I am always fascinated by the New Year articles and blogs on predictions for the coming year, so I decided to join the crowd. I’m not a prophet or the son of a prophet, but I feel very confident about these predictions. Read along and see if you agree.
1. The mission of the Church will still be to make disciples. I am making the prediction that after 2,000 years, the mission of the Church of Jesus Christ will continue to be the Great Commission.
2. The character and conduct of Christ will still be the key to changing the world. Two thousand years ago, Jesus came to change the world by teaching people to develop His character and conduct. If you have a planet full of people becoming more like Jesus, you will have a different world. We must focus on making disciples who look like Jesus in 2020.
3. There will still be a cost to discipleship. Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Consumerism will still be the greatest obstacle of discipleship. Unless people are willing to count the cost of being disciples of Christ, they will not be able to become fully trained disciples.
4. The small group will still be the ideal environment for making disciples. Despite all of the incredible technological innovations over the years, those technologies still cannot replace the power of relationships in disciple making. Jesus was with His disciples in person on a regular basis, not just FaceTime-ing them. The best context for discipleship will still be in-person relationships.
5. The Church will still be the primary place for disciples to be made. Many people are claiming that the Church is losing its relevance in society. Maybe the problem isn’t with the Church – maybe the problem is with Christians. Could it be that many Christ-followers have forgotten that Jesus started His Church to be the place in every local community where untrained seekers could be taught how to become fully trained disciples? The Church will still be relevant in 2020 if Christians are obedient to the Great Commission.
6. The Bible will still be the main curriculum for disciple making. The Word of God is timeless, transcendent, and transferable. It will never pass away. Disciples will always be made by the Word of God. The believers in the original Church in Jerusalem were devoted to the apostles teaching. That same teaching transforms lives today.
7. The Holy Spirit will still transform untrained seekers to fully trained disciples. Jesus promised His disciples that He would send them a Comforter who would help us and advocate for us. The Spirit of God has been the force of change in the lives of believers for over two thousand years. I do not expect that to change in 2020.
8. The greatest obstacle to the Great Commission will be busyness. “If Satan can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” (Adrian Rogers) How true. The number one thing that will keep you from making more disciples is being too busy. People are very busy about good things, but they miss out the best things when they fail to prioritize.
9. The secret to world evangelization will still be disciple making. Somehow in the past two thousand years, evangelism and discipleship have become separated. Jesus called us to make disciples, which I believe includes evangelism and discipleship. The two go hand-in-hand, and it is the Master’s plan to reach the entire world with the Gospel.
10. The best way to have plenty of leaders will still be to make plenty of disciples. Jesus made disciples and appointed leaders. There will not be a shortcut to leadership development now, or in the future. For two thousand years, the best leaders have always come from first becoming fully trained disciples.
These ten predictions are why Impact Discipleship Ministries exists. We seek to help Christians, churches, and pastors fulfill the Great Commandment and Great Commission. Contact us if you need help with disciple making resources. If you need training or consulting. If you would like to join a Pastor Equipping Group or if you just have questions about disciple making. Contact us at impactdisciples.com.