The Corinthian Principle


One of my favourite comments on the church is found in Eminence, a novel by Australian author Morris West, which tells the story of Luca Rossini, a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. Luca who now serves in the Vatican, lives in the shadow of a terrible experience he suffered as a young priest in Argentina. It was the 1970′s, a time when the military junta that ruled Argentina acted with...

Why Every Church Should Pay Attention to Its “Brand”


Five years back if you had asked me what I thought of the idea of branding the church I’d have scoffed. Branding to me was little more than marketing spin, something to be strenuously avoided by anyone interested in authentic community. Having been through a rebranding process at Baptist World Aid I’ve changed my mind. Here’s why. First, branding is not about logos. I always...

Australian Churches – Losing More People Than We’re Gaining


The Church in Australia appears to be in decline. Yet between 2001 and 2011, the number of people identifying with a Christian church grew from 12.8 to 13.1 million. I belong to the Baptist denomination. In the 2001 census 309,205 people identified as Baptist, but in the 2011 census this had grown to 352,499, a gain of almost 43,000 people. Other churches that increased in number of Australians...

Belief Enablers. What Turns Australians On to Christianity


In my last post I reported the findings of research into what blocks engagement with Christianity for Australians. The research also provided insight into what fosters engagement. First, while half the population are not open to changing their religious views, half are, including a significant minority (7%) who are very open. Second, the methods most likely to engage those who do not currently...

Belief Blockers. What turns Australians Off the Church


This week I came across a piece of brilliant market research into Australian attitudes to Christianity and the church conducted in late 2011 by McCrindle research. For those Christians inclined to think of creation and evolution as the key ideological battleground, to assume the Church commands respect, and who are worried about the influence of prominent atheists like Richard Dawkins, the report...

If I Went Back to Pastoring I’d Do ‘Pastoral Care’ Differently


One of my greatest challenges as a pastor was ‘pastoral care’ and if I was to go back into pastoring a church this is an area where I’d make big changes. During my ministry I championed the idea that we should practise congregational care not ‘pastoral care’. Nowhere do the Scriptures suggest it is the job of pastors to be the primary care-givers in the church...

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