Jump directly to the Content

Leading Into the Future

An appropriate, specific mission grows out of the knowledge that God is leading his people into the future.
—Leith Anderson

As soon as people walk into a church, they can tell if it is oriented toward the past or the future. They don't discover that by what they see as much as by what they hear. When I visit a church or catch conversations in my congregation, I listen to how people talk about one subject: the greatest days of the church.

At one well-known midwestern church, for example, visitors may hear people say: "I remember when folks lined up to get into evening services. Conventions of major national associations were held here. When people came to town, they attended here." Their glory days are past, not future. The result for both the listeners and people speaking is an overwhelming feeling of sadness.

When I came to Wooddale Church, people spoke similarly: "I remember when we used to …" "I remember when attendance was growing instead of declining." I found it emotionally difficult ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Tags:
Posted:
Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
The Multiethnic Church Movement Hasn’t Lived up to Its Promise
The Multiethnic Church Movement Hasn’t Lived up to Its Promise
Multiracial churches have not been good news for everyone. What can we do about it?
Editor's Pick
Read Your Bible Through a Kaleidoscope
Read Your Bible Through a Kaleidoscope
Multicolored scholarship expands biblical interpretation beyond traditional Eurocentric perspectives.
close