The church of the 21st century is going to require pastors to acquire a new set of tools. The church, and by that I mean all churches, has never been very good at reading the trends in society. Sure we can yell and stop our feet that the church should influence society but that ship has sailed. Pastors need to be equipped to look at such things as demographics shifts and sociological studies of their neighborhoods. Nothing beats boots on the ground work but they days of opening the church doors and watching the people flood in are gone, for good. I do not think the brick and mortar church will ever completely go away, but the church of the next five to ten years is going to be radically different than it is today.
Church leadership blogger Thom Rainer has listed his major trends that the church needs to be aware of and focused on and we start to move through 2017. How the church responds, not reacts but responds, to these trends will determine the future of the church and the effectiveness of the church. The time to start watching these trends was yesterday, so we are already behind the curve a little.
One of the interesting points is this idea of multi-site churches. Multi-site could be a way for multiple churches to come together to share resources such as pastoral staff. Rather than merge churches, where ultimately one church loses its identity, why not cluster for lack of a better term. Multi-site is a trend that bears watching.
Read the rest here