Here we are on our second day and looking at the second question on the survey.
2. This is what we believe: God exists, God desires certain things to be, God has God’s own mission for the world.
What can we imagine God desires to see in the next ten years in the Christian faith communities of our area, and in the society around us?
What will the future hold for our congregation, if the trends we have identified in question #1 continue as they seem to be unfolding? How will things look in 2025?
Yesterday we looked at what is happening around us right now, today. If we don’t know where we are right now we can not try to see where we will be 10 years from now. When we start to think to the future, we need to also remember that God has a purpose for us and has invited us to be part of His mission. We are not just looking at what we want to do, if you leave it all to me, we might have laser light shows during the worship service, this however may be all about me and very little to do with God. God is inviting us to be part of what He is doing and wants to do. Remember that God is the giver of life, is calling us into fullness of life and is preparing us for eternal life.
So as we look at where we are and open ourselves up to what God is doing and wants to do, what will things look like in 10 years. While this is about God’s work, lets look at ourselves, we will all be 10 years older. Some of us will have less hair, or greyer hair. Some people will have retired and possibly moved from where they are now to another residence, and some will have moved to another community. Some people will be very close to 1oo years old, and others will be just starting to have a family. For myself I will have two children that will be out of high school, and one just about to finish. In ten years I may even be a grandparent. Life will be different, we will be different, how we identify ourselves will be different and for some of us we will not be part of this community of faith for various reasons.
So when we move out from ourselves into our community of faith, what will be the same, what will be different, and what will have changed so much that we may not recognize it. The church has gone through change and has survived, we do not need to be afraid of change. Change itself can be a wonderful blessing. Our congregation at one time was two separate congregations but the two congregations were willing to give up what they had to create what we have now. So when we look at the church, who will be sitting beside you in the pew or chair? Who will be on the leadership team? What will the worship service look like? What will the music ministry look like? Will we still be in the same building? Will we be still have the same focus for missions? How will Christian Education look like for all age groups?
We cannot just look at our own ministry, we must look at the community around us and what are some of the trends that are affecting our community. Will there be more or less churches in the community? Will we still be partners in ministry with Gordonville the way we are or will we have a different relationship? What businesses will be in the town? What ministries will still be in the community? What new ministries will be needed to deal with changing needs and demographics? Will we have the commitment to serve in new opportunities for ministry in our changing community?
I realize that this is just talk right now, we cannot predict the future exactly but we can take the information that we have now and start opening ourselves up to where God is leading us instead of being blind to what is happening right now and not being able to move forward with God. One reality that is becoming more and more apparent in Canada and the United States, is that people are coming to church less and less. This isn’t because people don’t like Jesus, it is because people’s lives are changing. There is a busyness, there are multiple commitments whether it is family, work, school, kids, or sports. We need to acknowledge this new reality and move to meet people where they are at and share the joy and love of Jesus, instead of complaining about it. In some cases it is acknowledging this reality and prepare people to be examples of Jesus where they are going and being. We have the opportunity to help people engage people with the life changing grace of Jesus. This is an opportunity, not a failure, not the beginning of the end, it is an opportunity to connect with people and help people to grow. What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment on the board here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Facebook message me or write on the Facebook page.