But Even Though... - In the midst of our despair we must remember... - Published by K Reynolds+

What will the church look like in 10 years? published by
What will the church look like in 10 years? For each generation, what the
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

John B. Abela is the owner of ChristianBlog.Com, a passionate believer in God's Blessings, and a guy who just really loves blogs!
You can find out more about John on his profile page.

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Published: May 09 2008 12:17:46am

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Andrea Lynn (@allforhim)

Amen to Rush and AMEN! I truly have nothing more to add. Blessings! Andrea

Kirk M+ (@blessings2you)

Lest I usurp this brilliant post, let me just say a hearty amen to all that has been written. Until the day comes all involved with church (pastors, congregation, boards and chain of leadership) honestly humble themselves before the Lord and ask HIM for guidance, direction and wisdom; all that is done within the four walls of most buildings is what man in all his wisdom THINKS is cool, sweet, entertaining or so great.

There are some who have succeeded in getting it right, but it only came from the laying down of man's wisdom and the total sacrifice of egos, titles, diplomas and such. The Church INC. has turned that house of prayer into a den of thieves and until someone goes in and overturns the moneychangers tables, nothing will ever change.

Great post and great comments.

Brian Cragin (@psalmthirtyseven)

John, I say amen to your post. It should be noted that there is a movement underway that is breaking with the traditional mainstream churchianity. But this movement is young and still searching for its sea legs. Barna's most recent book called Revolution describes what he has found to be a fundamental change in how more and more believers live out their faith. In a second book with Frank Viola, the two authors go through tradition-by-tradition of the modern church and investigate the history and scriptural backing. But there are other breaks with the current stream that cause, at least me, some concern. Do a search for emergent and church and you may run across some fairly unnerving things. In this time it is not a single unified movement that is occurring though, but more a fanning out in a certain direction. Less organized, more relevant, more action oriented, etc. Where these different flavors of the post-modern generation of Christianity will mature and grow into will be an interesting thing to observe.

Erin Cochran (@throughfaith)

You are right on as voiced by others although I don't think we have to look even ten years from now. For fourteen years I was in one church, with one pastor that entire time. It was unlike any other church I have ever been in. It was truly Spirit led and nothing else. Prayer was the focus. Following the will of the Lord was the program. We had no vision statement, no slogan to unify us. We had the Holy Spirit. Services were blessed. Some days they were long, some days they were short, some days we had a sermon, some days we didn't, some days we never got passed the worship time ... It was truly an amazing experience. When we moved from that town ... our life in church has never been the same. Our pastor would talk about going out into the world to show others what walking in the Holy Spirit looked like. He told us it would be difficult. He told us people wouldn't understand. He told us that the church would reject us. And he was right. But I am grieved by it all ... moved to pray even more for we have found that there is nothing more powerful than prayer. blessings, Erin

Sandy Brooks (@poodlelady)

John it's not just the young people that want change in the church us old folks want that change too or at least this one does. I pray that the church will wake up and repent and return to the "Living Word". I and many others as well long for an "Action" church a church of the "Word" -not a make me feel good church -a make me rich -easy life church.
Super fantastic blog John and I'll add my Amen to it.
Love in Christ

Rhonda Jones (@blackrose65)

Amazing Blog, John. I think that when more churches and more church leaders seek His Face and not notoriety,then we'll see more of that bright light. I also believe that we as believers need to be seeking His Face too. My Bishop has said on numerous occasions that once lit by the Holy Spirit Fire, we should be little torches, setting fires all around us, so that when we do get to church(the gathering of believers... ) it is a great big shining light to to the lost. to quote one of my favorite cartoons... "we have met the enemy, and he is us!" We must be agents of change, willing to live and die for the Word, earnestly praying for that Move of God, and not be quite so dependent on ministry leadership to pray for that move.

