The Best Is Yet To Come

future.jpgI wish that I could stand on tiptoe and see into the future.  

I can’t do this, but I don’t mind telling you what I think I would see.  If I could look into the future and see the future of the church, I think I would see that the best is yet to come.  No, I’m not referring to the end-times.  Rather, I am talking about the existence and ministry of the church on the earth, embodying the presence of Christ.

I have been a Christian for a number of years.  I have been a minister for several decades.  I have seen trends, fads, dog and pony shows, etc.  I have also seen church quarrels, church splits, immature and sinful church leaders, etc.  Yet, in spite of these realities, I am so encouraged.  I am delighted to be alive in 2009.

Today, I continue to follow Christ, and serve as a minister in a church, with an optimistic spirit regarding the future.  I know that many people long ago gave up on the church.  I am not writing these lines to argue or defend.  Yes, I have discouraging days and difficult seasons.  I have seen much that is disappointing and even discouraging.  Yet, I can honestly say that I see more that encourages me than discourages me.

When I think about the future, I don’t mean to leave the impression that the church will not struggle or even suffer.  Nor do I mean that the future church will not have problems — even serious problems at times.  Yet, I do not take the view that the best years are behind us.  (I am not speaking of a specific group of people or a particular denomination.)  Rather, I am simply voicing my confidence in the work of God’s Spirit through the living Jesus who dwells in his people.

Specifically:

  • I am thinking of a people who take Jesus seriously and whose lives are being changed by him. 
  • I am thinking of a people who have a kingdom vision and a passion for that vision. 
  • I am thinking of a people who value the church whether they meet as a small group of five in a home or as a large group of five thousand in a rented facility. 
  • I am thinking of a people who live obedient to Jesus and who are serious about holy living. 
  • I am thinking of a people whose gracious demeanor allows others to experience authentic Christian community. 
  • I am thinking of a people who have a world vision and who care about the world.  This world vision begins one person at a time. 

 

What do you see that encourages you?  What do you see in your own church or in another church that causes you to feel encouraged about the future?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

12 thoughts on “The Best Is Yet To Come

  1. Vey well said, Jim. Amen! Encouragement comes to me from seeing a younger set determining to belong to Christ even though our culture becomes more and more indifferent, or even resistant, Christ. It isn’t nearly so "easy" for them to be His as it was for me, yet they stay with Him. I’m encouraged by seeing the servant-like ways of this younger set of Christians. They refuse to be content with merely talking about matters of faith or trying to debate it with others who already believe. Their faith has works. I’m encouraged to see the next generation of believers becoming increasingly interested in interfacing with the great "out there," taking their faith outside the walls of the church building. They deliberately encounter and interact with those yet to believe far more often than many in times past.I say none of this in detraction of the walk of preceding generations, but only with joy with, and admiration for, the way I see many in the next generation taking the faith of Christ into places we simply did not go and and into the lives of people with whom we didn’t try to connect. Praise God for his patience with us and the continuing work of his Spirit in his people. As you said: "The best is yet to come!"

  2. I see Christians outside of the U.S. who are serious about expanding the borders of God’s kingdom. I see many here and abroad that are willing to wrestle with the realities of God’s Word, no matter the personal cost. I see a growing awareness that churchianity is no substitute for Christianity.Grace and peace,Tim Archer 

  3. Jim,
    I am excited that God is not going to allow the church to languish in a slow death.  I think the Spirit is being released in churches and a new wind is beginning to blow.  People are searching for a relevant, loving God in numbers like never before.  That is why they are leaving established denominations and looking for authentic Christian fellowships or looking for cell/home churches.  That is exciting…people’s desire for Jesus and their search for something more will bring fresh changes to church…if we are willing to get into the flow of the Spirit.  And I am excited see elderships and ministers listening and being willing to go down a different path.
    I think you are spot-on.  Thanks for posting.  By the way, Crestview made a huge difference in my church in Paonia CO.

  4. Thanks very much for this Dusty.  You express some of my own thinking and feelings very well.  This is a great time to be alive. (Thanks for your kind remark about Crestview.  I have heard some many good things about those Paonia trips of the past.  Those were important moments for so many people here)

  5. Hi David–Wonderful observations.  I like what you are saying about a younger generation.  Isn’t this encouraging?

  6. While David mentioned his encouragement at seeing the younger generation determined to belong to Christ (which is, indeed, GREATLY encouraging!), let me speak from the other side and saw how inspiring it is to see the older generation being faithful to God. There is a group of just such a people at my church. They truly "get it." They study His Word, they serve alongside the students, they offer prayers, wisdom, and encouragement to those who are willing to listen. Their commitment to live a life of serving Jesus – no matter what – is truly an encouragement to me.

  7. Kari,  Thanks for your comment and for the encouraging report of what you are witnessing in your church.  (I looked at your website yesterday.  Very nice!)