Mark McCrindle addresses Synod meeting

Mark McCrindle addresses Synod meeting

Researcher Mark McCrindle addressed the second day of the 2023 Synod meeting.  

In a wide-ranging keynote address, he walked attendees through a wide range of his organisation’s research.

Australia, he said, has changed. While there were some challenges that came with this shift, Mr McCrindle said there were opportunities for the church.

One of the key areas was recent census data.

COVID-19, he said, had led to a range of societal changes.

“For two years, we had more people leave our shores than come in,” he said.

In more recent times, as borders opened, Australia saw a record intake of new migrants, a trend Mr McCrindle believes gives churches new opportunities.

“We’re going to blow past what we had in 2008, when we had 2.8 percent growth,” Mr McCrindle said.

The last 12 months, he said, had seen unprecedented population growth.

“So amidst the changing, shifting sands, hopefully that bedrock of truth gives us that stability amidst the waves of transformation,” he said.

“Demographics are shifting, our nation is changing and understanding that is key. We’re in a time of significant population growth now. This is the population growth rate over the last few decades.”

“The nations are coming to us. There are countries where we can’t go to minister….but countries are coming to us.”

“The pandemic has caused a pause in our priorities…”

Mr McCrindle observed that the number of Australians who identify as Christian has dropped and there is a clear trendline. However, he said NCLS data showed that the number of churchgoers as a portion of the population had remained largely the same.

“Don’t think we’re in…secular times (where people are no longer interested in Christianity).

Some of McCrindle’s recent work explores Generation Alpha, born in 2010, who are about a quarter of the population.

He said the data pointed to, “A new generation that has not rejected Christianity, because they don’t even know what it is.”

Mr McCrindle added that his research also showed that people were still open to hearing from Christians.

According to one survey, 90 percent of Australians said people should be able to share their faith, even if it didn’t agree with mainstream perspectives.

Mr McCrindle recommended churches remain real, responsive, and relational. This, he said, came at a time when churches played an important function.

“We have a mental health challenge, an isolation challenge,” Mr McCrindle said.

Mark McCrindle is a best-selling author, social commentator, TEDx speaker, and the Principal of McCrindle Research.  


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