Future Church is going to look a lot different than Present Church and that’s a good thing.
Partisan politics dividing the church
Young adults leaving church in record numbers.
Commitment level (even among the most devout) at an all-time low.
Bi-vocational ministers (like the early church*)
More house churches (like the early church*)
Less reliance on money and buildings (like the early church*)
Less politics, more Jesus (like the early church*)
An all-in, whatever-it-takes mentality of the faithful (like the early church*)
Present Church has taught Future Church what NOT to do. Present Church has gotten off track in our Americanized version of Christianity. Our voice is being convoluted by things that are not the Gospel. There’s too much carnality within our ranks. We are too political. We have too much angst and not enough Jesus. We are quick to point out the slivers in other’s eyes, while winking at the log in our own. Hypocrisy is rampant. It’s no wonder our young people are saying, “if that’s the church, thanks but no thanks.”
The Church was Jesus’ idea. He builds it, not us. If Present Church has failed Him (the previous paragraph implies that we have), then Jesus will raise up a new generation with new methods to proclaim His never changing message of hope. A new generation will look at what our efforts have gotten us (low numbers, feeble faith, anemic commitment and fearful and silent leaders) and determine that they will not be like us. They will have learned from our silence in the face of sin and our boisterous condemnations of those not like us. The next generation will not make the same mistakes.
How can I be so sure? Jesus! Jesus is the head! Jesus is our Teacher. Jesus is our strength. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (Colossians 1:17-19). Jesus will overcome! If death could not defeat Him, then neither will our generation’s watered down, powerless, politicized, teetering, non-Biblical ways. I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. –Jesus (in Matthew 16:18).
*The Early Church had its troubles. Future Church will too. Our Enemy was, is and will be on the prowl. But Future Church like the Early Church will rely on Jesus more, because Jesus is all they will have and that will be enough.