5 Predictions About the Future of the Church

What will the Church of tomorrow look like?

Obviously this is written with some bias. And I should note that I work in and belong to the non-denomination movement. Which let’s be honest, is a denomination. And while you can certainly gear these towards the church as a whole in America, I am writing from my viewpoint of the church. So if you are from a different movement some of these may or may not apply.

No one can know for sure what will happen in the future. I’m certainly not claiming to be an authority saying this WILL happen. This is simply a fun article exploring the possibilities of the future. I’m not writing this saying this is the Gospel truth. But I do think it’s important to look at so that we can position ourselves to be the healthy church of tomorrow.

Teaching in the Church Will Be Online 

I’m not talking about sermons being shared online. That’s already being done. I believe the whole way that the church does it’s teaching will be overhauled. The sermon, as we know it, will slowly die. It will be replaced by podcasts, live streaming, and whatever new technology comes along. And the primary teaching will not take place on Sundays.

The way we teach will have to change. No longer will a 40 minute sermon (lecture) be the norm. While I believe there will still be some semblance of teaching at a church’s weekly meeting, the primary teaching will be available to listen/watch at the members convenience.

What will we do for the 40 minutes we gain in our weekend services? Worship, prayer, community, food, and conversation about the teachings we’ve listened too.

Personally I’m excited about this. I think this is an exciting shift and one that will greatly benefit the church.

Women Will Have an Equal Role to Men in the Church

This isn’t a statement of egalitarianism (Men/Women are equal) vs complementarianism (Men/Women are equal in value, different in roles). However you can probably tell where I stand. But I see a major shift coming in which women will more widely be accepted as pastors and leaders. They will no longer be confined to women’s ministry and children ministry. And I believe they will eventually even be common on the eldership/leadership teams that set the direction for the church.

I’m sure this is a touchy subject. And my complementarian friends are squirming in their seats right now. But I believe this will be a healthy and needed shift in our church.

I’m struggling not to go into this topic because it’s something I’m very passionate about. However not for this article. Next time. Whether you think this is a good thing or not, this shift is coming.

Church Finances Will Be Out in the Open 

This mainly applies to mega churches. Many smaller churches already have open budgets. But many churches hide were their money goes, or offer a very generalized budget that does not give any specifics. That will change and budgets will become more open and churches will be held to a higher standard.

People want to know where their money is going. Not just in generalized categories, but how every dollar is being spent. How much is spent on guest speakers? How much debt do we have? How much did that technology upgrade cost? How much are we giving away to those in need? The church will have to become more financially open with their budgets and accountable to the people in the church.

I can sense some leaders in the church being apprehensive about this. But I believe this will be a very healthy shift. Every person that calls a church their home should be aware of how their money is being spent. The next generation will not give unless the church shows them where and how their money is being used.

The Church Service Will Become a Lower Priority

As we become more connected with technology we are becoming more disconnected in community. The craving for real community will become more and more evident. And the church will shift it’s focus from centering around a weekly service to focusing on providing authentic community.

Currently the average church spends most of their time on preparing for the weekend service. While not inherently a bad thing, the church of the future will have to put substantially more effort into creating authentic community.

Church Leadership Will Be Restructured

This will come in response to the many failings of pastors in the recent years. The next generation of pastors will seek to diversify power. This will lead to a more diverse leadership team, models that spread the power around, and co-lead pastor models becoming the norm. Thus trying to correct the corruption and put in more safety nets so that moral failures do not happen (as much).

I believe we will see an increasing variety in the kinds of leadership structures in the church. While I still believe elders and pastors will be the primary leadership in the church, the power will be more spread out and less concentrated on a single person.

The church of the future will have a wider variety of leadership models. Primarily spreading the power out over more people and giving control back to the congregation. Some ideas will stick, some will fail. But the future church will have different leadership structure.

These are some of the shifts I see coming in the church in the next few decades. Personally I believe these are all good and needed. Although I’m sure some won’t see it that way. Each of these will probably turn into a full article at some point. But for now this is the direction I see the church heading.

I want to hear from you… What changes do you see coming in the church? Good, bad, or otherwise. Do you think these 5 predictions will come true?

15 comments on “5 Predictions About the Future of the Church

  1. Many of these are already true. At our church we attend the service via live feed due to health conditions. Then once a week, or every other week in the summer, we meet with our small group and do much of what you are describing above in regards to food, discuss the sermon etc. Currently our online ministry is many times larger than that at our physical locations, and we are associated with the Southern Baptist. I think as long as the fellowship connection remains in at least small groups this is not an issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Being in regularly community is vitally important. But I agree teaching being done online can be very effective, especially in a situation such as yours.


