Today I stumbled across a Collide magazine article from last month that pondered the future of the church in 2034. It’s a lengthy piece that imagines what church may be like in 25 years (no judgments on good or bad, just predictions). Don’t forget to check out the predictions of four bloggers as well.
Considering yesterday’s post about the role of technology and the resulting comment storm (43 and counting!), perhaps it’s a good idea to consider the future. Many folks slammed Brad’s take on the Echo Conference as too pointed, too hypocritical, too [insert your adjective here]. You can read Brad’s initial response in the comments here. Whether you think Brad has a point, is misguided or is just dead wrong, I think the basic idea of his post–we need to focus on Jesus–is vital (can a brother get a ‘duh’?).
As much as I love technology, most of my knowledge of Twitter, Facebook and all the rest will seem antiquated come 2034. Hopefully technology will allow us to address deeper, longer-lasting questions than whether or not you should follow everyone who follows you on Twitter. But for all my time spent with technology in 2009, I’m thinking it’s the time spent with Jesus (or not) that will make more of a difference in 25 years.
Perhaps that’s a no-brainer reminder. But it’s worth keeping in mind as we consider these predictions for the future of the church. Where will technology, marketing and communications take us in 25 years? Much like Shane Hipps’ Flickering Pixels reminds us, I think we need to be aware how each of these methodologies shapes us. In the end it’s all about Jesus, but as we dive into each of these methodologies (whether it’s technology or marketing in general) we need to be sure Jesus is always the primary focus. It’s not the like the church has a perfect track record (crusades, inquisition, slavery, holocaust, segregation, genocide, etc. have all happened on the church’s watch) and couldn’t use a reminder from time to time.
Personally, I’m looking forward to the much-needed third reboot of the Star Trek, Batman and Harry Potter franchises that will surely come in 2034.