Wednesday 28 December 2011

Looking to Epiphany

St Stephen's Day has passed and as we move towards Epiphany, via Holy Innocents tomorrow, I have been sitting thanking God for the waning year with the Wurzels singing 'White Christmas' in the background (R4 'Loose Ends') and thoughts of triumphs, tragedies and confusion aplenty.

The Wise men, Magi, three Kings (or is it four?) are still journeying and have another thirteen days before they reach the holy infant (you don't have yours in the nativity scene yet, do you?) and as I think of them I think of the whole business of making Christ known to those who have no relationship with God. Let's be fair there are quite a few of them so we, potentially, have our hands full.

It was this that got me thinking about the numbers of people out there and their needs. Not just that but the reality that we have more people, numerically and percentage-wise, who are unevangelised now than when Christianity first hit our shores. This thought led me back to the 40-40-20 situation:

I find the 40-40-20 representation of the population quite helpful:

40% being 'unchurched', that is having no understanding or experience of Church.

20% being 'dechurched' (which means may have had churchgoing in the family, usually Grandparents, been to wedding, baptism, funeral or Christmas/Easter and not warm towards the Church to the point of being negative and antagonistic towards it.

20% being 'dechurched' (like those above) but are generally warm (or at least not negative) towards the Church.

10% attend but are perhaps not committed or understanding what Church is (come because they have always come perhaps?).

10% attend and have an understanding and are engaged with Church (also known as 'members' and are the troops in this campaign of making Christ known).

So Epiphany, the time when those not knowing are made aware, could that be true for some now because we are aware and active?



Lay Anglicana said...

This is a very interesting post - thank-you.
It coincides with a post at Lay Anglicana on the proportion of people who attend services over Christmas who are 'vaguely practising Anglicans'.
I hope you will not mind my quoting from this post, thus linking the two, as it adds another dimension to the points I was making.

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Please feel free to use whatever you wish.