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LEADERSHIP recently asked its editorial advisers, "What changes are you observing in ministry?" We filtered their answers and added insights distilled from conversations with researcher George Barna and pastor Leith Anderson, two respected observers of the contemporary church. The result was a list of seven broad "megashifts" in church ministry.

Many of these shifts are not sudden; pastors have been feeling their effects. Taken together, however, these seven shifts map out the terrain of ministry in the late '90s and beyond.

1. Church attenders want choice.

In "Christianity in the Twenty-first Century," Princeton sociologist Robert Wuthnow writes, "In the past century, denominationalism was … a very large part of what it meant to be Christian." Now, says Wuthnow, "people belong to the Presbyterian church, not because of deep loyalty to the denomination at large, but because they like the pastor, they feel comfortable with the people, the building fits their architectural tastes, the ...

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