October 2, 2019

Laurie Haller: A Vision for the Church in 2032

Laurie Haller, United Methodist Bishop of Iowa, was recently invited
to share her vision of what the church might look like in 2032.  Her
vision included these three specific principles:

1.  Relationships will be more important than theological convictions.  I envision a church where our faith communities may be smaller, but they will also be more agile.  Our churches will find their own niches in ministry.  At the same time, they will also open the doors to everyone who desires to know who Jesus is and deepen their own spiritual lives, at the same time as they participate in mission and justice ministries.

2.  Innovation, creativity, and imagination will be more important than stagnation, rigidity, sacred cows, and the status quo.  New ministries will evolve organically from folks who have a particular passion. ... All ideas will be welcomed, discernment of gifts of laity will be a priority, and the enthusiasm and vision of new young leaders will be encouraged and celebrated ....  I envision a church that throws open its doors, not just so that all people can come in to taste and see, but so we can all go out to serve.

3.  Our primary focus will be on the Great Commission and the Great Commandment: to go out into the world and make disciples of Jesus Christ and to love God and our neighbors in all that we do.