Snapshot: The next 10 years in the American church
Sabbatical can do funny things to people, can’t it? I’ve returned from mine and there are many things that I feel the Lord is bringing to the front of my mind (one of which I will begin a blog series on next week). But one of those things is simply wondering, as a Futurist, what the next 10 years of the American church will look like?
We’re seeing many things right now as we survey the landscape of the church:
- The explosion and continued growth of the mega-church, particularly with multi-site churches
- The church seems to be getting smaller and larger. Either decline or stagnation or rapid growth in larger churches with very little in between (interestingly, we’re seeing this happen economically for Americans as well).
- Increased polarization of theological pockets within the BIG “C” Church
- Increased outworking of social justice
- Church budgets in crisis and churches starting to explore alternative revenue streams and economic engines
- Missional emphasis that, at least in my view, may already be wearing out as a fad and not as a way of life
- I’m noticing an uptick of interest in the discipleship conversation. I wonder where that will go?
- Continued assault on the nuclear family without the recognition that the extended family is actually the answer
- Huge drop in attendance for Gen X and Gen Y
- Rise in charismatic expressions (i.e. fastest growing segment of the American church right now)
That’s a very quick, snapshot overview of where we are today. There’s a lot of good in that and some things that aren’t so good.
Here’s my question to you: Where do you think the American church will be in 10 years?
What will be happening? What will it look like? What worries you? Excites you? Where do you see it going? Where is God already moving and where do you think it’s leading?