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Who will create and shape the future church…

Stellar‘s still completely consuming my life these days, but here’s a portion of an article I recently wrote for the seminary newsletter.

The church is dying in North America. Most churches won’t acknowledge this because there’s still enough money to keep the lights on. Half of all churches did not connect a single person into a life transforming relationship with Jesus in an entire year. The church today is seen as the remnants of an archaic institution for the old, the sheltered, and the fanatic.

Many churches talk about being relevant to culture today because they are on brink of irrelevance. If God is the creator God then the church should be the center of creativity. Churches ought to be leading the culture, not catching up to it. New churches are needed just as much as revitalized churches, if not more. Our country is desperately in need of churches of all shapes and sizes and types. There are homes, warehouses, cafes, pubs, clubs, theaters, and abandoned cathedrals across the country waiting to be redeemed into communities of faith, hope, and love.

The Apostle Paul’s entire strategy was on church planting in urban centers. Miracles, conversions, and lives transformed just happened along the way. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian states “Nothing else – not crusades, outreach programs, parachurch ministries, mega-churches, consulting, nor church renewal processes – will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting”.

It all begins with individuals like you and me; followers of Jesus who are unafraid of risk, adventure and launching into unmarked territory because we trust in a sovereign God who is good; men and women who have caught a vision of God’s heart for establishing missional and redemptive centers of faith – that relentlessly press against the gates of Hades, to bring light into the darkness, and hope to humanity.

abandoned and dying church

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • grace December 16, 2006, 1:34 am

    Hey Lon,

    I am wondering.. would you be interested in speaking in UTCCF winter retreat on the second week of feburary weekend??… Just wondering if you’re free that time. I know that you’re prolly busy with stellar, just wondering if you could make time for us… i couldnt think of a better person to speak in our retreat actually.. ahahah let me know 🙂

    my email is : gharjono@gmail.com



  • Bill December 17, 2006, 12:26 am

    it’s up to us, not the other guy because we are the church,

  • Fiona December 17, 2006, 3:34 am

    I’m not sure whether this quote depresses me or excites me. Thanks for the thoughts.

    Love the new avatar, Lon. You’ve been in our prayers.

  • Lon December 18, 2006, 9:10 am

    grace, thanks for the invite. I’ll be correspnding with you via email.

    Bill, you’re right on. It’s so very easy to come up with reasons of why we shouldn’t be the one’s doing anything about it all.

    Fiona, I’m glad it provoked you. And I can’t explain how amazing it is to hear of prayers from expected places. thank you

  • Wendy December 20, 2006, 1:52 pm

    Hey Lon, nice blog
    You should meet my friend Kyle Martin. Check out his website:
    He is a church planter in Vancouver.

  • Lon December 22, 2006, 11:13 pm

    Thanks Wendy… actually i think a couple of the openhouse folks have dropped by this blog before… I would definitely love to connect personally with Kyle… it’s tough finding other church planters for some reason!

  • PlanetaJob August 7, 2008, 12:23 am


  • Mike Burns June 23, 2010, 12:01 pm

    See, I know I’m in trouble because I connect more with some folks I’ve never met via the internet more then members of my church. At 33 I’m a baby at my church. They average age is 80. Whenever I’m asked to preach, I’m always reminded to not use my ESV but to stick to the KJV. I’ve thought of leaving but then I feel like I’m giving up and not working it out. I know 9 times out of 10 I’m the problem. I’m just not sure exactly what my problem is. I’ve invited friends, then they never comeback cause the say it’s too old fashioned. I don’t see my church as the future. I see a gathering of believers at wherever to be the future of the church. I also feel like the future can be hard.

    • Lon June 30, 2010, 11:08 pm

      thanks for the honest response Mike! I’ve experienced some beautiful moments from age diverse communities… however you do seem a bit out of place.

      You belong to a bigger church than just your local church. Feel free to roam where you’ll thrive and where Christ is calling you…

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