As a preacher, I am thinking about the Church all the time. I work at the Church building 5-6 days a week. I will preach 49 times this year. I am here for youth group and numerous other meetings. If you were to ask my wife, she will tell you that I think about Church and my ministry a great deal even when I am away from the office. I talk to Christians and some non-Christians about faith. I keep notes on what I am thinking and what I am seeing.
Here are a five of my current thoughts on Church.
1. Bible resources are high, Bible knowledge is low.
Honestly, I am not completely sure what is going on. People have Bibles on their phones and resources that past generations would have never dreamed about. There is great preaching on the web along with some wonderful Bible study tools. And yet, most people I meet have little Bible knowledge. They don’t know the stories or the point of the stories. There is a huge disconnect between the amount of tools and the amount of knowledge we are getting from them.
2. Time Management is more important today than financial management.
I see this in the Church along with every other area of life. Money is no longer as valuable as time. People will gladly give their money to a project long before they will give you a single minute. Time is a resource that must be managed to be used effectively.
3. Christian parents need Godly guidance.
I fear we are raising a generation that is selfish and confused at the same time. Christian parents are striving to be good parents and in the process, they give their children everything. Unfortunately many are neglecting the most important things in life while exalting the temporary. Sports and success are the idols used to deceive a new generation.
4. A one-time good work is quickly becoming a replacement for discipleship.
People would rather spend one Saturday month doing some project like working at a homeless shelter or food pantry or meals on wheels than time in Bible study or prayer. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in people serving and doing good works. I simply do not believe that those are the only part of living a righteous life. In fact, we can quickly shift to a works related salvation that has very little to do with the grace of Jesus. True believers will develop into a Christlikeness through all that they do.
5. Strong, real relationships are second only to Jesus.
Our first priority is a saving relationship with Jesus. Our second is to connect people to other people. With the rise of electronic devices, there has been a steady decline in relationships. Combine that with poor time management and overactive parenting and most people are very lonely. One of the biggest issues for the Church of the future is how to get people connected into deep meaningful relationships. In fact, I believe many people will develop a great relationship with Jesus but struggle with other people because of limited to no social skills with other believers.
These are five of the biggest issues that I see facing the Church today. Would you add anything to my list? I know that some of these will change in the very near future, but some will only increase in the future. I spend a lot of time thinking, reading and praying about these issues. I don’t have a lot of answers yet, but I am asking God to guide his people through these into a better future. I hope you will join me.