Counting People In: Exploring way to Deal with so-called Christians

According to the recent National Census of the United Kingdom in 2001, 72 per cent of UK people said that their religion was Christian. Among this huge community, however, the rate of church attendance is very low.

Director of Church Army's Sheffield Centre Rev George Lings reported forty per cent of adults in England and Wales have left the church in their lifetime.

Facing such a risk of the decline of churches in UK, the author Richard Thomas aims to explore the way to deal with the group of people who "belong by association" but who are not committed to a local church. These are the many people who called themselves Christian in the recent national census, but who don’t attend church regularly, which could be up to 50% of the UK population. The name of the book is "Counting People In" published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK).

In the book, it raises fundamental theological questions about how the Church lives out the Gospel in the world, and what its role is, and should be in the future. Changes in church attendance, the significance of community and communion, the meaning of baptisms, weddings and funerals and the impact of 'internet services' are all explored in this challenging and far-reaching book.

According to book reviewer, Philip Walker, it is a challenging book and it needs much concentration to read. He said, "the author develops an evangelistic strategy that takes us away from a narrow, cultlike expression of membership towards a celebration of Christianity which sees the world, rather than the Church, as the place where the gospel is discovered, and where many more people can engage with the dynamic of Christian faith and discipleship."