In response to the numerical data in the current Christian Chronicle, John Knox, preaching minister, of Granbury, Texas, said: I am fundamentally optimistic about the state of the church for several reasons. There is significant evidence to indicate that congregations across the nation are committed to serving their respective cities, particularly in times of crisis. Consider the ministry churches provided in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. Congregations in the South made a notable difference in the wake of hurricanes in recent years. Most importantly churches are serving their communities in the Spirit of Christ in unprecedented ways on a daily basis. Churches of Christ have not always been known for being community oriented. In some cases, we have been labeled as isolationists. That is no longer the case as a general rule. That is a very positive sign of health and vibrancy. In the congregation I serve, the younger generation with small children is exemplary in their commitment to God, and to raising their children with biblical values. I fall into the category of being one of the infamous Baby Boomers. I think the level of dedication and concern for the church in this younger group far exceeds my own generation. God must have good plans for the church in the near future! There is an increasing awareness of the need to be missional in a post-Christian culture. I continue to marvel at the foreign mission commitment of the Greatest Generation in the years following World War II. The upcoming generation will reflect similar dedication in serving a mission field that is literally at our back door."

I tend to agree with him. There are definitely some extremely sad stories out there. But, I also see churches working together in unprecidented ways. What do you think?