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From the April 2010 issue of The Christian Science Journal

THIS QUESTION HAS COME UP at nearly every town meeting the Board of Directors has held over the last five years with Christian Scientists around the world: Where do you see our Church 50 years from now? Sometimes you hear concern in the questioner's voice. Sometimes you see pencils poised for note-taking, as if people expect to hear about an elaborate program for Church expansion. But as we've prayed through this question with members on six continents, we've always arrived at the same collective conclusion: The future of The Church of Christ, Scientist, is rock-solid secure!

How so, when the number of Christian Science practitioners, nurses, and churches advertising in the Journal has shrunk significantly over the past 50 years? For me, it comes down to one word: Prophecy. Prophecy sees beyond material statistics to the spiritual reality of Church as a transformative spiritual force of millennial proportions, as God's Christ irresistibly working in the world now and forever. Membership numbers, financial assets, subscription levels—these are factors that can't be ignored, of course. But they pale when you consider them in the prophetic context Mary Baker Eddy sets out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, where she defines Prophet as "A spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth" (p. 593).

Jesus, the supreme prophet of all time, founded his Church on such a simple, spiritual basis—on Peter's awe-filled recognition that Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of the living God." And the Master went on to prophesy that his Church would not only survive throughout all time, but it would defeat the very "gates of Hell" (Matt. 16:16-18).

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