I have been surfing the news and stumbled upon this article. The reposrt is concerning a recent speech by the upcoming general secretary of the Methodist Church Revd Dr Martyn Atkins.
A report in The Times last week cited controversial forecasts from think tank Christian Research predicting that the number of Sunday churchgoers would drop to below 900,000 by 2050 if current rates of decline continue.
Dr Atkins said, however, that he was not alarmed in the face of such statistics, saying that they failed to take into account the growing numbers of Christians who are worshipping outside the traditional Sunday service model.
It would seem that the Methodist church is set to embrace moves into the emerging church. Interestingly this article was written today in the times and has some interesting thoughts on the matter. The article highlights that the largest factor influencing church attendance has been ease of access.
Fewer than half of people in isolated rural areas went to church, until John Wesley’s Methodist movement built chapels closer to them.
The climate has changed considerably since the mid nineteenth century. No longer is worship prohibited by physical distance. The post modern culture we inhabit makes worship increasingly difficult to access because of form and format. It would seem fitting that the response of ‘John Wesley’s Methodist movement’ is to make access to worship in these circumstances a priority.