In the church setting, I think we have a while before we have to worry about flying cars showing up in our sanctuaries. The tools we need to help us reach the church of the future are things we already have, that may need to be dusted off a bit.
Churches are making new paths for themselves and being bold in trying different ways of worship and work. Many leaders are searching for the perfect resources and partnerships to make, yet there is an underlying anxiety that persists in the wake of this time. It’s easy for folks to have their guards up right now. But when we are not fully open to each other, we are not open to what God is calling us to do.
Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge the Lord,
and they will make straight your paths.
I believe that to trust in the Lord we also must put trust into one another. Making the choice to trust can be difficult, many of us are used to the core folks we interact with and widening our circles is something we’ve learned not to do in recent times. If we make the choice to trust when new people join your work for the church, innovation will arrive to us much faster. And if we struggle to trust with reckless abandon, it is likely time for us to listen and be listened to.
Trust, patience, and understanding are certainly not the fastest technologies or the latest reads, but they are indeed the tools we need to get us to the church of the future. If we keep our hearts open, it may not be long before those flying cars, after all.
Emily is the Program Support Associate for the Discipleship and Justice & Witness Teams of the Southern New England Conference. Emily grew up in the Naugatuck Congregational Church UCC and at Silver Lake Conference Center, where she has served as ...