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It was interesting that Dr. Sterling’s paper assumed that decline in numbers was necessarily a bad sign for the church. I am not sure that this is the case. If, for example, church is ceasing to be a place where attendance enhances social prestige and where coffee times are used to broker business deals, then numbers will decline; But it is hard to argue that such a decline is in itself a bad thing. It might actually witness to the fact the relationship between church and society is changing because of the fidelity of the church to her message and mission, not because she is failing in some catastrophic way.