Every year the Toronto Short Term Mission Training Center (TSTMTC) hosts a week-long evangelistic event to reach out to various communities in Toronto. Sometimes it is held in a mall to engage the shoppers, but this year and last it is targeted at Chinatown, the oldest Chinese community in Greater Toronto Area.
It is not surprising that many churches, both Caucasian and ethnic, are aging rapidly. With the younger generation staying away from church and the older generation shrinking by attrition, many churches are experiencing a post-80 (80后) or post-90 (90后) drought. Some big churches that used to have a congregation of over 500 have now shrunk to below 200 in attendance, and for some churches the age of the youngest members have climbed to over 60. When a church loses her youth, she loses her future.
To reverse this trend, some tried to break out of their program mode to reach out beyond their four walls. The TSTMTC does a good job assisting church members to overcome their fear of witnessing by providing demonstrations, role-plays, and accompanying them to put what they learned into practice. Too bad some are still stuck in their nearsightedness and not engaged in active evangelism, preferring to stay within their comfort zone and not waking up to the realization that they have been disobedient to the Great Commission. I pray more churches would support mission, both local and beyond, because the alternative is decay and self-destruction. May the Lord help us.