Religious Resilience in Canada

I’ve written about the state of spirituality and Christianity in Canada before (click here), but Reginald Bibby has just released a fresh analysis called “A New Day: The Resilience & Restructuring of Religion in Canada” that has some fascinating observations and suggestions.  You can download the e-book for free by clicking on the link above that takes you to Bibby’s web site.

Bibby’s fundamental conclusion is that religion in Canada is far from dead (and it is not even dying), but it is undergoing massive shifts in structure, alignment, demographics, and practice.  Near the end of his book, Bibby suggests the following four key implications of his study and analysis:

  1. It’s time for a mindset change.  We need to re-think what religion is and should be.
  2. It’s time to explore affinities.  We need to seek out like-minded people and groups, and work together.
  3. It’s time to be part of the restructuring of religion.  The dominant religious players have changed (denominations, para-church, etc), and more change is underway.
  4. It’s time for better ministry.  In terms of religion and faith, what is “worthwhile”?  What does religion contribute to society?  Bibby suggests two dominant contributions of religion in Canada are (or should be) social well-being, and hope.  Bibby also suggest three features of effective ministry:
    1. Ministering well to “Insiders”,
    2. Locating the rest of “your people”, and
    3. Ministering well to your “Outsiders”.

I encourage you to download and read the book, but even if you haven’t yet, what are your thoughts about the future of religion in Canada (or your own country, if it is different)?

What have you seen and/or experienced?  In terms of religion, what gives you hope or concern?


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One Reply to “Religious Resilience in Canada”

  1. I forgot to mention some of my comments. 🙂 One of the dynamics that I have observed is this: When people perceive or experience religion in terms of “organization” their interest and involvement often declines, but when they experience it in terms of “community”, involvement often increases.

    Also, I agree with Bibby that our churches (and church people) need to talk about and live out the hope that we say Christianity offers. If we don’t have real hope (not misplaced hope or wishful thinking), we don’t have much. Hope changes everything!

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