Australia needs effective Evangelists.
More opportunities to share Jesus are opening up all the time in this great nation. This is happening because of the large proportion of our population who do not have any meaningful contact with Christians. Large numbers in Australia have never comprehended the gospel of Jesus. They seem beyond reach, but we can reach them, and there are real gains being made.
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The population of Australia now is around 22.7 million people. Of that number, around 20%, or 4.1 million say they are somehow connected to a Christian church. It’s hard to say how many of that group actually have a healthy trust in Jesus or participate in church life, but we can say that the proportion of people in church is in net decline. The population growth rate for the years between 1986 and 2011 was about 27%. That’s about 1.4 % per year, or 8.4% since 2006. The growth rate for all Christian Churches was 12% for the same period, or 0.6% per year, according to the ABS website . It is clear that the growth rate of people becoming Christians has not kept up with the population growth rate.
For the same period, there was a 250% growth rate of non-christian religions, or 12.5% per year, and a high rate of people saying they have “no religion”. In fact in the 2011 census had the highest jump of this category ever. The result is that the number of people “untouched” with the news of Jesus in Australia is growing. More people are living without Jesus. It can all feel a bit overwhelming. However, many Australians still identify themselves as being “Christian” even if they are not active. According to a 2009 Nielsen Poll on what Australians believe, 60% of Australians identify very strongly with the ideas of Christianity. They have a positive posture to Christian belief. We all need to kindly and gently point our fellow Australians to Jesus, even if we are not gifted as evangelists.
We need more Australian evangelists who are able to reach beyond those in existing Christian churches to present Jesus. We need them to work in partnership with groups and churches from different Christian backgrounds. Church Army Australia is a growing society of Endorsed Evangelists. Some of these Evangelists are ordained into a denominational ministry, or working as church planters. Some of them are volunteer evangelists or bi-vocational or have their own unique ministry. One thing is sure: Australians who already follow Jesus need to encourage those of you who are working as Evangelists. That’s what Church Army Australia is all about.
Church Army Australia’s mission is to “Send and support Evangelists called to reach people beyond existing churches throughout Australia with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”