Shalini James (@lizinchrist)

Thats right!But I would definitely add that there are true moves of God happening right now in various parts of America.I am from India and have been watching revival meetings in Florida led by Todd Bentley on GOD TV.God is moving in unconventional ways,using unconventional people to show forth His glory.My only prayer is "Lord,let us also be part of this great revival"

Grant Withers (@bimonics)

The true Church ten years from now will still be the same Underground Roman Orthodox Church of today and yesteryear. (Note: i am not talking about Franco-Latin Vaticanism). The parable of the wheat and tares is about Christendom (which according to the World Almanac is 1/3 of the world's population) rather than the world at large, for the tares were sown in the 'kingdom of heaven', in that the 'kingdom of heaven is like...', not 'the world is like...'. These tares have been going to seed for thousands of years and have an appearance of the true Church, which accounts for the 'perilous times' in which we live. As persecution increases in this country; we will, out of necessity, have more clarity. Sincerely, Grant.

Prabhu Kumar (@leopk1880)

amen brother, yes i agree with u for most of the things. and yes church needs to grow in all ways. but today in the name of the growth some other things are been added to church as in the early 1st and 2nd century. we need the power of the Holy Spirit in our church. we need a real life experience of the power of God. we need truth in action,we need love in action and a move of God. but i think (i am not critic) today church needs is restoration. restored with true word for people not just sermon preached for 20-60 min. but the word which is like twin edged sword piercing our hearts convicting, comforting, consoling our hearts. be the armor of God according to ephesians 6:13-17. the comforter is there for us to show that. when we have the word and Spirit of God will help us to see changes in our church even after 100years going in right direction.

Sara Reckling (@oneofhisown)

Amen John! We all need to step up and DO a little more and talk a little less! Sara

Raynard Shellow (@iraqivetsgtret)

first i would like to say thank you john for this blog. it was well timed for me to read thank you for all my brothers and sisters in christ who;s hearts were moved to respond(i read them all thank you for the thing among many i thank god for is something my mother taught me and i remember it to this day. she said it doesnt hurt or cost you anything to be nice to someone. i might add to that or speak to someone. church is what god wants it to be and when it becomes what man wants it to be, then it becomes something to yawn at and check off your"to do or not to do list" be blessed

Christiaan Hile (@thestory)

Brother, It is a somber blog you write in regards to the institutional churches of today's Christianity in America. The institutional church of today cannot be changed from the inside. It hasn't changed in 1800 years. Sure, different Christian denominations have branched off from the Roman Catholic Church, then we had the Reformation and from the Protestants other denominations. This is the Status Que, it cannot be changed. We need to return to the body of Christ as the ecclesia's of the first century was, then and only then can we return her to Christ. When we learn that there is no similarity to how we practice present-day evangelical Christianity as over against the way the church practiced Christianity in Century One, we will have then taken the first step towards seeing the Antioch line of churches again. I do sense the Lord speaking and showing me this as to the many who have attested above, we are starting to see a movement within Christianity and Christ as the head is leading His Body back to the ecclesia of His Word. Like sister Sara said above: "We all need to step up and DO a little more and talk a little less!" Amen! The rebirth of Christ's ecclesia has begun. Verify and discover brothers and sisters. God bless. Brother in Christ, Christiaan

Christopher Quek (@arisensleeper)

