By Mark Griffiths,
Reviewed by Paul Clark.
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN as a doctoral thesis, One Generation from Extinction is the study of child evangelism, comparing the original Sunday School model with large children’s outreach programs of the UK today.
This is a seminal work: one that speaks with authority to the church’s precarious position in Western society.
It can be a little laborious at times as you wade through the data and its scope of studying only the larger children’s programs was also a little disappointing, but the author sees past this bias naming principles that can be put into practice in large or small groups.
Mr Griffiths offers ways forward to reach and retain new generations.
He argues that the original Sunday School had outreach and transformation as its aim; its success leading to the revival of
Christianity in the 19th century.
As these aims turned inward to indoctrination of member’s children, Sunday School waned and so did the church.
He posits that the ailing and ageing church must rediscover, not only the original aims and practices, but also God’s
passion and heart to reach unchurched families.
There are no easy answers in this book, only a clarion call to resolute missionary endeavour!
One Generation from Extinction is a book any church serious about having a future – and if there are no children in your midst, your congregation doesn’t have a future – should study.