Web of praise began and still is stimulated by my love of spiritually inspired poetry. I had currently written a number of e-books, one of which is a poetry book called ‘Of God and Man’ available on Amazon kindle but to my disappointment was not hugely successful. Being a Christian myself I prayed for further wisdom from God and a thought came into my head…an online blog where I could combine scripture with poetry, so that one could share the gospel whilst still showcasing my work. I felt using poetry would make it more accessible for believers and non-believers. After all, The Psalms of David are a prized example of poetic eloquence.
According to a service carried by Faith Survey there has been an alarming decline in church goers. England’s membership is forecast to drop 2.52 million (4.3% of the population) by 2025, though, there is some good news as Orthodox, Pentecostal and other new churches such as Evangelical and Charismatic churches have seen an increase. (https://faithsurvey.co.uk/uk-christianity.html). Scotland sees the biggest decline of them all; the Scottish Christian census found that from 854,000 church goers had considerable dwindled to 390,000 and that 42% of them were aged over 65. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-39613631). Included in the article were valid points made by Dr Peter Brierley as he later progressed to say “We are living in the 21st century, people’s alliance towards particular faiths is no longer strong as it used to be” and honourably saw this as a challenge “The Scottish census doesn’t make for terribly happy reading but it also presents a new opportunity for the church and the good news of Jesus in a way for a new generation”.
So where are our future audiences may you ask? One report could possibly answer that question. Social and Hootsuite demonstrated in their findings that more than half of the world’s population uses the internet and more than half of all mobile connections are broadband. (https://wearesocial.com/uk/blog/2017/01/digital-in-2017-global-overview). There is no disputing that the internet can be used for good and bad because it is controlled by human nature but sadly it appears it has fallen on a spiritual level. Pornography, hackers and broadcasting crimes on Facebook seem to dominate our headlines.
Do we see this as a cry for help? Perhaps…and judging by the facts and figures it appears we need to find our audience if we are indeed to bring them to Christ. Jesus himself would often go to market towns to find the beggars, murderers and rapists and people who had committed no crime. Christians could shine their light on all mediums and integrate fresh ideas such as the Arts in hope to bring people back into the church. One must never forget that God built us to have human companionship; the internet will not compensate for that for I myself attend my local church. I hope and pray ‘Web of Praise’ will be amongst many more Christian faith websites to swoop the internet. For those who may be interested in browsing through my poems please follow the link; https://www.facebook.com/churchwrite/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel