A Different Way to What’s Next!

There could be a better way to recognize what’s next!

he new place Jesus is taking his church is just that… new. This next chapter we have entered is tied to our first chapter, and how Jesus re-started.

Jesus has always chosen a people-development approach over an institutional, control approach. It’s how we began… and key to the next chapter. Who are the people Jesus is raising up to lead us. The new leaders and influencers that have already arrived on the scene… today… now…  and are living out their gifting and passion. They are here to model the first and help us to forecast the next expression of the church. The future belongs to them, and us who choose to hear the voice of our King… and follow.

Some of the new include…

Spiritual entrepreneurs

Decentralized architects

Curators of the table

Formation guides

Life story artists

Front yard conveners

Let’s go further!

The future belongs to …Spiritual entrepreneurs.

Those who innovate new experiences and spaces for the Church… allowing more discovery of the life of Christ. So few give you encouragement.So few value your passion and call.Most in the church are threatened by you. But you are already creating new places and new expressions where community can occur and sub-cultures can do life… together. We so need your apostolic gifting right now.

The future belongs to the…De-centralized Architects.

You know it’s about smaller, more flexible communities, building back the social capital of the church. It is what started it all. It is what will re-ignite it all. You are apostolic.To you it’s not about the model of the church… or keeping the institutions running. Never has been. it’s about being church. Making disciples. Faithfulness to Christ’s mandate. Apprenticing the life of Jesus as you incarnate his teachings.You think movement while others think ministry.You think unleashing while others think control.You think priesthood of all believers while Americans keep focusing on clergy.Don’t grow weary in your well doing.Keep challenging.You are on it.

The future belongs to the…Curators of the Table.

Protectors of the dialogue.These are the ones who know that the future will often be more about the table… than the pulpit. A meal. A coffee. An environment. Relaxed. Open-ended conversation. A space. A place. Life slowed down. Listening. Asking. Hearing. Listening some more.Things you never heard or knew about your neighbors. Learning things you never knew about yourself. Talking well into the night. A safe-place to surface questions that few dare to ask. Where answers are often few. To hear perspectives that formerly threaten. To see and know the actual person, not just the differences.Don’t stop setting the table.Don’t stop creating spaces at the tables. Trusting the Spirit to be very present. Teach us. Show us. Apprentice us in the table.Living out the incredible gift of hospitality.

The future belongs to the…Formation Guides.

They ask as oppose to tell.They speak… by saying very little.They ask questions that often reveal and heal.They help us process how God might be at work.We have lived through the age of the tellers, only to see many of them fall. Proclamation is still necessay, but ahead is the age of the listeners…and those who help us discern.They are the… Sacred Guides. Spiritual Directors. Coaches. Chaplains. They are the Non-fixers. They help us by challenging our own views of God and ourselves. If the Spirit leads and guides us into all truth… maybe often we need someone who draws the truth out… as opposed to always telling us a truth we already know. (Prov. 20:5)We don’t get to clarity alone.We need you who can help us move into a deeper intimacy with Christ and path of spiritual formation. We need you to help us to turn the truth we know… into new behavior that we begin to live.

The future belongs to the front yard conveners.

You are the ones who gather people together in the places we live… for neighborhood bbq’s, block parties, wine tastings, s’mores nights, soccer in the alley, movie nights, driveway dinners, etc.Conveners find a way to gather us. These are the disarmers.They are gifted to connect people and they are not put off by differences. In fact, they are drawn to different… to learn and grow. They know deep inside of each of us is the want to be known and belong.They are not just believers in “love thy neighbor” they behave it… recognizing that in too many cases we have turned our neighbors into projects to be won as opposed to people to be loved.So they bring us together… and convene moments in time… where the Spirit roams and is present just by us being who we are. Conveners create the people memories that forge lasting friendships.

The future belongs to the…Life Story Mentors

They know the power of each of our stories. They know the power is in our stories.Therefore… they create moments of discovery. They help each of us see the unseen… how God and his artistry has already been at work and is woven into each of our lives, as well as those we sometimes reject.These are the new disciplers. They turn discipleship into a lifelong pursuit of intimacy with Christ, and help us discover how each of our stories finds its place within his larger story.No longer is discipleship an eight-week class, but rather a lifelong apprenticeship and issue of alignment, as the potter continues his sculpting work, using both our pain and passion to tell of his grace. In the end… life story mentors help us arrive at the same resolve that Peter came too… “Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life… you are our only hope.” (Amplified)May you be many.May many more adopt the lifelong posture.May you help us recognize the potter’s hands as he shapes the clay of our lives… and he calls each of us to join his work in each of our lives.

The new has arrived… and the renewal they bring reveals the designs of a different kind of church… one that not focused on the temples we attend but the temple within!

If all this sounds vaguely familiar… its because its how Jesus began as he raised up renewed followers who became leaders. Jesus quietly selected those he knew matched where things were headed, and with those disciples, they became the movement that lasts even to today.

It’s time to drop our nets… and follow him…

Its time again.


Terry coaches and mentors breakthrough for entrepreneurial, risk-taking leaders. He has authored several books on leadership and pioneered a variety of leadership development resources and processes with his organization, Leader Breakthru. Terry also serves as adjunct faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary.

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