Joel Edwards

Prevailing churches in the 21st century are those that comprehend Christianity’s shift from institutional power to grassroots influence, according to International Director of Micah Challenge, Rev Dr Joel Edwards.

During his recent visit to Australia, Dr Edwards said the church had to come to terms with living in an almost ‘pre-Constantine’ era which required it to ‘demonstrate the power of the gospel not just in the pulpit but on the pavement’.

‘The church has to move away from having a faith based on a defensive posture. Since the1960s we feel like we’re losing the moral battle; with the rise of multiculturalism we feel like we are losing our power base in society.

‘For many Christians it feels like they have been locked into a time-space capsule and sent back to the 1st century where the church is on the same level as everyone else.

‘We may no longer have the institutional power the church once had, but we still have influence. And as cultures implode, the church is well placed to be influential as it is one of the few bodies that are present in communities 24/7,’ Dr Edwards said.

He cited his meetings with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith as examples of grassroots influence rather than institutional power.

First published in Alive magazine.

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