Ministry Partners,

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.


Dale Leander

What 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 of Henry Martyn (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 Psalms 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.)

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."

Note this long list of British missionary pioneers in the 18th and 19th Centuries (shortened for length):

David Brainerd (1718-1747). Missionary to American Indians.
John Bunyan (1628-1688). English preacher and writer.
William Carey (1761-1834). English Baptist missionary to India.
Christmas Evans (1766-1838). Welsh Baptist preacher.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714). English minister and Bible commentator.
Adoniram Judson (1788-1850). American (of British origin) Baptist missionary to Burma.
David Livingstone (1813-1873). Scottish missionary and explorer to Africa.
Robert Moffat (1795-1883). Pioneer Scottish missionary to South Africa.
George Müller (1805-1898). English evangelist and philanthropist.
John Newton (1725-1807). English hymn writer.
Mary Slessor (1848-1915). Scottish missionary to Africa.
Gipsy Smith (1860-1947). English evangelist.
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892). English Baptist preacher, author, and editor.
C.T. Studd (1860-1931). English missionary to China, India, and Africa.
Hudson Taylor (1832-1905). English missionary to China.
William Tyndale (1494?-1536). English translator of the Bible and Reformer.
Isaac Watts (1674-1748). English preacher, poet, and hymn writer.
Charles Wesley (1707-1788). English hymn writer, poet, and preacher.
John Wesley (1707-1788). Missionary to England and America.
George Whitefield (1714 - 1770). Missionary to England and America.
John Wycliffe (d. 1384). English preacher, writer and Bible translator.

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) King.

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" ( and has accompanied this all female modern worship band on three evangelistic outreach tours in the UK (2003 - 2005).


FINANCIAL PARTNERSHIP: You can help us continue ministering and making many of our resources available without charge by sending a monthly or one time offering to: Words of Life, P.O. Box 701045, Tulsa, OK, 74170. To give by credit card, you may call and leave a secure message at 1(800) GET-WORD. To order ministry materials or give by credit card, you can also visit our web site,

REPRODUCTION AGREEMENT: Paper duplication or electronic forwarding of this teaching is permitted for non-commercial purposes provided that the complete message and contact information for Words of Life is included. Thank you. Copyright 2002 - 2006, Dale W. Leander.

TO SUBSCRIBE OR UNSUBSCRIBE: Just email us and tell us your preference.