Want To Buy a Church?

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Leaders define reality. So for those of us passionate about the church in Canada becoming as healthy and vibrant as possible, the article I’ve posted below from The Canadian Press makes for important reading.

It describes the alarming rate at which Canada’s churches are declining and closing their doors. When I read the article I don’t know what stirred up my “holy discontent” more; the “shoulder-shrug” response with which all these church closures were greeted, or the fact that the only sense of “loss” being reported seems to be of Canada’s architectural heritage, not its spiritual foundation.

Of course, this article does not tell the whole story. There are examples from coast-to-coast-to-coast of local churches truly prevailing. But as leaders we can’t stick our heads in the sand. We do need to define reality, and this article simply provides one more perspective that we need to see.

I challenge you to read the article not to cause you to wring your hands with concern, but to generate an ever-increasing resolve among all of us to do whatever it takes to see Canada become more spiritually vibrant than we’ve ever dreamed or imagined.

Want to buy a church? Houses of worship sell for $1 as congregations dwindle


January 15, 2011
Alison Auld, The Canadian Press

HALIFAX – “There’s a lot of churches in this rural area that are empty and a lot of them are up for sale,” said Ted MacDonald, a former parish warden. “It’s a shame but that’s the way it goes … People aren’t attending church anymore.”


the author

Scott Cochrane


  1. Scott:

    Thanks for posting this. It is a sad commentary on the state of religion in Canada. Thankfully, it is not necessarily a commentary on spirituality and the Christian faith.

    There are, as you mention, vibrant, prevailing churches across the country.

    Check out this one, started in 2005 and now doing ministry in a building given to them that the United Church had closed down. It’s a great story about a church in Atlantic Canada that is reaching the young generation in Glace Bay and the surrounding area.



  2. This is s difficult article for a pastor to read, although it is something that any person who looks out at the landscape of our country, maybe even their own neighborhood can see. I think one of the main reasons for this downturn in church attendance has been the prevailing wind of a “personal” relationship with Jesus. Yes, our relationship is intimately personal but nothing in the Bible describes our relationship as exclusive from God’s people. We have got to get back to biblical teaching on what it means when we actually say “YES” to Jesus. We need to call people to account who slam God’s bride when the whine… “I don’t need the church to be a Christian!” REALLY… show me that piece of terrible theology in the word of God and then I will believe you! The church is God’s idea and it we can screw it up all we want and manipulate it in many ways but it is still precious to Him and we better get back to opening our eyes to that Truth!

  3. Thanks Jeff. It’s important to balance these stories with examples of God at work!

  4. Trevor; great insights! It ties in to something someone just said a few minutes ago here at Willow. I’m down in Chicago for some international meetings, where one leader said, “In Pakistan Christians say they will die for the cause of Christ. In North America many won’t attend church more than twice a month for the cause of Christ!”

    Thanks for an important contribution to the conversation.

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