This will be short and ranty. Apologies
I have been to so many meetings, gatherings, conferences, services. festivals, chats and other events at levels that range from informal and in a front room to national events inc. large festivals where I have been told that, in general, the church in the UK is in decline. And I believe them. There are some not-too-manipulated stats that kinda point that way, and it certainly matches my experience. yes there are exceptions and yes we MAY have stemmed the tide, but the picture ain’t great.
So let me say this about those churches that are seeing an increase in attendance and/or membership (the two being different, given current culture). They should be praised and celebrated. As long as we’re not literally bribing them with a life time’s supply of chocolate, pizza or a house, and they come because they want to, then we should be praising and celebrating growing churches. They’re doing a tough job better than most.
So let me also say this.
I do not care if the person leading that church is a man
I do not care if the person leading that church is a woman
I do not care if the person leading that church goes hunting and eats raw steak
I do not care if the person leading that church likes to talk about the feelings and drink herbal tea
I do not care what the person leading that church wears
I do not care if that person is married
I do not care if that person is single
I do not care if that person has had a divorce
I do not care if that person has re-married
I do not care if that person straight
I do not care if that person is gay
I do not care if that person is somewhere else along a spectrum of gender and sexuality
If that person has the qualities of a Godly leader and the church they serve is growing
WE SHOULD BE PRAISING AND CELEBRATING.