Future Trends for the Missional Church CHRIS MCGUFFEY
Levels of Trend Uncertainty Courtney, H. (2001). 20/20 foresight crafting strategy in an uncertain world. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Micro Trends - Examples Four Relevant Church Trends • Move from small groups to home churches • Video venues over physical expansion • Leveraging Internet Technology • Flattening Organizational Structures
Metro Map of the Future http://www.nowandnext.com
Metro Map of the Future http://www.nowandnext.com
The Church The Meaning ofεκκλησία • Was used in secular terms to mean “gathering” • Adopted to describe the “gathering habits” of the early Christians • Was not originally used to describe the physical location/building • “I’m going to church (εκκλησία)” meant “I’m going to be involved in my Christ-following community (at Petros’ house)
The Church But somewhere along the way, church became a place we “go” instead of something we “do.”
The Ministry The Meaning ofέργω(ν) • Used to describe a work in progress (like road work) • Still used in modern times (Greece) to describe “ministry” • It is a something done by the community of believers, not a job status for pastors and missionaries
Macro Trends – Phyllis Tickle Principles of Emergence • Cycles of Great Emergence • 500 Year Garage Sales • Set the useless at the curb • Retain what is most important • Look for new forms of practice Tickle, P. (2008). The Great Emergence, How Christianity is Changing and Why. Ada, MI: Baker Books.
Liturgicals Social Justice Phase One: Flight Renewalists Conservatives Tickle, P. (2008). The Great Emergence, How Christianity is Changing and Why. Ada, MI: Baker Books.
Liturgicals Social Justice Orthopraxy Theonomy Orthonomy Phase Two: Fraternize Orthodoxy Renewalists Conservatives Tickle, P. (2008). The Great Emergence, How Christianity is Changing and Why. Ada, MI: Baker Books.
Liturgicals Social Justice Phase Three: Fellowship Renewalists Conservatives Tickle, P. (2008). The Great Emergence, How Christianity is Changing and Why. Ada, MI: Baker Books.
If we (the evangelical church at large, and Grace Bible Church) cannot learn how and be willing to tap into these growing groups we will lose our effective witness within a generation or two.
Two Major Problems • “Attractional” Outreach • Deficient Disciple-making
Problem One Attractional Outreach • Sunday morning as primary strategy • People choose churches based on preferences (teaching, music, programs, people) • This has been a successful model as long as people view the church as relevant – having something to offer
“Fatal Attraction” European Foreshadowing • 70% of people in England have no intention of ever stepping into a church building • Facts from Pew Research • “Nones” – people who don’t identify with particular religion • 1950-2000: doubled from 5% to 10% • 2000-2010: doubled from 10% to 20% • 88% of those identified as “nones” are not looking for a religious affiliation - they are non-respondent to an attractional model…
“Fatal Attraction” European Foreshadowing • 1950: 65% of England’s population were involved in an evangelical ministry or church • 2012: 2% of England’s population are involved in an evangelical ministry or church • Typically, in terms of shifts in culture (post-modernism, pluralism, etc.) the United States has followed Europe.
Problem #2 Deficient Disciple-Making • Though this is a hallmark of Grace Bible Church, it is not normative in the larger church environment • Even many of the successful programs at our church minister to the “Faithful 500” – not engaging the largest proportion of our audience
The Definition of Disciple (Μαθητής) Jesus in Luke 9 • Starts the passage by feeding all those who had been listening/learning (9:10-17) • In the middle of the passage he redefines the term, saying, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (9:23) • He gives people an idea of what that means by “setting his face to go to Jerusalem (to die)” (9:51) • And then charges them no to look back once committed (9:62)
Deficient Disciple-Making • It is so easy to get stuck in the teaching/learning phase of discipleship, but difficult to move beyond to action and outreach • Biblical “following” includes going, reaching out, touching, talking, explaining and meeting needs • Jesus didn’t spend a lot of his time with those who already knew (Jews) – he spent time with those who didn’t know but would respond
Key Changes for the General Church • From Attractional Outreach to Missional Involvement • From Disciple-faking to Disciple-making
Missional Involvement • What is Missional Involvement • Incarnational – being permeated by our relationship with Jesus • Intentional – being purposeful in our life and mission • Invitational – being personal, bringing people to our life and relationship with Jesus and church if necessary • Every day outreach, lifelong missionaries – a ministry that parallels the life you are already living (passions, hobbies, neighbors, spheres of influence)
Missional Involvement • Skype • Skype changed the long distance communications market • Drawback – could only talk with early adopters • Could not reach non-adopters • Skype Out • Minimized the challenge (cost) of reaching others who would not change on their own • Grace Bible Church and “Grace Out” • What are the implications of this metaphor?
Disciple-Making • True discipleship moves beyond just learning to following • For many, church activities consumes free time because discipleship activities have become our hobby instead of reaching out to those around us • Program-centric activities may continue to be interested and well attended, but can actually prevent interaction with the lost in our community
Hard Questions to Ask • What should church growth look like? • Is it more geographic locations, more diversified audiences, or more people listening to our sermons? Or does church growth mean moving into areas that are going to be the central cultural environment of the future?
Hard Questions to Ask • How do we need to define success? • Will we have the courage to “let go” of well-attended strategies that are not producing leaders who initiate with the lost?
Hard Questions to Ask • Can we move away from staff-centric ministry experiences? • Are we willing to de-professionalize the ministry so that others can build quick competence and confidence to take a greater role in outreach?
Hard Questions to Ask • How flexible is GBC now to deal with major transitions in the future? • Is GBC ready to add to its main strategy of teaching the equipped to focus more consistently through connecting with the lost?
Hard Questions to Ask • Which leaders are ready to transition their traditional view of church to a more fluid view? • Where does GBC need to change its rhetoric from the church “in here” to the church “out there?”
Key Conversations • Multi-Generational Ministry • De-Professionalization of the Ministry • Accessibility of Leaders • Linking Teaching to Real Life Needs • Building Relationships Outside the Church