Stackhouse commented on church trends in Canada. You may know that they’re generally not good. Some evangelicals are making headway, but church attendance overall is down.
What does this signal for the future? When Stackhouse is asked to make predictions, he says, “If present trends continue – and they won’t…” and then says whatever he likes. His point is a good one: beware of reading history as a straight or single line, or thinking that present trends will continue.
Here’s what’s interesting: Stackhouse said that before Confederation (in 1867) the vast majority did not attend church. By Confederation, 90% did. The church was somehow able to buck the trends and make vast inroads into the culture.
Obviously times have changed, and we’re facing new challenges. But maybe we need to be a little bolder in what we’re praying for. I’m pretty excited about the challenges and opportunities of ministry in Canada right now, and it was good to be reminded that the opportunities may be even greater than we realize.