It’s a simple question – what are we, as a church body, prepared for? What are we perfectly positions for? The past, present, the future?
Is the church, is your church, all set and ready to go for some past decade – as if the height of Christendom is going to return any time now?
Is the church, your church, ready for right now and all the challenges that it will face? You really can’t answer yes honestly unless you had some foresight in the past. Otherwise, you’re kidding yourself.
That leaves the future. Is the church, your church, ready for 5, 10, 20, 50 years from now? Pick a time frame. Is the church, your church, prepared for the future?
You may be wondering, where is God in all of this? I would say that God is standing at the end of time and pulling us toward where God is into a loving embrace. How are we responding?
God calls our congregations to be different things at different times – we aren’t static as a community. Just the mere fact that there are funerals and baptisms means the community will change over time – let alone people who come and go.
How is God calling your congregation to move into the future? Are you looking at trends – who’s moving into the neighborhood? What developments are coming? What’s the demographics of the area? What kind of employment is there in the area?
When you start to look at the trends, your eyes open to new possibilities. You start to see how God is calling the congregation to be Christ’s presence in the community.
We aren’t called to live in the past. We are called to honor traditions though. And then make new ones for the current generation. Just as future generations will do.
We are called to live in the present, with an eye towards the future. And a rear view mirror to see the past. The past shows us where we have been and how we got to where we are today. The future gives us a direction we are heading. And the present is where we always reside.