A contributor to the Genevanet list tipped us off regarding the Church Survey UK. It has been around for over a year, but it makes for fascinating reading about the reasons for the decline of the mainstream churches. The aim is flawed since it takes essentially a marketing approach to the problem:
The aim of this committee was simple. It was to investigate and examine exactly what it is that people are wanting from their church. Only when churches discover what ‘the people want’ and provide for those desires will church attendance become appealing.
The makeup of the survey committee was ecumenical. Nevertheless, it seems like it was an honest attempt to understand the problem at least.
It is clear that there is a massive disconnect between what is felt to be necessary by ‘laity’ and the ‘clergy’. Having read the first chapter, it is clear that there are many who are near-blind and desperately want to see clearly, while many of those who lead think they can see but are in fact blind.
There was an interesting comment about housegroups:
Housegroups … urged minsters to recognise the need for clear teaching in the form of apologetics. Replies indicated that house groups now form the backbone of many Irish and UK churches. Hundreds of groups revealed that the main reason for their popularity was not so much ‘fellowship’ as the teaching they provided.
Interesting. Housegroups seem to be a defence against bad teaching and leadership in many churches.
Worth downloading and pondering.