What will the church look like in 10 years?
For each generation, what the church is today is no good.
For my generation, "organized religion" is becoming more and more undesirable, and this can surely only increase for each generation after mine. As the world continues to spiral faster and faster, organized religion is doomed greater and greater without a major intervention, and thus the church itself.
Personally, I am tired of Programs.
I don't want any more new theologies.
I don't want to be preached at with sermons that were barely relevant 30 or 100 years ago.
I don't want the same old things rewrapped in a new package.
Surely somebody, some pastor somewhere, can find something of value with the Great Book, and find a way to make it relevant to me, one would think?
As for the generations following me, it will only get worse.
They will want a real life experience of the power of God.
They will want truth in action, not truth in teachings.
They will want love in action, not love in sermons.
They will want a move of God, not just a 'move of God' talked about.
They will want the Bible spoken, taught, and lived out - and in a way that the church hasn't seen for hundreds of year, and likely never here in America.
They church of America in the present generation, and more so in the ones to come, are going to want a passion, a truth, a burning desire - like what we see in China, South America and South Korea right now!
The 'Church of America' has become little more then an 'upper blue-collar/white-collar' "Sunday Thing" that is expected of people to be done.
It is no longer a living entity that many people have a burning passion to be a part of.
It has lost its power for the sake of properness.
The church of today would rather have its T crossed and its I dotted then worry about what's happening out-side of their own doors!
Of course I am not talking about EVERY church, there are the exceptions.
Too many churches say, "Were doing our part to reach this town/community".
But too many of those churches cannot even work together (with other churches)
to even put together a basic plan to reach their community.
As for the people on the streets... that is what they see.
They are not so blind as to not see what we ourselves are blinded of.
The church, in a way, has had too much "in-breeding". In an age where "church growth" is not "true growth" but "transfer growth", what else can we call it?
Until the people IN the church see what the people OUTSIDE the church already see, the people OUTSIDE the church are simply not going to set foot INSIDE the church!
So, what will the church be like in the next 10+ years?
That my dear friends, is the question of this century, being asked within the walls of but a few churches who truly desire to break out of the shell and into freedom.
Will the church 'wake up'?
Will they put aside their petty problems for the problems of those outside the church?
Will they ever find that, presently, the four walls of a church are a bigger hindrance then they are a beacon of light?
I am convinced the church can get better, but only when the people decide to make it better.
God has chosen it to be this way long before our time. Forget not that God gave even Sodom and Gomorrah a chance to get right.
God also gave the keepers of Solomon's and David's temple a chance to clean things up.
And God went so far as to even gave the Pharisees of Christ's time a chance to get things right.
Throughout history, God has given men the chance to get and keep His temples (churches)
clean and running in the ways He set before them.
And yet, throughout history, very few have failed to take the oppertunity God has given them.
Throughout history we have seen them all fall to the ground: Sodom and Gomorrah, Solomon's & David's temple, and the Pharisees.
If the church of today does not have, cannot find, and fails to generate a passion and a desire to get things right with God, to clean out their temples, to put "GOD BACK INTO CHURCHES"... then the church of the next generation truly will be an "organized religion" like so many people say will happen, and... they will be empty.
But that is not what my God says is His desire!
He says the church of the next generation will be a light to a shinning world, a generation of young men prophesying, and old men dreaming dreams, and of a church that seeks first His Kingdom. A church that sees the King, the kingdom, and the PEOPLE. For what truly is a kingdom, if not the people themselves? The church must see the kingdom that is 'thy kingdom come, thy will be done'...'on earth'.
Ask yourself, your pastors, your fellow Christians, are you relevant or recent? The church does not need more "recent programs" being done by others. What it needs is a relevant Christianity! We all must stay and walk within our gifting from God in order for us us to achieve the success that God has for our church, for this generation, for those coming after us. But staying in our gifting means we first have to find our gifting, and then make it relevant to those around us! I would stop being who I am if I stopped exploring these and new environments - for a true calling of God is too powerful of a call to not keep it alive by all means necessary!
You ask me what the church will be like in 10 years, and I will say it will depend on one thing -- and that one thing is the result (or lack thereof)
of a single passage of scripture. A passage of Scripture that I feel must become a greater part of the church, for without it the church will simply stay it has for the last 500 years...
"My house shall be called a house of prayer." - Matthew 21:13
When His house is truly a house of prayer, then and only then, will His Church be ready to go Home!
Blessings to all of my dear friends out there!
John B. Abela