The Future of the Church? A Second Thought
Last week, I wrote to you about the common phrase we say in church about the kids and youth: "They are the future of our church." I questioned whether they are merely the future or just as much a part of the present as of the future. Since then, I've been thinking about who exactly is the future of the church. First, I thought of everyone will be at church this next Sunday and the following Sunday and the Sunday after that. Those of us who are here now and will be tomorrow are a part of the present and the future. I then thought about those who may not be here in the coming years because of moving to another place or inheriting the promise of the Resurrection. Even we who will not be here in a few years' time are a part of the future because the groundwork we are laying now and because of the gifts we give that may not be used until after we are gone.
Then I thought about another group of people who make up the future of our church: those who are not here yet. They are the folks in our community who are not a part of our present but may be a part of our future, if only we invite them to come and see the wonders of God and we welcome them with open arms into our church. The future of our church lies as much in those that we invite and welcome here as it does in those of us who are already here. When you walk through your neighborhood, when you go to a Little League game, when you shop at the grocery store, when you pass cars on the road on the way to church on Sunday morning, you are seeing the future of the church. What kind of future we have here at Port Church depends on how we invite and welcome them here. The future of the church depends on how we live out the call make disciples of Jesus Christ as we go through our lives. May we have the fire to say to the future of our church: "Come and see. Come and see that the Lord is good!"
Blessings on the journey,
Living in Community
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