What Will Church Be Like In 2044?

By: Waylon Bailey

I spent several days this week joining with other pastors of similar size churches across the Southern Baptist convention. As usual with these kinds of gatherings, we networked, fellowshipped, and discussed common problems. While most of the problems are exactly the kind that you could think of, there were several that you might be surprised that we considered.

Some of those that were predictable have to do with matters such as budgets, buildings, personnel, evangelism, and discipleship. The area that was most interesting to me has to do with what many of you have asked me from time to time. The question is this: what will the church look like in 25 to 30 years?

You might be surprised to know that this is a question that is of intense interest for senior pastors of larger churches. Remember, almost none of these pastors will be actively serving as a pastor of a church in 30 years. Yet, they want to know as you do what the Church will look like in 30 years.

While I really care about this question, I feel it is really the wrong question.

The right question is this: What should the church look like today? This is the right question because you and I can’t do much about the church in the future, but we have very much to do with the church of the present. The question is not what others will do or not do in the future. The question is what you and I will do about the church today. While I won’t be responsible for the church of tomorrow, I am very much responsible for the church of today. What you and I do today–our decisions and attitudes–will affect the future.
The time will come when we will stand before our Lord to give account of our care for His church.

We will be responsible for faithfulness in missions, evangelism, and discipleship. We will be responsible for our giving and worship and for the unity and harmony of the church.

May we be found faithful as we care for the church of today.