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Trends for 2020

Posted by on January 24, 2011

In this months Church Executive magazine there was an interesting article by Sam S. Rainer III: Ten [unexpected] trends to surface in 2020″.  Some seemed like no brianers; “Boomer ministries boom”, but a few were more interesting.

Staff positions evolve
For churches to remain healthy, staff structures will change between now and the next 10 years.  …  As multi-site churches become more prevalent with more sites, administrators will need to become more skilled at managing a network of ministries. As churches refocus their programs and activities around a tight discipleship process, the old paradigm of hierarchical structures will fade as a plurality of local church leadership emerges.

Funny, these are both thought process we are engaging in at Grace – has someone been listening in on meetings?  Or are we some how psychically in tune with the rest of the church world?? 🙂

Charismatic leadership becomes less prevalent
Charismatic leadership is based on the personality and charisma of a senior leader. Transformational leadership is based on the collective vision of an entire group. Both have their place, even in the church.  …  Charismatic teachers and leaders will always exist, but transformational leadership will become more popular in the coming decade.

Transformational leaders inspire people to reach for a common goal. They develop, train, and mentor future talent. They empower people to accomplish tasks. Creativity, transparency and authenticity are valued. Leaders and followers alike know what the goal is and how to achieve it. These leaders show everyone the big picture and why it’s important. The next 10 years will bring a fresh focus on local pastors leading local churches to become focused on a local mission.

Two things struck me about this prediction:

  1. I don’t think balancing a charismatic leader with a transformation leader is anything new in successful organizations, (can you say CEO and COO??)  Maybe the prediction is that more Sr. Pastors are developing healthy staff relationships by bringing on diverse leadership?
  2. The focus on local mission is interesting.  I recently learned that the U.S. church lost it’s focus on local mission, (maybe even at Grace??)  We have focused so much on bringing the bible to foreign countries that our children are growing up asking who Noah is.  Other countries have begun sending missionaries to the U.S.  Kind of ironic, the grandchildren of the missionaries we sent abroad are coming back to their forefathers country to share the good news with us.

Growth in video-venues slows down
The trend towards more transformational leadership will quell the popularity of video-venues in which a single teaching pastor is projected to multiple sites. The Internet and podcast boom brought with it a cultural wave of electronic teaching. While this trend has been positive — more sound teaching is readily available (for free) than ever before. Eventually, however, the wired generation will desire a more local, personal touch than the man-on-the-screen. By 2020, more campuses at multi-site churches will feature a campus pastor who teaches, and more people will seek out this type of local connection.


From Jan. 2011 Church Executive

Hmm, so our culture is going to stop going to movies in favor of going to plays?  I dont see it.  I think the two forms of media meet different needs.  I agree that transformational leaders will make an impact and that every site should have local teaching and personal relationships, BUT a preacher at every site kinda flies in the face of the earlier prediction that charismatic leaders will partner with transformation leaders.  We know the best preachers are usually charismatic leaders and that transformational leaders are usually much more “do” oriented.  Both can be fantastic teachers but they use different mediums as their platform.   I believe it is more likely that campus pastors will continue as strong transformational leaders and may share more of the load of preaching but the weekend sermon can be as effective in video as it can be preached live.

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