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The Church of the Future

Today’s Reflection

WHOLENESS IS NOT a strategy to integrate the various elements of our lives into a manageable lifestyle. Wholeness is something different. Wholeness is a way of being.

Churches living in the past are not designed for wholeness. They are much more comfortable being an appointment on the calendar. Worship? Join us at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. Fellowship? We have a great dinner on Wednesday nights. Prayer? The prayer group mets on Monday at 9:00 a.m. Helping others? We will stock the food pantry on Saturday at 12:00 noon, just before the ballgame.

The problem is, people don’t live that way anymore. A couple of months ago, we cut the cord on cable TV and replaced it with an antenna for local programming and Hulu for streaming TV shows and movies.

In just a few short months, the way we watch TV has been completely changed. We don’t wait for Black-ish or Shark Tank to come on, afraid that we will miss them if we don’t turn the TV on at the right time. Now we wait until after they air, and we stream them when we are ready to watch. …

Churches of the future will need to offer more than appointment-style ministries. They will need to create seamless face-to-face experiences that are enhanced by social media. What this looks like and the kind of staffing that will be needed is anyone’s guess. Beyond the mechanics of offering church, churches are now encountering a different mindset among boomers and younger generations.

Those churches that come across as anti-everything will be hard-pressed to minister to a group that has tried it all and is looking for some way to make sense of what they have been through. When boomers come through the doors of a church, they already know their “sins.” They know how they have fallen short. What they need is a loving place where they can begin to put their lives back together.

– Craig Kennet Miller
Boomer Spirituality

From Boomer Spirituality: 7 Values for the Second Half of Life by Craig Kennet Miller. Copyright © 2016 Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How has your participation in a congregation changed as you’ve grown older? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18, NRSV

This Week: Pray for families in conflict. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Gabriel Francis Possenti (February 27).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Jill March 2, 2018, 3:39 am

    Joining a small group, first at the very large church I attended for more than 15 years, and now at my new church, is how my involvement and interaction changed. Also, volunteering at my previous church – it was so large, and I could quietly, almost anonymously, volunteer. I am still feeling my way about my new church, but getting to know people through my small group has been good. The support I have received from some individuals from my group has been sustaining these past few weeks.
    I was unable to see mom yesterday, as I was at school for 13 hours. Following the school day, we had conferences and then a meeting with parents for sophomore students entering the program I teach in. I am ready for this long week to end. It is so good to know that God provides grace sufficient for the day. Sounds like mom’s appetite is increasing. My friend made her homemade chicken noodle soup and mashed potatoes – and delivered those yesterday morning. That same friend had made my dad a big batch of chili last weekend, so that he would have it to eat each day when he got home from the hospital. It is so easy to be the hands and feet of Christ – and I have seen it in numerous ways this past week. Might I be as faithful when afforded the opportunity.

  • robert moeller March 2, 2018, 6:44 am

    I am more involved now and have been for the past 21 years. Thankful for opportunities to do what I can after all that God has done for me. Today’s scripture tells an important truth, “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

    Doing what needs to be done as a teacher has always meant sacrifice of family for me. I’m thankful, Jill, that your parents have a second daughter and friends who help when being a teacher keeps you away. Students and parents are thankful for you when you meet and work with them. Wonderful to hear that your Mom is regaining an appetite.

    You are a faithful servant of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

    Prayers for Mary, that the right job for her will come soon. Grateful for the dinner with family on the 15th of the Chinese new year. Prayers for Marcy, Julie, and Anneliese, may their health and well being receive the attention needed, and may they recover. Strength and courage to Lou as she faces challenges. Blessings to Betsy, Connie and Robin, Pam, April, Chloe and Paige, Rusty and K, and all the UR family. Rest assured you are all in God’s hands.

    Pearl is adjusting very well to her new home, this is the third home she has known in a little over a week. That’s a lot of change for a cat. She gets a vet checkup today.

    Thankful for the wonderful dinner and dessert last night that Erich made.
    Figured out how parts in the kit go together to make the post office end of the railroad car I’m modeling. The day’s blessings come in many sizes and shapes. Thank You, Lord.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 2, 2018, 6:53 am

    Thanks Robert

    Blessings and may all be well with you and your family

  • Betsy March 2, 2018, 7:15 am

    Retirement has afforded me the opportunity to become more involved in my church’s ministry. When we moved to a new state last year, I had to start all over again. Becoming part of a small group that meets each Tuesday has helped me to acclimate to a new community and become part of a special group of Heart Sisters. We reach out in ministering to those in need.

    Jill, your heart sister sound like a true support for you and your parents, bringing food and comfort when the commitments of teaching keeps you busy. You are so fortunate to have someone to help you. I continue to pray for your mom’s recovery and your dad’s stamina.

    Praying for a good adjustment for sweet Pearl, Robert. You are special to take in a rescue animal. There is such a need.

    This is a day of cleaning and errands fo me. The sun is shining, and I may try to get in a walk outside later in the afternoon. I am continuing to pray for the teens and their families in Florida as they step forward for change in the aftermath of the school shooting. Their dedication and persistence is awe inspiring. Blessings to all.

    • robert moeller March 2, 2018, 7:40 am

      Betsy, it many ways we have both done the same thing. I also moved and have become a member of a small group. Very helpful for all involved.

      This is another special small group. 20 years ago this was not a possibility,

      While I am back in my home state, I never lived where I live now, so that is a new adventure.

      Thanks for your encouragement, Yes, there are lots of animals waiting for homes. Thankfully we saw many be adopted.

  • Julie March 2, 2018, 8:05 am

    I agree with Betsy, Robert, the blessings are for both Pearl as well as Erich and you. Shelter animals deserve a good home.
    I guess I am “attending” church in a modern manner in that I watch one on tv. I cannot attend because of my health and do not want to return to my old church anyway. My daughter has offered to take me to the church I watch which is in Pittsburgh ( we live in the suburbs) when I feel better.
    Blessing, thanks, and prayers for each one of the concerns expressed here by my UR friends
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, commited citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
    Margaret Mead

    • robert moeller March 4, 2018, 5:25 am

      Thank you, Julie. Just can’t be without a cat in the house. Very thankful that Pearl is doing so well.

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