Does the future intimidate or scare you? I found myself in a group of pastors a while back discussing what the future looks like. Ford has already put a stake in the ground saying that in just a few years they will produce a driverless car. Computers as we know them will give way to a virtual image and a chip that we once knew as a hard drive that most likely will be imbedded or attached to our body. Imagine a future where you yourself will be your device.
Imagine what the Church will look like say, in 25 years? Will there be a need for buildings or will it all be delivered, shared, and experienced in some new and creative ways? Regardless of whether you are streaming worship or installing a new pipe organ, there is one thing that will not change for the local faith community we know as the local church.
The mission remains the same and is forever consistent, “Making disciples of Jesus Christ.” Not only has that mission withstood the test of time and empires, the means by which that mission is accomplished has stood the test of time as well.
Effective missional living for Christians occurs in being disciples of Jesus who are making disciples of Jesus. It is for that reason we build buildings, stream worship, install pipe organs, create and execute strategy, and refine process. If the 2 billion or so Christians in the world today understood the mission and their target of effectiveness in passionately discipling just their own family, then it wouldn’t take long for the world to know Christ.
So how do we live like that in a world thirsty for relevance? We understand and apply what Jesus taught us about making disciples of Christ as we follow Him. Five simple dynamics help us stay focused and on point in hitting the target as we follow Christ. In simplicity, disciple-making is: 1) Biblical, 2) Relational, 3) Applicable, 4) Accountable and 5) Replicable. Jesus spent his entire earthly ministry teaching those 5 principles to the original 12 and it seems to have worked pretty well for those who invested themselves in Christ and His way as a priority.
Envisioning a future without God would no doubt scare anyone! But that is not the future that Christ, who is always present and Lord of all, calls us to consider. Ours is a future with and in Him. In a world of competing priorities, I pray simply that there would be a revival of simplicity: following Jesus in being a disciple of Jesus Christ who is making disciples of Jesus Christ looking forward with hope. Lord, let it become so for us!