Here is a thought-provoking article from pastor Carey Nieuwhof: 6 Disruptive Church Trends that Will Rule 2017.
Click on the link to read the whole article. There you will find other links that discuss these trends in more detail. In brief, his six points are:
1. Consumer Christianity will die faster than ever
“Christian maturity isn‘t marked by how much we know or what we can get, it’s marked by how much we love and how much we give in light of how deeply we’ve been loved and how much we’ve been given.”
2. Cool Church will Morph
“Having great preaching, a decent band and an awesome facility or environment is not a bad thing. It beats having terrible preaching, pathetic music, and a dingy facility.
But unchurched people are increasingly interested in the mission more than the method. They want to meet Jesus.
They have enough cool in their lives. They don’t have enough Jesus.”
3. Preachers Who Can’t Speak to the Unchurched Will Preach to a Shrinking Crowd
“If you’ve never thought through what it’s like to be in church for the first time, with little to no church background, with a different moral code operating in your life, hearing truths that are thousands of years old, and trying to figure out your life through a very different lens, well, it will be exceptionally difficult for you to connect with unchurched people.”
4. Preaching will fuse both the head and the heart
“Information alone doesn’t bring about transformation. Preaching to the head can lead to a changed mind, but not a changed life….Preaching only to the heart creates emotional followers, whose faith rises and falls with their feelings.”
5. Anonymity will continue to give way to community
“Figuring out how to connect people faster, at their own pace and in their own sequence, will become the hallmark of churches where many gather.”
6. Engagement will become the new attendance
“One of the changes you’ll see happening in 2017 is leaders who measure engagement as much or more than attendance.”
How many people serve, how many give, how many invite their unchurched friends and how many jump into community beyond Sunday will become the new measure of effectiveness in growing churches even more than attendance.”