As I mentioned above, I'm not attempting to answer any questions about what life is like after death, but what I think the church needs today is a better understanding of its mission for the here and now. The Scriptures are filled with stories about how the first followers of Jesus sought to love God and to love those around them as a way of demonstrating what heaven is like. And my prayer is that we too can learn to love God and others in the way of Jesus which will demonstrate just how much heaven is crashing into earth.
Richard Rohr. a Franciscan priest, wrote the following words and I pray that they inspire you to become the person of love God created you to be:
"What word of hope does the Church have to offer the world? The world is tired of our ideas and theologies. It's tired of our lazy church services. It's no longer going to believe ideas, but it will believe love. It will believe life that is given and received. We are afraid to touch the flesh of God, even to touch the flesh of one another and understand what God is calling us into. Thomas the apostle symbolizes our temptation toward heady faith, so Jesus asks him to touch the wounds (John 20:27). God is not calling us into our heads. Yet we've lived in our heads so long, the world no longer listens to us. I don't need your words, the world says to us. I don't need your sermons. I want life. And I want life more abundantly. What word of hope do we have to offer to the millions of workers in the world who see no meaning in their life? What word of hope do we have for all the women who bear children and, day after day, say, What is the meaning of this life? For most people in the world the question is not, Is there a life on the other side of death? It is, rather, Is there life on this side of death? Until us Christians give evidence that there is life on this side of death, the world does not need to believe our dogmas and giant churches. It doesn't need our words of hell. It needs our promise of heaven."