Science is fascinating -and sometimes scary.
Did you know that prenatal screening now allows prospective parents to know all sorts of details about their child’s traits by removing a single cell from an embryo? While highly controversial, the concept highlights the incredible amounts of information God has stored in human DNA.
As I contemplated the idea of one cell being able to reveal the future of an entire body, my mind drifted to the church -Christ’s body. What if we used the same methodology as prenatal screening to evaluate the future health of a church? In other words, if we removed just one member from your congregation, what would we learn about your church?
I know the analogy isn’t perfect. After all, every member of any given church is at varying levels of maturity, understanding, experience, and faithfulness -yet they all share a common DNA from your church. So how about picking out the average church member -not the weakest link and not the strongest link. Go ahead, picture a person in your local church who best represents the whole congregation.
Now, ask yourself a few questions. If this person represents the future of our church:
- How much spiritual growth should I expect my congregation to experience over the next five years?
- What kind of ministries will our church most likely begin (and end) in the next 10 years?
- Will our outreach efforts in the local community be expanding or shrinking?
- Should I expect to see more people come to Christ through our church?
- Will our church raise up new leaders for the future?
I don’t know about you, but this little exercise causes me to think more and more about the vital need for strong discipleship in local churches. We must look beyond the church as Sunday morning attendance and concentrate more on individual lives of our members from Monday through Friday. The future depends upon it .