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The Church of Tomorrow (Steve Higginbotham)

The Church Tomorrow
(Luke 18:8)

Introduction

  • Jesus once asked the question “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
  • As I begin this lesson, I feel obligated to say that I am no prophet, nor the son of a prophet, as Amos once said to Amaziah (Amos 7:14).
  • The best I can do as I attempt to look into the future is to speculate based on history, trends, and human behavior.

What I know

  • The church of Jesus Christ will never go away (Daniel 2:44).
  • The church in America is going through some hard times.
  • “Seeking True Unity” –2006
  • We lost 8500 buildings and retained 2600.
  • We lost 90% of our members –1.3 million to 159,000.
  • 1861 –Benjamin Franklin estimated that out of the 10,000 congregations that existed, less than 50 were using instruments.
  • Today, we find ourselves in very similar territory.
  • When we wrote that book in 2006, there weren’t more than 20 or 25 congregations using instruments…What will happen in another 30 years?

What I Foresee

  • These are just my predictions based largely upon what I have experienced and observed.
  • I foresee that we may be replicating what happened 150 years ago.
  • However, the good news is that the church is resilient.

What Can We Do?

  • Integrate.
  • (Titus 2:1-6)
  • The church is a body and must function together, in concert with each member.
  • Indoctrinate.
  • We must dust off some old sermons and teach the necessity of authority and how to establish authority.
  • (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 4:6).
  • Indulge.
  • We must resist the urge to codify our preferences.
  • (Matthew 15:8-9).
  • We must tolerate, and even embrace differences in matters of expediency.

Conclusion

  • As with any generation of the church…if we do nothing, the next generation will suffer.
  • The future of the church is bright! After all, the future of the church is heaven (Ephesians 5:23).
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