I just spent two days at the Global Leadership Summit. I was taught leaders see more and see further than others. I was challenged to learn the way our businesses or churches operate today won’t work in as soon as five to ten years. I’ve been pondering this for a decade, what do I see as the church of tomorrow? After seeing another mega-star pastor bite the dust, I thought there needs to be a better model of ministry than what we have now.
Here is what I see the church of tomorrow will look like and some pioneers may want to start moving that direction now. The church of tomorrow will value people and ministry more than anything else. Therefore the following must happen.
It must become streamlined and ready for persecution. No money will be tied up in facilities or salaries. Sorry pastors, no more opportunity to become a super star, celebrity pastor, writing books and speaking at conferences and pulling down the big bucks. You will work a regular job like everyone else and so not lose touch with life outside the church bubble. Plus, you won’t be leading alone. No more solo hot-shot pastors with a staff, there will be a team of leaders, all with equal status.
There will be no paid staff! That will contribute to a healthier group of leaders. It will contribute to a much more engaged body, and smaller more mobile teams of Christ followers. There will be no bought facilities. People who have will share, a business, a storefront, a backyard. Where you meet will not be about how great the show or how comfortable the constituents. It will be about drinking deeply at the well of Scripture, worship, recharging and reaching and serving your neighbors.
There will be a team of people who share leadership and teaching based on gifts and availability but not on personality or charismatic leader to draw a crowd. The leaders will be loved, but so will everyone else. No part of the body will be more important than another.
All contributions will go to ministry efforts and needs. No salaries, no facilities, no insurance, utility costs, or multi-million dollar sound and light systems. The show is over it is time to get serious. If you want to follow Christ or learn more about Him, come with us. If you are more into what is in it for you, go to one of the dinosaurs in the neighborhood.
Hundreds of churches are going out of business annually. I can count at least a half-dozen senior, rock star pastors who screwed up and are gone just in the last couple years. When that happens your offerings can’t pay for your cushy facility and all energy now goes to survival so you can meet payroll and pay for a building. That is the future of today’s church if nothing changes.
The model of ministry I’m presenting, will be light and lean and ready to move at a moments notice. I would love to be part of that church!