Dear brother abelajohnb, Where will the Church be in 10 years? Truly I do not know. I feel much of the same frustrations and even indignation as you yet I would offer the following scenarios: It depends on which church are you talking about. 1. If we are speaking of the institutional church, the ones listed in our Yellow Pages and Google Search, if the Lord's day has not come, oh I am sure it will be around. They will still be fighting over the kinds of music that they find most pleasing and probably wishing for the good old days of hip hop and rap when they sang real worship hymns as opposed to whatever new stuff comes along 10 years from now. They would be concerned about holographic projections and the newest in sensory sound systems. They would probably be still involved in some program or other and they would be dreaming up new theologies. The only thing I think they would not be doing is preaching from the Word because after they got rid of the Old testament and had to read the New Testament, they got rid of it too. Horrors of horrors they found out that the New Testament also talked about judgment, and punishment, and lampstands, and spewing out of the mouth. No No No that would not do, they needed a kinder gentle more pliable God. One that they can accept. One we can take home to meet the parents. 2. If we are talking about the Body of Christ, the true Church of God, if the Lord has not yet come ... and I really do not know when that would be, because the Word tells me that that day will come like a thief in the night and no man knows not even the Son. I really hope it is in the next 10 years because I would still be around but I would not venture to proclaim or guess. All that is important is that one day it will come. It may be tomorrow or in a thousand years, it does not matter does it? It will not change how I should be living for Him daily till the day of His return. Nevertheless, I digress, but in 10 years the true Church may no longer be found in the Yellow Pages of Google Search. It might be illegal to speak of God and Christ, it may be illegal to own a Bible. But it will still be around because my Lord said that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. It may have gone underground but it will continue sharing the Gospel, disciplining, reaching out, serving. I know because the history of the persecuted Church bears witness. In those days no Christ follower will be waiting for a repackaging of the Gospel, they will want to hear the old old story. They will want Truth. They will want leaders who will be unashamed of the Gospel. They will want to hear God's immutable Word preached. They will sing and worship, perhaps not as loudly, but they will sing and their worship will be more powerful in spite of its relative lack of volume because it would be from a true heart seeking God. 3. If we are talking about the Church that could be if we wake up ... if we realize that we are the Church, us, individually, then perhaps neither option one or two above would happen. If we were to return to our churches and make a difference, teach, disciple, demand change. IF ... ... Thanks brother abelajohnb for your reminder and thanks to all my brothers and sisters in Christ who have responded. There are obviously some who want to see option 3 and by it I am encouraged. Blessings Arisen

Billy Beard (@billyb)

John, interesting topic as evidenced by the replies and views, great question. You made reference to China in your blog, I personally think perhaps the best answer is found in that reference. I have a dvd that talks about China, and how christians are meeting and how God is moving there. The material was made in the secret places they meet. The missionary said he went to preach in a house, it was so full that he stood against a wall and yet could reach out in front of him and touch the one in front of him. There was no air-conditioned place to meet, the temperature was 115 degrees F. No bathroom or kitchen big enough to use comfortably. They met for 12 hours in those conditions, not on Sunday morning only, or a couple of nights through the week and called revival. They met every day and every day under the same conditions. In other words, they are thirsting for that living water, hungry for the living bread, giving all for that thirst and hunger in their soul. Where the church as you spoke of will be in ten years i think depends on our same hunger and thirst here in the U.S. We are the most blessed, and yet the most unhappy, and place the blame on everything but the cause most of the time. When we are so hungry and thirsty that filling those spiritual needs is all we want, we will be filled, Jesus promised that. It starts with each of us who serve Him. Thanks for this site, this is truly a blessing to all christians. I will be urging all my christian friends and family to join. God Bless and keep you Brother.

Anita Sorensen (@2gvhmpraz)

Glad this came back around! We sure need to be reminded OFTEN! It is truly a grave concern. Is there not one?

Marjorie Albertson (@marjorie)

Too true. What I like best about this whole site is so many warm-hearted Christians from so many backgrounds, ages, sexes, etc., working together! -from Marjorie

Senthil Kumar (@asenthil123)

As I was clicking random blog, I came to view this blog. I am overawed by the fervent content of the blog. Amazing blog. Yea! All of us yearn such revival in ourselves and the church. As the days of His coming is near, I hope Lord will be merciful on us, revive us and sanctify the Church (the Bride of Christ)

Joanne Douglas+ (@jdjames)

Amen, John. Bible in a box is not for me. A dynamic church, yes I'll visit, a home fellowship that doesn't just focus on the cookies but the fruit, I'm there. Do signs miracles and wonders follow? Yes! then that's where I want to be.

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