Dave Black has painted a beautiful picture of what a twenty-first century church could look like. Notice that in this image of the church, the biblical descriptions and prescriptions are taking into account and implemented. Here is his description:
What, then, might the renewed church of the twenty-first century look like? It will be a serving church. Its organizational structure will be simple, unencumbered by bureaucrats and bureaucracies. Its financial priorities will reflect a commitment to missions, local and global. Capital expenditures will be reduced and the savings earmarked for discipleship. Jobs that are currently salaried positions will be filled by volunteer help or eliminated. Denominations will make drastic reductions in funds spent on publications that are a waste of the churchâ€™s money (bulletins, Sunday School quarterlies â€“ the Bible will be used instead â€“ and glossy magazines). Church buildings will be used for primary and secondary Christian education. Believers will gladly work transdenominationally and cooperatively, especially at the local level. The church will proclaim the Good News of the Gospel as its first priority while not neglecting the cultural mandate. A full-fledged lay ministry will replace clericalism. Individual believers will be expected to assume specialized ministries according to their giftedness. Churches will provide regular lay training (with the seminaries assisting them) and build voluntary programs of education into their structures. Worship will no longer be confined to a single time or place. Preoccupation with church buildings will be seen for what it is â€“ idolatry. The church will no longer cling to its prerogatives but take the form of a servant. It will refuse any longer to shun the secular. Trained pastors will become humble assistants to the â€œministersâ€ â€“ every member. In this renewed church we will encounter disciples who take the going forth as seriously as they do the gathering. New members will be asked to specify a regular community involvement (neighborhood council, PTA, volunteer library staff, nursing home visitation, etc.) in addition to their commitment to a ministry in the church.
What do you think?