What Does Church look like in the Future?
It is a question that many of us are discerning. Some of us are doing as leaders of congregations. Others are doing it because we love the church that we have been attending for decades.
I do not believe that one answer fits all contexts. That is called imperialism; the church needs to get out of bed with that mindset. The vision has to be organic and come out of a yearning to connect with our neighbors.
Jesus was amazing at giving images of the Basilea of God. That word, Basilea, has been translated differently over the years. Some translate it as kingdom, kin-dom, beloved community, dream, or, if you prefer to go literal, empire. It is a subversive image against the claims made by those who enforce their empire with military might or hate (just to name a couple). Jesus gave us some images of the Basilea, including yeast/leaven in bread, treasure hidden in a field, a sprouting seed, or a net that people who are fishing throw in the sea.
I saw another glimpse the other day. It was a picture that Erin Rohner sent me via text. Yes, God is still speaking (even via text). God is still giving us other images of what Basilea. The church gets to participate in God’s dream for the world. Below, is the glimpse that I saw.
Jackson and his family are new to our church. Marge has been a part of our church for many years. As they played with each other, they showed me the beloved community. The Basilea is all around us!
Jesus was great at giving an image and letting it steep in our soul just as a nice bag of tea works through hot water.
I see the Basilea of God in this image. Can you see it in this picture? Can you see the Basilea around you?
How does this image give you insight into the Basilea of God? How can this image shape your church’s preferred future?
This blog was written when Jonathan served as pastor of a church in California. Jonathan Hall is currently the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Colorado Springs. You can contact him at email@example.com.