Mission Research

This section contains information on research with a mission focus.

The Invisible Church

The Invisible ChurchLearning from the experiences of churchless Christians.

Are you concerned for the health of the Church... discouraged by the decline of many congregations... a Christian, but not a church-goer? If your answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then this book is for you.

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Faith journeys beyond the congregations

This is a summary of insights gleaned from research in the Highlands and Islands among people who are committed Christians but not engaged in a church congregation.

Declining? … or changing?

The church is declining.  Or is it?  Certainly attendance at services is declining.  Research from other places suggest that this decline sometimes masks more profound changes that are going on within the Christian community.  Steve Aisthorpe introduces research being undertaken in the Highlands and Islands.  This is an article that appeared in Life and Work in February 2013.


Christians who do not go to church

The fastest growing sector of the Christian community comprises those who are not part of a traditional congregation, writes Steve Aisthorpe - but the experiences of "churchless Christians" remain largely unknown.  Steve Aisthorpe investigates a paradigm shift in Christian community.  This is an article that appeared in The Baptist Times in June 2013.

Churchless Faith

Could it be that the largest and fastest growing part of the Christian community remains largely hidden, unknown or misunderstood?  Steve Aisthorpe that huge changes within the Church are going largely unnoticed.  This is an article that appeared in Country Way in June 2013.

Churchless Christians

One hundred and seventy eight million is a lot of people.  It is an estimate of “churchless Christians” worldwide: Christians who are not engaged with a congregation.  Steve Aisthorpe explores this global trend and its expression in Scotland.  This is an article that appeared in Life and Work in August 2013.

Investigating the invisible church

This is a summary of an extensive survey carried out among Christians in the Highlands and Islands who are not members of a church congregation.

A Survey of Christians in the Highlands & Islands who are not part of a Church Congregation

This is an un-refereed (ie before peer-review – sometimes called a pre-print) version of an article that was accepted for the journal 'Rural Theology' (Vol 12 No 2, November 2014, 83–95).  It contains more comprehensive data than the previous summary reports and is written in a more academic style.  It will be helpful for those who have read the previous reports and require more detail.