliation during the last
100 years, from 9 to 47.9 percent claiming
Christian affiliation. Migration has become a
large factor in religious demographics,
dramatically altering the religious make-up of
some nations. The CSGCs research shows that
statistics on Evangelical and Pentecostal groups
are difficult to compile, since the charismatic
trend goes beyond denominational affiliations.
Fastest growth over the century was seen in the
category of agnostics and atheists He argued
that while the discipline of religious demography
is emergent, its initial findings about the
changing landscape of global religious life pose
deep questions about enculturation, theological
formulation, and church organization.
Christianity Declines In Europe, Increases in
Africa and Asia, Says Survey By Setrige
Crawford , Christian Post Reporter December 23,
2011329 pm The number of Christians in Africa,
Asia and the Americas are on the rise, while
Christianity is declining in Europe, according to
a new survey. A U.S.-based Pew Forum reports that
the number of Christians in the world is
currently 2.18 billion, which is one third of the
worlds population. Back then, 66.3 percent of
the worlds Christians were Europeans, according
to reports. That number, however, has dropped to
25.9 percent. Sub-Saharan Africas Christian
population is up from 1.4 percent in 1910 to 23.6
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Evangelical Churches Still Growing, Mainline
Protestantism In Decline   By Richard
YeakleyReligion News Service   While mainline
Protestant churches in the U.S. continue to
experience decades-long decline, the memberships
of Pentecostal traditions are on the rise,
according to new figures compiled by the National
Council of Churches Catholics posted minimal
growth of less than 1 percent, and Southern
Baptist membership fell for a third straight
year, according to the 2011 Yearbook of American
Canadian Churches Other denominations
reporting declines include the United Methodist
Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America, and the Episcopal Church
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The percentage of American adults who identify
themselves as Christians dropped from 86 in 1990
to 77 in 2001. This is an unprecedented drop of
almost 1 percentage point per year.
There appears to be a major increase in interest
in spirituality among North Americans. However,
this has not translated into greater church
At the present rates of change, Islam will become
the dominant religion in the world before 2050
At the present rate of change, most Americans
would identify themselves as non-religious or
non-Christian by the year 2035
Agnostics, Atheists, secularists. and NOTAs (none
of the above) are growing rapidly.
  1. What is the current status of the Anglican Church

Census figures show Christianity in sharp decline
while belief in Islam dramatically
increases HEATHER SAUL
Monday 20 May 2013
A fresh analysis of the 2011 census has shown
that Christian faith in the UK is declining
rapidly amongst the British-born population,
whilst belief in Islam has dramatically
increased. A report published by the Office for
National Statistics revealed that the percentage
of people following a Christian faith dropped
from 71.7 per cent in 2001 to 59.3 per cent in
2011. More than one in 10 under 25s in the UK
now describe themselves as Muslim.  Figures for
Christianity were boosted however by the 1.2
million foreign-born Christians residing in the
UK, such as Polish Catholics and evangelicals
from countries such as Nigeria. Meanwhile, the
percentage of the people who have no religion
rose from 14.8 per cent to 25 of the population.
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  • And what about the Diocese of Johannesburg?

