This issue of Leadership is dedicated to helping pastors understand and minister within today's shifting culture. The theme comes in two parts:
I. Change outside the Church.
You may find the interview with futurist Faith Popcorn, The Church's Ten-Year Window (p. 22), both troubling and hopeful. Popcorn has no particular interest in Christianity, but surprisingly, she suggests that rampant cultural disillusionment is an opportunity for the church.
One major cultural shift in the last forty years has been the intellectual mood change from modernism to postmodernism. Leadership senior associate editor Dave Goetz explains it and its implication for ministry in The Riddle of Our Postmodern Culture (p. 52). Certainly one repercussion of postmodernism is a hyper-skepticism; in Why They Struggle to Believe (p.40), four religious seekers talk frankly about their objections to the gospel.
But how much should pastors really care about trying to understand the culture? Not too much, says Will Willimon ...1