In the UK, we are used to the idea of Christianity dwindling. Even if that isn’t the case anymore, there is a popular image in the media that we are about to die out! We think that Africa holds the great hope for Christianity, surely churches would not have problems there? We equate numbers with success, this is often not so.
In Rural Zambia, there is often no depth to the Christianity that is planted. That is a huge generalization, but is a very true one. Churches come and go, people attend for a variety of reasons but nothing never really changes. That’s a sign of a dry religion, not a dynamic living breathing church. The result is a weak, inactive and self interested church with few exceptions. What happened to living for God and seeing it work out in your community.
Dignity’s Life! Group concept is trying to buck that trend by teaching rural Christians and communities to Love God and to Love their Neighbour. This means knowing more about Jesus and the Christian Faith and find innovative ways to practically help those in your community.
One such Life! group in Mulilima is showing the way by attempting to resurrect the local Anglican Church. This group is bucking the trend with a bunch of Pentecostals, Methodists, Baptists and others all seeking ways to help their local Anglican Church to thrive. The benefits to the church and the community cannot be underestimated. In communities where divisions and mistrust are common, anything that pulls people together is of value and should be treasured.
We pray and hope they will be successful and that through this they can continue to grow together and find ways of expressing Christ in their village.