No up-to-date available stats, but trend seems to
be the same as the European trend, but at a
slower pace, why?
Because we live in a mixed demographic
What we do know is that in 1995 there were 13000
members on our Parish Rolls, today there are
13000 members on our Parish Rolls!!!!
Johannesburg has seen a growth in population of
21 in the same time-frame, which effectively
That proportionately, we have declined by 21
since 1995
The South African Survey 2009/2010, says that
In 1980 there were 845 420
In 1996 there were 1 600 001 - this is massive
growth why?
In 2001 there were 1 722 076 since 1980 this is
growth of a massive 103.7
Whereas since 2001 these figures are again
As a matter of interest, the ZCC has grown by
546 over the same period why?
Just another interesting, and cautionary note..
Although an established church, the Church of
England does not receive any direct government
support. Donations comprise its largest source
of income, and it also relies heavily on the
income from its various historic endowments.
On 17 May 2012 The Church of England welcomed an
agreement with the Government over the future
funding of alterations and repairs to its 12,500
listed buildings, to the tune of 42 million
pounds per year
Meanwhile, the Church moved the majority of its
income-generating assets (which in the past
included a great deal of land, but today mostly
take the form of financial stocks and bonds) out
of the hands of individual clergy and bishops to
the care of a body called the Church
Commissioners, which uses these funds to pay a
range of non-parish expenses, including clergy
pensions and the expenses of cathedrals and
bishops houses. These funds amount to around 8
billion pounds
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The Diocese of Johannesburg is currently about R
500 000.00 in the red!!! (Although some of this
will be recovered)
Whichever way we look at it, the financial health
of the church must to some degree be a reflection
of its overall health theologically,
spiritually, liturgically and so on
Recall , from our previous slides, that the
centre of Christian gravity has shifted from the
Northern to the Southern hemispheres most
notably central and Southern Africa.
That said, what kind or expression of
Christianity is this, and why is it so?
The answer to this question reveals itself as we
address the next section of this presentation!
  1. Why is the Anglican Church in decline?

William R. Coats I will argue that the largest
contributor to our membership loss is not the
drift to liberalism but a sharp decline in the
birth rate among those descended from the British
Isles or Northern Europe - our essential "tribal"
base. If one assumes that the church has
traditionally "grown" or replenished itself not
through evangelism but simply through the
addition of its own children, it would follow
that a decline in numbers of those who "come up
through the system" would account for the overall
decline in numbers We have always grown'
primarily by bringing our children up through the
ranks, as it were. Indeed, until very recently,
seminaries were training parish priests not to
"grow" their churches but to preside and maintain
what was perceived to be a naturally expanding
institution. The drop in numbers of children per
household, therefore, would seriously affect the
overall membership in our church and becomes a
possible explanation for the Episcopal Church's
decline in overall numbers. http//www.rci.rutger
Measuring Church Growth by Carl S. Dudley - is
professor of church and community at McCormick
Theological Seminary in Chicago. This article
appeared in the Christian Century  June 6-13,
1979, p. 635.
Mainline churches will not win back lost
members by imitating the successful programs by
which other groups secure the loyalties of other
populations. Our problems are more complex and
challenging. We cannot discover our ministry by
mimicking the styles of others we must look
again at the roots of our confessional
commitments. When we lift our heads high enough
to see beyond the embarrassing statistics of the
present situation, we may discover that we have
numerous biblical and historical models for
creative Christian minorities in an essentially
secular world, We can admit our minority status
without assuming a sectarian posture. We can
discover from current research many of the
factors which contributed to the decline in
mainline church membership. We can learn that
church leadership and programs were not the
precipitating causes we are simply not that
important when compared to much larger cultural
forces. We can learn much about the people who
would once have joined mainline churches -- where
they are, what they believe, and how they can be
reached. Finally, we can give up the myth of a
righteous monopoly -- the idea that all religious
people will join churches, and that churches
should be interested only in religion. In short,
we can regain our modesty. Mainline Protestant
churches appear to be uniquely prepared to work
with those who believe without belonging. With
them we apparently share many values of the past
as well as hopes for the future. We may not get
them back into the churches, but we can join
with them to do the Lords work on earth. And we
may rediscover the Christian church in the process
And a complex of other reasons
  • There is a direct, albeit complex correlation
    between the EXTENT and TYPES of religious
    subscription and
  • Political stability
  • Access to the economy
  • The quality of education
  • The roll of the country/community in the global
  • Exposure to internationalisation
  • Socio-cultural heritage
  • Reconfiguration of the concept of family

There is a clear correlation between literalist,
conservative, and doctrinaire versions of
Christianity and the variables listed above.
  • What might some of our options be?
  • Option 1 Stay as we are there is no need for
  • Option 2 Revert to literalist paradigms
  • Option 3 Opt for a kind of new liberalism
    (Emerging Church)
  • Option 4 Is there another option?

