The State of the Nation

From the perspective of the gospel, our population can be thought of as three groups.

Serious Christians

The hard core of serious Christians is probably about 5 percent of the population.

Serious Christians have the following characteristics.

Christian Memory

The second group have a Christian memory, but do not participate in the church. They might be a twenty percent of the population.

The Christian memory group have the following characteristics.

Modern World

The third group belongs in the modern world. In parts of America this group is getting up toward 60 percent of the population. In New Zealand, they could be 80 percent.

The Modern World Group has the following characteristics.

Church Strategies

Modern church strategies are effective within the Christian Memory group. They are successful within a small sphere of influence.

They church has developed good techniques for drawing people from within its cultural orbit. All efforts are focused on getting people with a Christian memory to become Serious Christians.

Shrinking Cultural Influence

The numbers within our cultural orbit are getting older and less like to change. Their numbers are shrinking rapidly. Young people are leaking across the boundaries in a huge flood.

The culture shifters in our society belong in the Modern World, so they have momentum on their side.

If they get their model wrong, house churches might be limited to rescuing people that are falling out of the church.

Many of the people who join house churches are in danger of falling out of the church, because they are hurt. They were Serious Christians once, but bad experiences have deadened their passion. They are slipping out into Christian Memory. House Churches are a powerful tool for rescuing these people, but it is hard work. Many have been burned by over-zealous authority, so they are hard to get close to. Most carry unfinished baggage, so few will become world changers.

Revival

Many Christians are seeking a revival. Traditional revivals occurred among people with a Christian Memory. They were stirred by passionate preaching and revival meetings. Even if revival occurred in New Zealand, it would hardly be noticed, because it would only touch the lives of people within the shrinking twenty percent who have a Christian Memory. The rest of society would not be touched. Revival is a false hope for New Zealand.

Serious Strategic Problem

Modern church strategies do not touch the modern world of the Eighty Percent.

House Church have not done much better. This is a serious challenge.

Here is the Big Question.

How do we get over this barrier?

More of the same will not get the job done.

We need a Future Church model that can jump over the barrier and reach the Modern World.

Three Elements

Our strategy should have three important elements.

1. Place of Safety

The darkness is squeezing out the light in our society.

Christians are currently a small minority in our society. Currently, we are tolerated, but when evil grows in confidence, this might change. If the world becomes hostile, standing alone will be dangerous. Christians are currently spread thinly throughout society. That was fine when were a strong influence in society, but is risky for a small minority. Isolated people are easily crushed.

We need a house church model that can provide safety in a time of darkness.

2. Rescue Vehicle

As darkness spreads, pain and sorrow will expand in the world.

Many people in the world will need to be rescued. This will be a huge opportunity for the church, but only if we are ready.

We need a house church model that is capable of rescuing people who are crushed in the world.

3. Kingdom of God

The Holy Spirit will not be defeated. He will eventually push back the darkness and build the Kingdom of God.

The Holy Spirit will give the Kingdom of God to restored local communities.

We need a house church model that can receive the Kingdom of God. We need a house church model that the Holy Spirit can use to bring the Kingdom of God into neighbourhoods and local communities.