If necessity is the mother of invention, what "necessities" are driving today's proliferating innovations in church life?

"Although the next church's shape is not yet obvious, the forces that give it shape are," writes Reggie McNeal in The Present Future. And while the innovations in this issue of Leadership may not suit your church, if McNeal is correct, the forces that have inspired these innovations are already shaping the people in your pews. What are these underlying forces?

We asked four cultural analysts:

Reggie McNeal is director of the Leadership Development Team for the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

Sally Morganthaler is founder of Sacramentis.com and a leader in worship renewal.

Lyle Schaller is a prolific author and church consultant.

Leonard Sweet is a futurist and dean of the Theological School at Drew University.

Gleaning our conversations with these cultural exegetes, four forces were clearly identified.

1. Customization

"The world has moved from industrialized standardization ...

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