There is a tendency to focus attention on the
church as an institution when we are concerned
about its growth. Attention is often paid to its
organisation, management, administration,
process, legislation, and strategy its vision,
mission, goals, and objectives. A great deal of
time and energy is spent, and rightly so, on
these types of initiatives. But what if the main
cause of decline is not about its organisation?
What if the main cause of decline is about its
The pros and cons of option 1Stay as we are
there is no need for change
  • CONS
  • Nothing happens!
  • PROS
  • No intervention is required
  • Retain present stability
  • No disruption to the church
  • Familiar and comfortable

The pros and cons of option 2Revert to
literalist paradigms
  • CONS
  • Does not permit freedom of thought or open
  • Cant always deliver on its promises
  • Highly discriminatory we are right, everybody
    else is wrong
  • Can become tribal and defensive
  • Tends to indoctrinate rather than inform
  • Is often authoritarian and autocratic
  • Biblical inerrancy and inspiration leads to
    prejudice (genderism etc)
  • Often imposes guilt and fear
  • Can lead to violence in extreme cases
  • Can be oppressive and abusive
  • PROS
  • Possesses the Truth
  • Provides certainty in the midst of uncertainty
  • Offers guarantees
  • Strongly bonded and community oriented
  • Very protective of adherents
  • Clear sense of identity
  • Therefore reduces anxiety
  • Has definitive answers to the worlds problems
  • Clear moral, ethical codes, lifestyles
  • Adherents are often very happy

The pros and cons of option 3Opt for a kind of
new liberalism
  • CONS
  • Can become wishy-washy
  • Has no clear sense of identity
  • Can be too compromising and become disoriented
  • Tends to cater for intellectual elites
  • Can develop superiority complexes
  • Can become too esoteric
  • Can become too critical of traditionalists/conserv
  • May be out of touch with grass-roots issues
  • Can struggle to find a focussed vision
  • Tends to attract goofballs
  • PROS
  • Is very hospitable to difference
  • Very inclusive
  • Intellectually open
  • Highly adaptable
  • Strong sense of justice
  • Very active in the wider world
  • Is interesting because it draws in new
  • Is very aware of human rights issues and equality
  • Is in touch with secular issues
  • Often embraces deep spirituality

Why is this kind of liberalism so popular now?
Kevin Wards research indicates that in 1947 the
vast majority of the population believed in a
personal God, whereas the majority in 1993
preferred the idea of God as an impersonal Spirit
(Ward 20045). This shift need not be perceived
as a movement against God, but as a plea for
deeper, trans-dogmatic experience of a God less
territorialised by institutionalised religious
framing. Wade Roofs research among baby boomers
also found that 73 preferred to use the language
of spirituality rather than religion.
Religion, according to these findings ...
connotes rigid, authoritarian, oppressive
institutions dogmatism and lack of openness to
alternative perspectives, and cold formalism or
ritualism. Spirituality, by contrast, suggests
flexibility and creativity tolerance and respect
for alternative insights from others room for
doubt and searching and an emphasis upon
personal experience (Roof 1993 np). This
statistics would since have changed, but the
impetus is clear the fact that religious
apperceptions are in a state of flux is
  • Dr Jeremy Jacobs

