A couple of weeks ago, I sat in a room with 20 church planters as we talked about the church of the future. We started the meeting with a video from Apple Computers which showed a college professor interacting with his computer. The computer was scheduling appointments, doing research on command and thinking of ways it could enhance a presentation the professor was getting ready to give. Watching this interaction, I thought of the way that Siri (Apple’s program on the new I Phone 4S) interacts with her users. I told the planters as the infomercial came to an end, “Look at the date.” The video was created in 1988.
Steve Jobs had the ability to see what was coming. He was also able to create culture that would demand the products he was planning on developing. Anyone who has an I Pod, I Phone, or I Pad, is participating in a culture that was created through the years by Apple.
The question I asked our planters, “What do we need to be doing now to prepare for the future that is coming? How will the churches we plant need to be different than we are now?” We took time to dream, to consider trends occurring now and to discuss ways that we might need to structure for the coming future. We did not arrive at any concrete conclusions that day, but I know that if we don’t start thinking and dreaming now, we won’t be ready for what is coming.
I want the church to be ready for the coming future. We cannot afford to react to what is happening around us. Maybe if we get out ahead of the curve, we can help show the need for Jesus that the world does have. Being proactive instead of reactive, there’s a thought!