Any individual, nation (or Parish) begins with birth, then growth, but eventually is followed by decay and death. It can be argued that history repeats itself. “Church” can be the same.
But let us be reminded from the Bible (Romans 5 and 6 in particular) the hope in Christ, because this cycle is broken. The Message version puts it like this:
Here it is in a nutshell: just as one person did it wrong and got us all in this trouble with sin and death (Adam), another did it right (Jesus) and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, He got us into life eternal! (Rom.5:18)
That’s Good News for all.
One of the problems a Church faces is not giving those outside the Church a clear picture of what happens inside.
They don’t understand that we’re there to praise our Saviour for providing “Redemption through His Blood, and the forgiveness of sins.”
Yes, sinners go to Church, but receiving God’s Gift of grace lets us live for ever.
So here is my foundation: to say that we are in a Time of Increase.
We are not a perfect Parish but we don’t have to die, cease to exist. Rather, acknowledging our condition and knowing God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were all still sinners, He died for us in Jesus, and we are now partakers of everlasting life in Him. We therefore have this Good News to share and invite others to join us.
The question is; do we demonstrate this life of increase?