Evangelism is important. The building of small believing communities - and big congregations, too, for that matter - is necessary. Nurturing those at the heart of Church life who are growing in the Faith is vital.
At the same time, in countries where the Church has been a backdrop to the culture, the ministry of "presence" is no less part of her vocation. Oddly enough, many practising Christians criticise those who spend a lot of energy ensuring this ministry. Yet they are the first to turn around and complain bitterly when particular principles based on the Gospel are lost from our national life.
With regard to the above, we are not to be "either/or" people, but "both/and" people.
Today I share with you a couple of interesting pieces illustrating this point. The first is from The Guardian newspaper, written by a non-believer who sees what I see more and more among our parishes and their ministry to people who have nowhere else to turn.
The second is the Bishop of London's Christmas message. The work of the Gospel in London Diocese is expanding, as is church attendance and the impact of the Church in the wider community. Bishop Chartres has, incidentally, a few salutary words for those who would want to further bureaucratise the Church!
by Simon Jenkins in The Guardian, Friday 21 December 2012