In 7 Trends Impacting the Church by Chris Railey, he says,
“We never compromise the centrality of our Gospel message, but we are always on the lookout for ways to preach it to more people.”
As a Digital Engagement and Disciple-Making Coordinator with WorldVenture, currently an appointee, that quote sums up my feelings about the church and missions. The article talks about 7 trends currently impacting the church.
- We should be flexible and be ready to adapt.
- Being aware of trends helps us better serve a broken world.
The article goes over church planting trends, evolving consumer trends, etc. What I focused on was how other generations are focused on the quality of discipleship. They don’t care who writes the discipleship material, but what’s in it. One part talked about the church as an investment for a generation. Church shouldn’t be treated as an investment. Then, the article explores immigration.
- Young professionals and immigrants are moving into the cities.
- Gentrification of urban areas or urban renewal brings more expensive housing, forcing other diverse peoples to move into suburban areas. Suburban areas are now flavored by diverse points of view and other cultures.
- Urban areas face income inequality, open hostility to Christianity, and people who are more alone, detached, and divided.
Major concerns were:
- Not many Christians sharing their faith. The article says, “People are afraid of not being able to answer questions and are afraid of arguments.” With the support of our church and international workers and the internet, we can get comfortable saying, “Let me get back to you.” It’s okay not to have all the answers.
- Over-politization of everything. I loved what the article said, “Christianity’s cause is the Gospel, not a political party’s platform.”
- Our young people live in a global community with the onset of the internet.
- Is our church prepared to serve cross-culturally? We should partner with our missionary organizations to learn how. Even non-urban areas are experiencing cross-cultural ministry. It’s an ever-increasing reality.
The article gives a lot of good insight. The church can adapt without compromising the Gospel and do whatever it takes to share their faith with others. Sometimes, it just means learning new disciplines or new habits, like utilizing their smartphones and tablets for more intentional usage.