  2. Much of this is already a part of our church DNA. We are facing the authentic community question right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How is your church seeking to provide authentic community?

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is a good question and I don’t think we fully have an answer to it yet. Right now it is through intentional times of interaction. It’s about being aware of life events within the lives of our congregation and activating the community around those events. It’s about encouraging people to be part of smaller intentional communities within the greater life of the church (our artist and worship community or our prayer shawl ministry the ladies coffee chat or the men’s Bible study). It’s about making sure those communities actually give relationship and spiritual care to the people who join and its about making sure those communities remain open and don’t become insular. It’s about the pastoral staff valuing those communities and involving themselves through presence intentionally in some of their life events (art shows, healing prayer booths in the community etc.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think that’s the next “million dollar question”, how can we provide authentic community. I’m not sure anyone has it fully figured out. Culture has shifted and changed so much in the past 15 years things that used to work are no longer viable. But it’s encouraging to hear your church is having some success! I think community will be the most crucial aspect of the church in the future. Especially as technology and social media become more prominent.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I wouldn’t call it success exactly, at least not yet. More of an optimistic…”this just might work if we practice.”


  3. Honestly, right now I see a dying of the church among the young. Sure, there are those who do go to church, but they are becoming fewer and fewer. Their faith and belief in God is still there, but their ties to a church is fading. Talking to them, a lot of this is because of what has happened in the different churches lately, they grew up in the era of unfaithful pastors, theft from churches by upper members, priests/deacons/ministers molesting children. They no longer believe that the church is the way to salvation, when so much of the church (at least in the news) show a corrupt organization at all levels and in all denominations (yes, even in non-denominational). As they fall away they will be less likely to instill church membership in their children, who will fall even further away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree the church is “dying” in the younger generation. But there is also a resurgence in some churches that are flipping the model for what church is. I don’t think the younger generation is interested in attending their parents church. But they will attend something different. I believe more and more churches will pop up with new and fresh ideas (seems to happen every few decades and we are due) that attract the younger generation back to the Gospel.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know about your area, but what I see around here is not so much a resurgence as “sheep stealing” where members are being actively recruited from other churches. I have seen this happening in just about every church, and the members seem to float from one to another, not really settling in anywhere. For example, a local “Amplify” church has been growing from the RC church sitting next to it. Recently (last 2 years) they have been losing members to a “Grace” church that opened 2 years ago. I give them a couple years before they start losing members to whatever is the next “in vogue” church.


  4. Have you read Church Refugees by Josh Packard? I think he identifies some important trends that church leaders should pay attention to.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jay Arnn

