We are looking at societal trends that are effecting the Church today in our world. These trends are because we are living in a post-modern society. One of the changes rising out of these trends is that many are now dissatisfied with the Church and are looking for massive change in the Church or simply leaving the institutional version of the Church.
These people are often called revolutionaries – but really they are simply disciples of Jesus who are sensing a move of the Spirit in their hearts causing them to look for the true Church as found expressed in the New Testament.
We are looking at societal trends … So far we have examined 4 of 7 …
Trend #1: The Changing of the Guard
Trend #2: The Rise of a New View of Life
Trend #3: Dismissing the Irrelevant
Trend #4: The Impact of Technology
Trend #5: Genuine Relationships
Busters and Mosaics (today’s younger generations) place a much higher premium on genuine personal relationships than do their predecessors. They are not necessarily more adept at this process. But they certainly pursue meaningful relationships rather than passing acquaintances, and they are more likely to invest themselves in the messiness of other people’s issues than to pass along superficial advice. They devote a greater share of their time each day to keeping up those connections. They are, in the vernacular, “people people.”
As the younger generations wield their increasing influence in the development of media content, institutional behavioural, the reshaping of societal customs, and accepted notions regarding relational activity, we are becoming a society increasingly focused on personal authenticity rather than excellence in performance. As the years go by, the balance of excellence and authenticity will gradually shift to the latter.
In ministry and other areas, we will emphasize personal stories and experiences instead of principles and commands. We will show a growing appreciation for leaders who operate within a team context rather than those who exhibit charisma and dynamism as captivating solo practitioners. Organizations that demonstrate inclusiveness will grab our allegiance over those that are perceived to be narrow or judgmental.
Trend #6: Participation in Reality
More and more young believers are becoming entrepreneurs. They are hands-on in their lifestyle and work situations. With the proliferation of technology, the rise of women in positions of marketplace leaderships, and the educational emphasis upon the practical rather than the conceptual, people expect to be active and creative participants in developing the reality of their experience. Fewer and fewer people are willing to sit back and endure what the world throws at them; rather, they are seeking the means to exert greater control over their lives. As time goes on, people are paying more attention to the outcomes their effort generate and are constantly refining their activities to generate more personally satisfying results.
The same mind-set is affecting the ministry context. There is more enthusiasm for creating personal dialogue with non-Christian friends than for bringing them to a big evangelistic event. The popularity of small groups has grown consistently as people experience the benefits of a shared experience in which their contribution matters. Short-term missions activity has exploded as growing numbers of Christians want to be a part of a ministry solution rather than merely funding it. Watch how the next few years will usher in innovative expressions of this hands-on approach to being a Christin in a non-Christian world.