My brother just returned from another ministry trip to England.
He manages an all-girl worship band called "The
Sonflowerz", led by his two daughters, who have
evangelized in England for several years. Don is very familiar
with the spiritual roots and condition of England, having married
a woman from England and having made trips there for about 25
years. He compiled the article below which is very pertinent to
the spiritual condition of America (slightly edited for length).
I hope you find it as interesting and insightful as I did. I encourage
you to forward this on to your own email lists.
Happened To The Once Great Faith Of Great Britain?
By Don Leander
The only mega-churches
in England (and Europe) are now mission-church "plants"
from large African evangelical /charismatic churches! Thousands
of 300+ year old churches are either nearly empty, or increasingly
are now used as pubs, art galleries, town halls, shops, etc. Why
is this? Some background may be helpful.
In 1840 David
Livingstone sailed for Africa to become what many consider
Africa's great missionary and explorer. David was born on March
19, 1813. From childhood he showed unusual love for nature, and
through great perseverance, which always characterized his life,
gained prizes and excelled his mates in many ways. At age ten
he made his own living in the cotton mills while spending his
evenings in night school. Through reading Dick's "Philosophy
of the Future State" he was led to confess Christ. The life
(first modern missionary to Mohammedans) and Charles
Gutslaff (medical missionary to China) fixed his life purpose.
"It is my desire to show my attachment to the cause of
Him Who died for me by devoting my life to His service."
Contact with Robert
Moffat (pioneer missionary to Africa) prompted Livingstone
to offer his services to this needy field. Ordained as a missionary
in Albion Street Chapel, London, on November 8, 1840, David read
121 and 135 at family worship, and then this future missionary
and explorer was walking towards Glasgow on his way to Africa.
He was accompanied by his father to Broomiclaw, where they parted;
never to meet again. (David Livingstone accomplished an enormous
amount of evangelization of the African continent.) http://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/bliving2.html
Another famous missionary from England was Hudson
Taylor who went to China in 1853 and ministered there for
over 50 years. He was a true pioneer missionary. Here's an excerpt:
"During his 51 years of service there, his China Inland
Mission established 20 mission stations, brought 849 missionaries
to the field (968 by 1911), trained some 700 Chinese workers,
raised four million dollars by faith (following Mueller's example),
and developed a witnessing Chinese church of 125,000. It has been
said at least 35,000 were his own converts and that he baptized
some 50,000." http://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/biotaylor2.html
Note this long
list of British missionary pioneers in the 18th and 19th Centuries
(shortened for length):
Brainerd (1718-1747). Missionary to American Indians.
Bunyan (1628-1688). English preacher and writer.
Carey (1761-1834). English Baptist missionary to
Evans (1766-1838). Welsh Baptist preacher.
Henry (1662-1714). English minister and Bible commentator.
Judson (1788-1850). American (of British origin)
Baptist missionary to Burma.
Livingstone (1813-1873). Scottish missionary and
explorer to Africa.
Moffat (1795-1883). Pioneer Scottish missionary to
Müller (1805-1898). English evangelist and philanthropist.
Newton (1725-1807). English hymn writer.
Slessor (1848-1915). Scottish missionary to Africa.
Smith (1860-1947). English evangelist.
H. Spurgeon (1834-1892). English Baptist preacher,
author, and editor.
Studd (1860-1931). English missionary to China, India,
Taylor (1832-1905). English missionary to China.
Tyndale (1494?-1536). English translator of the Bible
Watts (1674-1748). English preacher, poet, and hymn
Wesley (1707-1788). English hymn writer, poet, and
Wesley (1707-1788). Missionary to England and America.
Whitefield (1714 - 1770). Missionary to England and
Wycliffe (d. 1384). English preacher, writer and
What happened to quench this nation's
once powerful, burning faith? Here are some thoughts:
1) This great legacy brought about the establishment of thousands
of churches and many schools of theology all over Great Britain,
which eventually led to 90%+ of British citizens ASSUMING they
had the faith of their nation and family. Slowly the masses assumed
that if you were born British you were naturally a Christian (but
that was only an intellectual understanding). That made it easy
for the subtle deception of "mental assent" (not a heart-felt
faith) to creep in that led many to simply assume they were believers
in Christ, but they had never asked Christ to forgive their sins
and be Lord of their lives. They just had mental agreement, not
a heart-felt faith.
2) As it says of God's Word — as seed sown into others'
lives — in Matthew
13:5-6, "Some seed
fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith
they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when
the sun was hot, they were scorched; and because they had no root,
they withered away." As two very deadly
and destructive World Wars wore out what was left of the "shallow
roots" of the faith in those who were born during the days
of the Welsh Revival, there remained little faith in what undoubtedly
became a massive bitter multitude of British citizens who had
mostly looked to God to "bless England" -- as if God
was just another, more powerful British royalty. They did not
know God as their Father, but as some kind of invisible (and impersonal)
3) Accordingly, those weak or dead in their faith, and those who
only had a mental assent to the tenants of the Christian faith,
had no real vibrant faith to pass on to their children. By the
early 1960's the third and fourth generations of those who "assumed"
their faith begin to throw off what seemed to be the out-dated,
and irrelevant restraints of their parents, since they had no
personal roots in a vibrant relationship with Christ's Spirit,
and thereafter, hedonism, secularism, atheism, Darwinism, and
paganism became the dominant philosophies of Great Britain. That
remains largely the case today. Christians make up less than 3%
of Britain's population, down from what was probably over 90%
of society in the mid-to-late-1800's!
We should all pray that God will raise up intercessors who will
pray for England, and that God will send Britain another Great
Awakening, Wesleyian, and Welsh Revivals! The world badly needs
a second wave of British missionaries with the faith and zeal
of the first wave!
We should also pray that we never follow in the footsteps of those
who failed to, first, have a real vibrant faith and prayer relationship
with Christ, and second, properly disciple their children to pass
on to them that faith! As in the days of Israel under King
David, any nation is in reality, only two generations away
from being a post-Christian society.
Don Leander, CFP, is manager
of "The Sonflowerz" (www.Sonflowerz.com)
and has accompanied this all female modern worship band on three
evangelistic outreach tours in the UK (2003 - 2005).