    As I watch and listen to my son grow as a pastor, I see these changes and have lived many changes in the church system and theology over the past decades and read about changes in the church system over the past 2 millennia – yes things will change, but, as you know, the truth of the Gospel remains the same as it always has as does the body of Christ – the believer – the church.
    1. Teaching in the Church Will Be Online: Nothing wrong with this – wrong doctrine can be taught in person as easily as it can be taught on line – so can the right doctrine. In the end, what ever medium you are using to get the right message of the cross and Jesus to the masses is what is important.
    2. Women Will Have an Equal Role to Men in the Church: For some reason man has a propensity to take out of the Gospel what is not in the Gospel and/or take from various institutions those practices which suit their needs at a given time for their circumstances. This is very true of religious organizations who have taken incorrectly from the Gospel and have supplanted sub-servitude on women which was never the intention of the Gospel. Women have always been the equal of man from the beginning of time. Let me show you this in the Torah or the first 5 books of the OT: Genesis 2:18
    And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable (of equivalent quality; worthy of comparison) to him.” Comparable is only used twice in the Gospel and it describes the equality of the Helper (woman) to Adam. So right in the beginning of Genesis, we find that God made Eve (woman) equal in every respects to man – sad that women have suffered throughout history in man made sub-servitude and that equality was a birthright from God. Now let’s see what the Gospel says about the believer in Christ: Galatians 3:27-28: For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. This letter was written sometime between 50-60 AD and it is clear as crystal that all who believe are comparable – equal in every way – no Jew – no Gentile – no slave – no free – no male – no female – just believers who are all comparable (equal). I have heard many state – “Well, God stated that man was the head of the family under Jesus and that the woman must submit to her husband”. I agree with that – but let’s agree in truth:Ephesians 5:22-28 Wives, submit (Pay attention to this word submit) to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. Submit in the Greek is hypotasso and it is used in two instances: A Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”. – as you can see the use is obviously non-military where the wife cooperates with her husband who loves her as Christ loves the church – who wouldn’t cooperate with someone who loved them unconditionally? It is also the same Greek word in verse 24 – Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. The church believes in Christ because the promise is truth – so Husbands – let your words be truth for your wife under Christ. Yes men are the head under Christ but the wife is an equal partner in everything and faith alone has made you both comparable. This is restated in Colossians 3:18.
    3. Church Finances Will Be Out in the Open: This is a good thing for all church systems. Just remember: Deuteronomy 8:18 “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. – our power to obtain wealth – this word in Hebrew is rich – no pun intended (chayil pronounced Khah – yil) means: whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength: the ability, or activity. God gives you power to get wealth that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers – ok – here we go – our father through adoption by God through faith in Jesus is Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – not Moses – yes there is a covenant with Moses but Moses was never a father of Israel – Moses was the bringer of the law. What was the covenant with Abraham – simple – righteousness by faith – the same promise which was brought by Jesus. John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
    Romans 5:17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. God seems to think we need an abundance of grace. The word is Greek “perisseia” and it means superabundantly and/or superfluously. That means a lot of it. Like your Italian Grandmother heaping more spaghetti on your plate – you need more. Look what Paul writes to Timothy about grace: 1Timothy 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This word in Greek “hyperpleonazo” and it means to be exceedingly abundant, to overflow,to possess in excess – more than could ever fit in your Grandma’s spaghetti kettle. So the covenant between God and Abraham was righteous by faith through belief in God’s promise and to the Jews the promise of the land. Again, because of our adoption we are partakers of the promise of righteousness by faith through belief in Jesus. The Jews still get the land.
    4. The Church Service Will Become a Lower Priority – this is dangerous. We already see the effects of books like “The purpose driven church (speaking of systems not the body of Christ) and authors like Rick Warren who focus on the business of church systems removing the focus of the cross from the church – the body of Christ. Warren prayed to Isa – the Muslim name for Jesus during Barrack Obama’s inauguration – unfortunate. I agree, community is important – but the message of the God is most important. When we put aside our belief to better a community we deny Jesus. When we believe in the promise of Jesus then we produce good fruits – good works which benefit our communities.
    5. Church Leadership Will Be Restructured. New pastors stand on the shoulders of past truths delivered by previous pastors. None of the biblical prophets saw the church age – which remained hidden as a mystery until its time. We see it today because it has been revealed and we stand on the shoulders of the past truth. What are you preaching and why are you preaching it – Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. The word accursed is the Greek word “anathema” and it means to bind under a great curse or double curse. What are we headed for in the future? I dont have to think about this because the Gospel is clear – we are moving toward a darker and darker world no matter what we do. Why? Because we are in the age of the Gentile rule and that rule will not be broken until Jesus comes and destroys the 10 kingdoms and rules from Jerusalem on the throne of David in the literal Kingdom of Heaven. Prior to this rule will be 7 years of tribulation. Prior to that, Jesus will call the church in to the air and take us to heaven. A type and shadow of the church is Enoch: Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death – this is the type and shadow of the church who will be raptured by Jesus. Noah and his family are a type and shadow of the Nation of Israel who will go through the tribulation. So what brings us peace in this time? The confident hope in the promise of Jesus that He will return for us. Rest and wait on the return brings a believer hope and peace. Oh, and by the way – rest and peace is not synonymous with do nothing.

    “Recently (last 2 years) they have been losing members to a “Grace” church that opened 2 years ago. I give them a couple years before they start losing members to whatever is the next “in vogue” church.” A concerning quote.
    Grace is not the next in vogue message – it is the Gospel – it is God’s plan and it is the new covenant of God meaning it is an extension of the covenant of Abraham now to all the adopted children through faith in Jesus. And as the scripture says we need an abundance of grace. Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Appeared is the Greek word “epiphaino” where we get the word epiphany and it means to appear, become visible, to become clearly known, to show one’s self – therefore Grace is not a doctrine – it is not a fad – it is not what is in vogue in the church – it is the person of Jesus Christ who manifested Himself in flesh and appeared before the world. John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

    Kind regards,
    J Arnn
    Jewish Studies for Christians


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