It was the top story on the BBC News App yesterday morning – “Less than half of England and Wales population are Christians“.
The article revealed the results of the recent 2021 census which showed that the proportion of people who said they were Christian was down from 59.3% in 2011 to 46.2% in the last census.
So why am I saying this is good news?
Firstly, because the stats are becoming more honest. Jesus is not looking for people who connect with Him in ‘name only’. He’s not after a nominal ‘religious affiliation’, He’s longing for a life-changing relationship. If the stats measured genuine followers of Christ, I’m sure it will be much less than 46.2%.
Secondly, it reminds me of the words of Jesus in Matthew 9:36-38…
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
Jesus looked at a lost world with great compassion, but His response was “This is an AMAZING opportunity.” People are desperate for good news – for hope, peace, comfort, strength – for love!!! And Jesus is that good news!
Most people in our society know little of the genuine good news of Jesus. They don’t need religion or their preconceptions around Jesus. They need Jesus – and we can bring that good news to them – through our words and actions. We can say YES to being Jesus’ workers, getting out into the harvest field of our neighbourhoods and workplaces.
Why not catch the 10-minute message I shared last Sunday on our fourth Zeo value – always multiplying – which I hope will inspire you to play your part in the harvest?
The Christmas season is such a great opportunity to bring some good news. To invite people to have an experience of peace and joy this December.
So can I encourage you to invite some friends to come with you?
Jesus, give us wisdom, courage and favour to share your good news with as many people as possible this festive season.