Peter Corning of the Institute for the Study of
Complex Systems explains that the term emergent
was coined by the pioneer psychologist G. H.
Lewes in his multivolume Problems of Life and
Mind (1874-1879). Lewes, following the lead of
the philosopher John Stuart Mill, argued that
certain phenomena in nature produce what he
called qualitative novelty - material changes
that cannot be expressed in simple quantitative
terms they are emergents rather than resultants
my italics. In Lewes own words
(1874-1879413) Every resultant is either a sum
or a difference of the co-operant forces their
sum, when their directions are the same - their
difference, when their directions are contrary.
Further, every resultant is clearly traceable in
its components, because these are homogeneous and
commensurable. It is otherwise with emergents,
when, instead of adding measurable motion to
measurable motion, or things of one kind to other
individuals of their kind, there is a
co-operation of things of unlike kinds. The
emergent is unlike its components insofar as
these are incommensurable, and it cannot be
reduced to their sum or their difference.
IN SIMPLER ENGLISH Emergence is a word which
describes the complexity and innovation of a
property which cannot be reduced to, or explained
merely in terms of its antecedents.
IN EVEN SIMPLER ENGLISH Emergence is a word
which describes the novelty of a new thing
that cannot be explained only in terms of the old
things which made it up.
OR IN CLICHED PHRASE The whole (if it is novel)
is greater than the sum of its parts
Now, if you apply the principle of emergence to
the Christian faith, and how it may develop in
the years to come, you get.
  • Brian McLaren The person most commonly
    associated with the movement. Former English
    professor who is now a pastor, traveling speaker,
    and author of several books. Recognized as one
    of TIME magazine's "25 Most Influential
    Evangelicals in America." His book,  A New Kind
    of Christian won an award of merit
    from Christianity Today in 2002. See also, A
    Generous Orthodoxy, which has achieved something
    akin to Scripture status in the Emerging Church
    movement. (website at  http//
  • Tony Jones National Coordinator of Emergent, an
    organized network of cooperating emerging
    ministries (http//
    dex.htm). He is a doctoral fellow and senior
    research fellow in practical theology at
    Princeton Theological Seminary whose books have
    been highly influential in the movement.
  • Dan Kimball Author of several books,
    including The Emerging Church Vintage
    Christianity for New Generations (Christianity
    Today best book of 2004). (http//www.dankimball.c
  • Stanley Hauerwas Professor of Theological Ethics
    at Duke Divinity School. Named "America's Best
    Theologian" in 2001 by TIME magazine. Heavily
    influenced by postmodern philosophers, he has in
    turn had a profound affect on the Emerging Church
    movement. Known to frequently use profanities in
    his speaking engagements.
  • Rob Bell Pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church, in
    Grandville, Michigan. Author of Velvet Elvis
    Repainting the Christian Faith.
  • http//

  1. Narrative, metaphor, and myth (with reason as its
    attentive aid) as more viable conveyors of
    spiritual truth than dogma and doctrine.
  2. Developing a new idiom for religion.
  3. Creative and artistic pursuits of transformation
    rather than subscription to credal or
    catechetical legislations.
  4. Re-integrating science and biology as
    foundational to the cultivation of spirituality
    (rather than villainising the world and the
  5. Spontaneity and unpredictability over rigidity
    and certainty.
  6. Multi-sensory, multi-tasking, multi-media,
    multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, but not
    confusion - seeking out complex synchronicities,
    not compromised pluralities.
  7. Savouring the benefits of the heuristic process.
  8. Valuing mutual benefit over individual reward (a
    reaction against post-modern individualism).
  9. Wide reaching righteousness and justice issues
    rather than personal moralism.
  10. Strong aesthetic and materialistic values.

Well, I dont think any of the above are viable
long-term solutions
The pros and cons of option 4???????????????????
I have an idea, but discretion precedes
presumption. Let me adopt the Socratic method
The Socratic method is simply the process of
facilitating a discussion in such a way that
people come upon the answers themselves because
someone has asked the right kinds of
questions. But maybe some basic principles will
help us along.
  1. Some recommended principles
  1. The main theme of Jesus entire teaching, The
    Kingdom of Heaven, must always remain the central
    refrain of our faith.
  2. The Kingdom of Heaven IS the Person and Spirit of
    Jesus himself the true image and likeness of
    our own being a template of our own spiritual
  3. Our purpose is therefore to incarnate - to live
    ourselves increasingly into this Christ-likeness
    as the living presence of our loving God in the
    world today. This is our spiritual journey our
  4. This Christ-likeness, as the presence of Gods
    love in and through our lives, is not racist,
    sexist, egotistical, prejudicial, judgemental,
    discriminatory, exclusive, bigoted
  5. The lived out gifts and fruits of the Spirit of
    Jesus therefore precede our various and differing
    beliefs about his earthly life-story.
  6. Religious Truth is therefore not measured in the
    extent to which we blindly subscribe to dogmas
    and doctrines, but in our love for God, our
    neighbours, and ourselves AS disciples of Christ!
    (The first and great commandment)
  7. This form of Truth does not dismiss the place and
    purpose of dogma and doctrine it merely
    apportions it to its rightful place to serve
    God and humanity, not for God and humanity to be
    servile to it!

