Building our future is about taking steps now to increase our reach in the long run. This means that today we make sacrifices of our time, money, and other resources to assure that the long term purposes of God are fulfilled. Abraham and his family made this sacrifice, because he believed in what God was building in the future.
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
– Hebrews 11:8, 10 NLT
Abraham’s faith made him listen to God and build for the future, even though he couldn’t see what was coming. Today, we can listen to God and build for the future by investing in a strong foundation for his church in the generations to come.
“The only way you can predict the future is to build it.”
– Alan Kay
Why is building the future important?
In recent years, more churches have been closing than opening, and this trend is only expected to accelerate. According to Founder and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources Thom S. Ranier, there are clear signs that a church is in danger of closing: having an aging membership comprised mostly of senior adults; resisting change (including the use of technology); focusing on the past more than the future; and using an inward-focused budget that allocates few resources to missions and ministry.
As we read these signs, we are grateful for the ways God has guided us to build a visionary and forward-thinking fellowship where we focus on doing everything we can to bring more people to Christ.
How we’re building the future
Hiring young leaders who can build our teen, campus, and singles ministries is an investment. From a financial perspective, the youngest of our church don’t tend to make the biggest contributions. When trained, however, they will make some of the biggest contributions to the church’s future.
This is why 7x of our Special Contribution this year is going to paying new staff. We have been able to hire 17 new interns and scholars this summer who have been hard at work serving the teen and campus ministries as well as building the BACC digital team.
Building the future is not limited to the young, though. Those of us who are not directly involved in a teen, campus, or singles ministry can still play a crucial role in building the future of God’s church. We can not only invest financially in future generations through Special Contribution, but also mentor young leaders by providing stability and passing on the wisdom that’s been given to us over the years.
Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
– Ephesians 4:12-13 NLT
We each have a special role in building God’s church. When it comes to thinking about the future, the heart of a builder is one that looks for ways to contribute to the growth of others rather than promoting itself. This is the heart we see in Paul, the apostle who was instrumental in building the early church.
Builders in the Bible: The Apostle Paul
Paul was an expert builder. He changed lives by investing in young leaders, two of which were Titus and Timothy. He multiplied his convictions by investing in and passing them on to inexperienced leaders who would learn and imitate these convictions so they could continue the work of advancing the gospel.
For more on Paul, check out the following passages of the Bible:
- I Corinthians 3:10-12
- Acts 26:17-19
- Philippians 2:19-20
- II Corinthians 8:16-17
Building the future is exciting, and we can’t wait to see the impact God makes on the world as we work together to inspire generation after generation to walk with him.
Sam and Tenea Manuel
East Bay Lead Ministers