Will the Future Church Resemble Our Vision of the Ideal Church?

by | May 7, 2015 | Prophetic Insight

The future church will be established for God, a highway ready for His arrival. The church will shift uncomfortably from preparing a place for people to show up on Sundays to preparing a place for God to occupy night and day.

God is releasing prophetic forerunners who are sounding alarms about the future church. What is coming will disappoint a massive segment of Christianity as the only wineskin they have ever known is retired. The coming wine cannot be held by the current wineskin.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins” (Mark 2:22, ESV).

I have prayerfully attempted to cast the vision and communicate the realities of the coming church—including the cost of embracing such a radical shift. Yet, few have broken away from the tired old model that’s about to be judged and removed.

It’s better to shift now in this forerunner season than when there is no other option. Regardless of when we shift, our churches will most certainly lose the money and people that keep them running, so now is the time to prepare.

Aren’t people ready for a change anyway?

“Reformation ends not in contemplation, but in action.” ―George Gillespie

So many say they are tired of church as usual, yet those same people are still employing the same methods of ministry they have for decades. Being tired of church as usual isn’t enough—we must embrace and initiate radical change.

  • Show up
  • Worship for an hour
  • Take up an offering
  • Give announcements
  • Preach for an hour
  • Have some altar time
  • Go home
  • Repeat next week

Church as usual.

This model is comfortable. It’s familiar. It’s about to come to an end.

“We get called dishonoring for pointing out the garbage in the church, yet nobody ever seems to think it’s dishonoring that somebody put the garbage there in the first place.” ―D.R. Silva

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” ―John Kenneth Galbraith

The Church of Choice

I recently asked on Facebook this question: “If you were searching for a new church today, what are some factors that would be very important to you?”

Here are some of the answers:

  • Truth being preached.
  • Safe place for my kids.
  • There has to be prophetic worship; prophetic ministry; multiple leaders contributing (1 Cor. 14:26); anointed, prophetic, word-centered preaching; prayer and prayer ministry; and outward vision.
  • Fellowship-Worship-Doctrinally Pure-and a leadership that is not afraid of the spiritual gifting that God puts in people.
  • Friendships. I hate being a back of the head watcher.
  • Pastor that knows God’s heart and can lead and teach accordingly. “And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer. 3:15, NKJV).
  • More God, less talk of people.
  • Manifest presence of God.
  • None of the above: only whether or not I am called to be there.

Those are great answers, yet we must exercise caution. The coming church may be so extreme, narrow and on point that even much of what people shared above may not be realized … except the last bullet point. That’s the correct answer.

We have to yield to God’s coming design for the church, and we have to be willing to lay down our ideas of what church should be, along with our demands, and worship with our very lives.

God will be positioning people and families well outside their comfort zones in the coming church. There may be no children’s ministry, no live worship, no pastoral care, no programs, poor preaching, no friendships or any other supposed deficiencies. The transitional season into which we are moving will result in radically disappointing church experiences—but we’ll know it’s not about us. It’s about partnering with God as He regains leadership in our lives and uses us in the deconstruction/reconstruction reformation in the church. Soldiers don’t choose their commanders, their assignments or their experiences. They show up, train and prepare for battle.

About 40,000 ready for war passed over before the Lord for battle, to the plains of Jericho” (Josh. 4:13, ESV).

False Expectations

It’s critical that every one of us look at today’s Western church and agree—it is radically, embarrassingly broken. We can’t have the thought that it’s doing pretty well, and that some adjustments will help. No way. Full force reformation is coming, and the future church won’t look anything like today’s.

Today’s church is soon to be no more.

“What is a man born for but to be a reformer, a remaker of what has been made, a denouncer of lies, a restorer of truth and good?” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

With reformers on the loose, we must not expect today’s model to remain.

If you expect hours of Spirit-driven intercession, then you have a correct expectation of what church should look like. You will do well. Think of a prayer meeting. That is church.

“And he was teaching them and saying to them, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations”?'” (Mark 11:17)

“And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense” (Luke 1:10).

“All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers” (Acts 1:14).

Other expectations may leave you frustrated when the future church minimizes or excludes entirely an emphasis on what you value.

The coming church will be so strange, unusual and illogical that the majority of today’s Christians will resist or even fully reject it.

If we expect something to be a part of the experience, and it’s not, offense and anger can follow. This is why it’s critical to be in the church that God leads you to. If this is your criteria, then you won’t be offended when the old wineskin disappears.

The coming church will be an end-time church unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and those who aren’t given to fervency in intercession will become end-time resistors, unwitting partners with Satan himself.

This is the first of a two-part series on the future church. For what is coming and what will be going in the future church, tune in Friday.

John Burton has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. John has authored nine books, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. Additionally, he planted two churches, has initiated two city prayer movements and is currently directing a prayer and revival focused ministry school in Detroit called theLab University. John’s mandate is to call the church in the nations to repentance from casual Christianity and to burn in a manner worthy of the King of kings. He is equipping people to confront the enemies of God (established religion, Jezebel, etc.) that hinder an extreme, sold-out level of true worship.

For the original article, visit johnburton.net.


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

Let’s talk about a subject most people want to avoid. Let’s talk about pornography. According to Covenant Eyes, statistics show that 28,258 users are watching pornography every second, and 20% of mobile online searches are for porn. Among Christians, 20% of youth...

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

As I look back, I realize that God has given me a career path with some rather unique experiences. I have built bridges at the intersection of faith and government my whole life, and I have learned that serving people through a role in government can be just as...

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

If you have received Christ as your Savior, then you have an enemy. Did you know that? I know some people feel uncomfortable talking about the devil, but he is real and it’s important for us to face the truth about him so we can have a victorious life in Christ. Now,...

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

Note: As we move towards Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, Grant Berry, a Messianic believer, speaks about the deeper repentance needed in the Messianic part of the family. As you have read part one of this article during the month of Av and are now reading part two in the...

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

The most sobering and troubling statement in the Olivet Discourse is where Jesus says, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24). This statement cries out for an...


Prophetic Lessons in the Hurricane-Force Storms of Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe34pxhddd4 With Hurricane Ian slamming Florida, it's a time to reflect on the storms of life. As I was preparing for the hurricane, I documented some thoughts about...
Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

God doesn’t care if I am fat. He wants me to enjoy my life. He wants me to live, love and be happy. Food makes me happy so I’m just doing what He wants me to do. That was just an excuse and at its core it is untrue. God really doesn’t care about our outward...

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams turned heads last week in Atlanta when she defiantly announced during a political event that an unborn baby doesn’t have a heartbeat at six weeks gestation. “There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks,” said...

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

We are kingdom citizens, and not of this world. We don’t abide by this world’s economy and the natural things that happen. Repeatedly, over the last four weeks, I’ve been hearing not to look at the circumstances of this world. We are not of this world. Get your eyes...

Pin It on Pinterest