As the head of a local network of Christian leaders, I hear some fascinating stories of community and personal transformation. One of the local city councillors told us that 80% of all local community work is performed by churches! This is encouraging for Christians to hear against a backdrop of cynicism and complaints of irrelevance in an increasingly secular nation.
Of course, churches seem to have invited criticism through the ethical and moral failings of some do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do preachers or paedophile priests, however these are an extremely small minority giving bad press to the many who do so much good.
It seems that Christians might be losing the PR battle, yet the gospel speaks for itself and still attracts countless young people looking for genuineness in an ethically vacuous generation. G.K. Chesterton once said that Christianity wasn’t so much tried and found wanting as it was largely left untried.
For those who have counted the cost of life, turned to Christ, and then found the true meaning and purpose of their existence, He redefines life itself, which is why so many Christians engage in making their world a better place.
For me, to see so many people physically healed and to see the impact of Christ in restoring relationships or turning businesses around is rewarding and inspiring. It is easy for many to ignore these because they prefer to, but no-one can really explain away someone’s story of a miracle.
For those who want to see it, Christianity does have the answers and it does matter! There is no faith or belief system that can so authentically and amazingly transform lives as genuine Christianity which is why this can only be experienced when it moves from being a religion to a relationship with God.