One of the more interesting conversations I had while at the National Outreach Convention came during the Leaders 100 Dinner hosted by Outreach on Wednesday night. I was talking with Dave Browning of Christ The King, Lynne Marian of Outreach Magazine and Chris Brown from North Coast Church. The topic of conversation was about cultural trends that will impact the church in the next five years. Here are the two trends that seemed to rise to the top:
The Age Wave. We are just about at the point where there are more people who are over the age of 65 than there are children under the age of 12. With the aging of the baby boomers this will bring an unprecedented number of seniors who have discretionary time and resources. It seems as though there will be a shift from primarily reaching out to young families with children to reaching out to the growing senior population. Our Carillon Campus is a glimpse of what more and more churches will be doing in the next few years.
The Bono Effect. I would rather call it the Jesus effect, but it was Bono’s name that was used when referring to a renewed interest in social justice and meeting the physical needs of people. This perfectly paves the way for us to force churches out of the dichotomy between evangelism and social justice and focus on accomplishing the Jesus mission of reaching whole people with the whole gospel. Those churches that only focus on “saving souls” will become obsolete. Those churches that reach out to whole people will see whole communities find their way back to God! Our Community 4:12 ministry is an example of what more churches will be doing in the future.