It was the summer of ’83, and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends was a best-seller. I happened to be on assignment covering a board meeting of the National Association of Evangelicals and found myself with some 20 denominational executives gathered for morning devotions and prayer. Leading our time together was Thomas McDill, president of the Evangelical Free Church of America. His text was Matthew 16:1–4.

From Christ’s discourse on “the signs of the times,” Tom began to challenge each of the leaders present by deftly drawing a series of critical connections between Naisbitt’s trends and the future effectiveness of the church. I sensed that for many there, the importance of that book’s message left America’s corporate offices and, for the first time, entered denominational headquarters.

The need for accurate reading of today’s “signs of the times” prompted the Christianity Today Institute to identify the ten trends (five inside the church, five outside) that are the focal points of the special supplement beginning on page 63. Taken together, we believe they present a clear and exciting challenge for the church as it moves into the twenty-first century.

HAROLD SMITH, Managing Editor

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