Developing a 2020 Vision for the Church:
Christian Living

by Dr. Bob Young
Thanksgiving 2017

Note: On the first Sunday of January 2000, I presented in a combined adult Bible class a list of items to be thoughtfully addressed if the church were to be a viable voice in the new millennium. I was asked to expand the list from that Bible class presentation into a series of bulletin articles. Those articles are still available on this website: Foundations Series.
Almost 20 years later, it is definitely time for a rewrite. The question is still valid: how can the church be a viable voice in the contemporary world? What questions must we address? What understandings are essential for Christianity to survive and thrive in the world we know today? This new series is again being written as articles, but it is expected that the articles will also be useful as outlines for sermon series or seminar presentations.
In this new series, I write to set forth a 20/20 vision, so that we might see more clearly, and to set a goal to be accomplished by the year 2020. The next two years will fly by quickly. Will the church learn anything from what it has experienced? Can the apparent decline in Christianity be reversed? Will the church find renewed strength and resolve to present God's truth with boldness, daring, and sensitivity so that a new generations of Christians learn to live in the world without becoming worldly, to understand the call to unity and diversity, to renew the mission so the primary message is always one of eternal hope? Now is the time to begin working toward the reality God desires for his people.

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| Introduction | #1: Truth | #2: Bible Inspiration | #3: Bible Interpretation | #4: Church | #5: Unity | #6: Worldliness | #7: Christian Experience | #8: Mission | #9: Hope | #10: Human Nature | #11: Christian Living |

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When all is said and done and the studies are completed, my first goal is that the Bible will be understood as the authoritative, inspired Word of God, with a message that is easily understood and plainly in view for our lives today. My second goal is that the church will develop a healthy, biblical self-understanding, that is, that the church will carefully think about itself in the broader context of the world, seeking genuineness, desiring to be like Jesus, seeking the unity for which Jesus prayed. Third, I hope that the church's reexamination of the biblical imperatives for relationship with God and relationship with others will serve to define biblically the Christian mission and the ultimate goal on which the Christian hope is focused. When each Christian has rethought the challenge of spiritual living in the human sphere and has adjusted priorities and choices to reflect our higher calling and higher nature, the final question--a question tdhat summarizes the series--is this: How can I become most like Jesus? What changes are necessary in my life? What adjustments are needed?

Until each Christian discovers and begins to live out a commitment to Christ that grows out of genuine relationship, the church will likely not address such matters as personal worship and the devotional life, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and a host of other issues such as discipleship, lifestyle, and purity.

The nature of our fellowship, the lives we share with other Christians, these are the power and support for authentic Christian living. In biblical koinonia (fellowship) we become involved in the lives of others, we become the presence of Jesus for others, we are his hands and feet.

Such is indeed a great challenge for the church and for each individual Christian who seeks an authentic Christian life. What do we need to study? What do we need to rethink? What do we need to know? What do we need to do? These questions will provide sufficient beginning points in coming months as we look forward to the year 2020 and seek to develop a 20/20 vision of God's plan.


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Last updated November 23, 2017