When we come to church we’re surrounded by people we don’t know and might not like. Some over-share. Some are touchy. Some are fidgety and harrumph during the sermon. Some sing off key. There’s always a few weirdos. There’s always a few zealots. There’s always some lady trying to sign you up for a pyramid scheme or some guy trying to get you to vote.

But we come to church with an understanding that we are all part of the family of God. Church provides space for us to engage those most unlike us, with mental or physical impairments, from differing socioeconomic backgrounds, across genders and ages. Church is the last place where civility reigns between those of different political convictions, tribal allegiances, or educational awareness.

The church of the future will be characterized by diversity across all spectrums. She will be more of a salad than a melting pot, celebrating every ingredient for their unique contribution.

Adapted from Then. Now. Next.: A Biblical vision of the church, the kingdom, and the future.