What’s the Gospel Accomplishing in Canada?

John Mahaffey of West Highland Baptist Church in Hamilton, Ontario just commented on the state of evangelicalism in Canada.  I’m not sure if you ever wonder how things are going up north, but I do.

Very interesting thoughts from his Gospel Coalition interview:

In 1900, 25 percent of Canadians were evangelical in conviction. That number fell to 8 percent in the 1980s, but has since rebounded to almost 11 percent. This resurgence since the 80s is encouraging, but this devastating decline over the last 100 years has left a negative mark on Canada. Theological liberalism was primarily responsible. The United Church of Canada’s (UCC) drift into apostasy from its strong evangelical Methodist heritage is probably the best example of what has happened. The UCC is still believed to be Canada’s largest Protestant denomination, but more people can be found worshiping on any given Sunday in Pentecostal assemblies than in all of the UCC churches combined. The effect of the UCC’s abandonment of the historic gospel can be seen largely in my generation (baby boomers), who attended booming UCC Sunday schools in the 50s, 60s, and early 70s. We were left largely untouched by the gospel and for the most part are no longer active in church life at all. This lost generation has produced the next largely unchurched generation in Canada today.

In spite of this I sense optimism today among those committed to gospel-centered ministry. There is a renewed emphasis on church planting, and some churches are experiencing consistent growth. In my own denomination (Fellowship Baptist) we have seen a significant number of new churches started in the last few years. Evangelical churches in Canada support a missionary force of more than 7,000 people around the world. When I travel to new communities and new housing projects and see churches being erected it is undeniable that the vast majority of them are committed to the gospel. French Canada is largely unreached with the gospel, but during the 70s and 80s great strides were made by evangelicals in Quebec. The rate of growth since that time has declined somewhat, but there are signs of renewed vigor, and churches are being planted. There has been an explosion of ethnic churches reaching out to the growing immigrant population.

Read the whole thing.


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