This week, I have the opportunity to write to you from Lehi, Utah. Never heard of Lehi (pronounced LEE HIGH)? Well Joleyne and I hadn’t either but it’s the second fastest growing IT community in North America (second to the Silicon Valley in California). Joleyne is here for a business training trip and we decided to turn it into a mini study getaway – she would go to class, I would work at the hotel room and we’d enjoy the sights of Lehi in the evening.
We were out for dinner a few nights ago and struck up a conversation with our waitress. It quickly became apparent that she was not happy about the recent elections and that her state had decided to vote “Trump”. She listed off all the reasons why Trump was not a good candidate, including some of his chosen leadership team's opinions on abortion, end-of-life issues, same-sex issues, etc. I was surprise by her views considering where we were, Utah, having the largest population of Mormons in the world. Our conversation turned to the spiritual and I asked if the rumours of everyone being Mormon in Lehi was accurate. She respond by saying that while she was mormon, she didn’t agree with most of its teaching. A mormon in culture only and not in practice.
This got me thinking about our own context and what it means to be a Christian in Ontario. Do we unwittingly settle for a cultural expression faith rather than the radical life-changing faith that following Jesus brings? I hope that we have thought seriously of what it means for us to be Christian in a very post-Christian world. Our faith is going to cost us something soon and I hope that we are willing to keep on keeping on in the face of growing marginalization.
Yet, even in this environment, the church can flourish in its mission, and the proof is found in spiritual growth. Just today McLeans published an article about growing protestant mainline churches and I draw it to your attention so that you can read and process the information. The found that the Gospel and Prayer focused churches are not just holding their own but actually thriving in these times.
Read the article and let me know what you think… as always, I’d love your feedback and thoughts. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aaron Groat, Senior Pastor
It has risen: Is this the key to growing Protestant churches?