We asked Leith Anderson, the pastor and skilled observer who heard and defined the outcry for change in the 1990s, to describe the church of tomorrow.
Will the church be large or small? Denominational or independent? Traditional or contemporary or razor's edge postmodern? His answer? "Yes!"
We get it. The church is moving in many directions at once.
What trends will make it that way?
"Yes!" Anderson says again.
We think we know what he means. The same forces that are driving our society are propelling the church forward, or should we say outward, at the same speed.
Still, there are discernable forces that will influence the shape of ministry after the millennium's turn. We invited five experienced seers to scan the horizon and tell us what's ahead.
"What trend will have the greatest impact on the church in the next ten years?" we asked.
We're surprised by what they didn't spot: the impact of technology, the mainstreaming of contemporary worship, demographic shifts, urbanization, trends ...1