  1. As such our worship must be exuberant,
    passionate, and deeply reflective of the
    indwelling Christ in whom we live and move and
    have our being (Acts 1728)
  2. We need to cultivate a strong sense of identity
    as a community who are deeply in love with God in
    Christ not necessarily as Biblical literalists,
    but as true servant leaders on a quest to bring
    salvation of Christ to our broken world.
  3. What is salvation in this sense other than the
    redeeming love of Christ which brings healing,
    reconciliation, wholeness, forgiveness,
    reverence, respect, and sanctity into EVERY
    aspect of our personal and corporate lives.
  4. The sacrament of the altar, the Body and Blood of
    Christ thus pulses as the Spirit of Christ
    through our veins how can we possibly claim
    this, live this, unless we love each other
    through our differences? Did Christ only die for
    those who subscribe to a particular religious
    ideology or did he die for all?
  5. If his love lived and died for all, then we must
    live and love all without prejudice.
  6. And our pastoral heart, our relationships with
    each other and the world is the key to making all
    of this possible!
  7. Also, in order to love this world, we must
    understand this world, and we must therefore
    study this world in all its complex nuances and
  8. Our theology must therefore be SIGNIFICANTLY
    empowered by strong and on-going education in
    all fields of research.
  9. And so on and so on and so on..

Mark Fanklin said in his presentation last month
that the Characteristics of Servant Leadership
  • Listening
  • Accepting and empathising
  • Tolerance of weakness and imperfection
  • Foresight, anticipation and intuition
  • Awareness and perception
  • Persuasion and example
  • Persistence and determination
  • Courage to venture and risk
  • Creates autonomy through opportunity

And he placed particular emphasis on Life long
  • We need to keep in step with society
  • We must learn continuously
  • Adapt or die!!!
  • Be open to new ideas
  • Must be prepared to change
  • Are we/our leaders dinosaurs?

Aldridge, A., Religion in the Contemporary
World (Polity Press, 2000)
Table of Contents Preface to the Third Edition
viii Acknowledgements x 1 Defining Religion
Social Conflicts and Sociological Debates 1 2
Secularization The Social Insignificance of
Religion? 35 Karl Marx and the projection theory
of religion 35 Émile Durkheim and the social
functions of religion 38 Max Weber and the
disenchantment of the world 41 Pluralization,
relativism and consumer choice 57 Reason,
rationality and science 59 3 Secularization
Challenged A New Paradigm? 66 The new paradigm
and the rise of the megachurches 91 The
Pentecostals 93 Further reading 95 4 Dangerous
Religions? Sects, Cults and Brainwashing 97 The
rise of 'brainwashing' 115 Identifying
potentially destructive movements 119 The fall of
'brainwashing' 126 Further reading 129 5
Dangerous Religions? Fundamentalism 131 Bible
believers 132 Fundamentalism and monotheism
134 Features of fundamentalism 138
6 Civil Religion and Political Ritual 148 7
Gender and Sexuality 165 The subordination of
women 165 Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
(LGBT) identities 177 8 The Spiritual Revolution
181 Believing without belonging 183 From religion
to spirituality? 186 Religion online and online
religion 195 Individualism and the crisis of
religious authority 197 Religion in consumer
society 203 Lived religion and sociological
analysis 205 9 The Challenge of Diversity 208 The
debate about multiculturalism 208 The challenge
of diversity 214 Grassroots responses to
diversity 220   http//
  • We, the church, and the world are all in need of
    salvation of restoration , healing, and
    sanctification. We will not succeed in doing this
    by legislating, indoctrinating, organising,
    administering, strategizing, and visioning UNLESS
    the entire process is defined by the Love of God
    in and through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • In brief, we need to love ourselves, the church,
    and the world back into freedom, and it all
    begins, continues, and succeeds through the
    integrity of our relationships.
  • Discussion
  • Close
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