Studies and blog posts are everywhere predicting the decline of the American church. “Churches are dying!” But I’ve actually experienced the exact opposite. I’ve experienced churches barely able to contain the growth God is sending their way.
So while some churches might be declining in attendance, I see a brand new generation of churches growing exponentially. And here’s where I see the churches going, and where I think more churches will go in the near future.
1. More focus on experiences instead of information.
Information is everywhere. Seriously, want to know a fact? Just ask Siri. Information is no longer the precious commodity it once was. The rise of fake news shows that – people care less about information and more about the experience.
So while sermons will still be part of the future church, it won’t be everything. Churches that can infuse experience into ministry will be the dominant players. This means creating space for things to happen, not just for information to get shared. It’s not about learning about prayer, it’s about fostering opportunities for it. It’s not about learning about community, it’s about creating spaces for that to happen.
2. More focus on individual uniqueness.
Corporate Christianity has previously been about management-based principles. Delegate. Replace yourself. Work yourself out of a job. Unfortunately, that sort of approach turns you into a cog in the wheel instead of an individual uniquely gifted by God.
Just like companies are starting to do, I believe more churches will focus on the uniqueness of their staff, their volunteers, and their attendees. The opportunities won’t be about fulfilling a function… They’ll be about sparking the fire of uniqueness God has placed in each person so they can be fully themselves in the situation.
3. Less political influence and reach.
Finally, I believe future churches will be less focused on politics. That isn’t to say they will censor themselves. But I see churches focusing on bigger issues than political discourse. It’s not about welfare laws, it’s about feeding and clothing the poor. It’s not about abortion laws, it’s about reaching out to unwed mothers and giving them a place.
There’s place for truth. But actions speak so much louder than words. And I see the future church being a place of action.
Those are my predictions. I believe the more churches follow suit with this new wave of growth, the more unstoppable the Church will become. I’m very, very excited about the future of the church.