Ever wonder “Where will things be in ten years?” I abide by the wisdom that our greatest mistake is to overestimate what can happen in the long run (ten years say) and to underestimate what change can happen in the short haul (five years).
With that in mind, let me take a shot at what I see coming around the corner in several areas in the Church scene in the next decade in several important areas that make up the spiritual “umph.” I am basing this not on what I see happening right now, but on what I sense is the convergence of what God has obviously been up to over the past several decades. Rivers tend to flow, not zig zag. His progress is referred to as a river continually in the scriptures. That direction seems to point to the following.
From Complexity to Simplification
Simple does not mean nixing the message one bit. Peter apparently thought there was great power in the Early Church in believers sharing their Jesus Story – “be ready to give an account of the hope the lies within you…” If it is possible to be overtrained and to try too hard to be effective, we have gone that distance in many cases. We have undermined the profound power that is present in conveying to others how Jesus has changed our lives as Peter directs us.
Keep in mind, for the first 3.5 centuries when the Church’s effectiveness was at an all-time high they had no access to the printed scriptures. What they did have was an unstoppable passion and a conviction that people mattered big time – and they were armed with their life-changing story they were not one bit afraid to share once they had gained the right to convey that story.