Future Church – More Jesus-Centered

Church v.2020 – Ten Changes:
#6 More Jesus-Centered – Less Focused on Tradition

When compared with the American church of 2012, the future church (v.2020) will be more Jesus-centered and less focused on tradition.  This shift offers considerable hope for renewal within the church and growth from those who find its new emphasis appealing.  While past efforts have tended toward extremes (e.g., Restoration movements on the right and the Jesus Seminar on the left) new quests will be open to wisdom from many perspectives.  Some of the marks of communities that are more Jesus-centered include:

  • A core congregational value that Jesus not tradition, empire, personal preference, etc. is primary.  This value shapes much of what the congregation does and also guides it to stop doing some things it had previously done.
  • A focus on what was central to Jesus and what most Jesus followers throughout time and in the present agree upon, especially the Great (or Greatest) Commandment (and therefore necessarily a lesser emphasis on more divisive areas of doctrine or dogma — note: this will also be seen in the shift toward being focused on deeds or the #1 change needed for the church of the future).
  • A perspective that allows for wide ranging roles — from nearly as important as Jesus to unimportant and everything in between —  for the specific faith tradition with which one is affiliated rather than relative uniformity among those involved in the local community of faith.
So What?
At the most basic level, Jesus is what separates Christianity from the other world religions more than anything or anyone else.  A Christianity that embraces this fundamental truth will shine more brightly and more convincingly in a country that will continue to experience increases in religious diversity.
  • How important is tradition in your current congregation?  Whether or not tradition as a whole is regarded highly, what specific elements of tradition (from your congregation, denomination, etc.) are viewed as most important in the life of the congregation and why?
  • Would a newcomer to your congregation who had recently visited several area churches be likely to rate your parish as one of the most Jesus-centered? Why or why not? If not, what changes do you believe would be needed for most newcomers to conclude that yours is a Jesus-centered congregation?
Note: Congregations of all types (including those from traditions that are creedal and for those from traditions that believe in no creed but Christ) seeking to better understand what being a Jesus-centered community might look like would benefit from the study of Scot McKnight’s book on the Great Commandment entitled The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (2004).

Comments

  1. the most preferred thing to do is lifting the name of Jesus into the next level in this our generation. because is the only one that save us from all our iniquity and sin of our fore father and give us a new life, through Christ we are who we are now. i ought every body to love the lord our god with all are mind, strength, soul, wisdom. in so doing god would strongly blessed us.

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