The Future of Church

July 31, 2009 by

Today I stumbled across a Collide magazine article from last month that pondered the future of the church in 2034. It’s a lengthy piece that imagines what church may be like in 25 years (no judgments on good or bad, just predictions). Don’t forget to check out the predictions of four bloggers as well.

Considering yesterday’s post about the role of technology and the resulting comment storm (43 and counting!), perhaps it’s a good idea to consider the future. Many folks slammed Brad’s take on the Echo Conference as too pointed, too hypocritical, too [insert your adjective here]. You can read Brad’s initial response in the comments here. Whether you think Brad has a point, is misguided or is just dead wrong, I think the basic idea of his post–we need to focus on Jesus–is vital (can a brother get a ‘duh’?).

As much as I love technology, most of my knowledge of Twitter, Facebook and all the rest will seem antiquated come 2034. Hopefully technology will allow us to address deeper, longer-lasting questions than whether or not you should follow everyone who follows you on Twitter. But for all my time spent with technology in 2009, I’m thinking it’s the time spent with Jesus (or not) that will make more of a difference in 25 years.

Perhaps that’s a no-brainer reminder. But it’s worth keeping in mind as we consider these predictions for the future of the church. Where will technology, marketing and communications take us in 25 years? Much like Shane Hipps’ Flickering Pixels reminds us, I think we need to be aware how each of these methodologies shapes us. In the end it’s all about Jesus, but as we dive into each of these methodologies (whether it’s technology or marketing in general) we need to be sure Jesus is always the primary focus. It’s not the like the church has a perfect track record (crusades, inquisition, slavery, holocaust, segregation, genocide, etc. have all happened on the church’s watch) and couldn’t use a reminder from time to time.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the much-needed third reboot of the Star Trek, Batman and Harry Potter franchises that will surely come in 2034.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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5 Responses to “The Future of Church”

  • Jim
    July 31, 2009

    I’ll be 65 years old in 2034. My oldest son-39. My prayer is that we will have found and be applying biblically-guided technology. It’s an old idea…teach/create/lead from Scripture and let Scripture speak for itself, not what we want it to say.

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  • proctor
    July 31, 2009

    i thought COLLIDE’s article was intriguing and gets you thinking. I think it’s important to be aware of the ever-swinging pendulum in our culture and in our Church-culture.
    however, i think everyone would agree that deep down, we all probably suspect that the future of the Church is something vastly different than any of us can expect.
    I believe that the glory/blessing of the Lord that has been on this nation for years is leaving (or may have already left). I believe there is a fresh wave of His Spirit in Asia, and it’s exciting.
    Even tonight at the conference i’m VJ-ing, Kay Arthur shared how we are like Ichabod…the glory of God is gone.
    it’s a deep discussion, i know, and not one i’m volunteering to lead. but it’s what i think is we’re in the midst of right now.
    as for yesterday’s blog post…there are enough comments and opinions going around, so why put one more up. other than i was at ECHO and it was seriously one of the best conferences i’ve been to. Im all about Jesus and i think everyone else is too (especially Rob, Jeff, Scott & the guys at RT/Echo).
    I’m all about refining my craft as a visual artist and storyteller…b/c i want to proclaim the story of God as clearly and culturally loud as possible. And Echo did a great job at doing that, and even a better job at kicking my butt with the fact that God cares way more about my relationship with Him than any dream or big new idea i’ve got that might build His Kingdom.

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  • Ardy
    August 2, 2009

    Well I just pray that people will not cling to the fast changing pace of this world. Technology is good for it makes our lives easier but putting technology on the top of our priorities will definitely create a big trouble on our end. If people know how to use state of the art facilities, gadgets and equipments then its an undeniably advantage for them, however if they will use it for plain money gain or fame booster then I can safely say those things will be just vain. Remember that what matters here on Earth are things that are not visible to the eye…things that we hope for…things the a money cant buy. God bless you!

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  • Dan Smith
    August 2, 2009

    I’m hopeful that as we get better at technology, such as social networking, etc, that we’ll be even better at connecting with each other than ever before. I think there was a span of time in the ’90s when everyone forgot how to talk to each other. Suddenly there were no notepads and pens and yet people didn’t know what to do with email either.
    I think we’re starting to get things back on track now and in fact, I use technology often to simply connect with a brother or two. Hopefully by 2034 we’ll be even better at it.

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  • Los
    August 3, 2009

    Definitely a “duh”
    Everything we do must begin with Jesus.
    And the church in 207364792?
    I think it will have a generation in love with it, and another sick of it.
    Good words man.

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