The following is a list of major shifts in everyday life that have changed how a large portion of how ministry takes place. The first list focuses on past changes from the 1950s to 2000. The second list focuses on changes since 2000 and the trajectory into the future.
Past Changes – 1950’s to Present
- Shepard to Rancher – Family church minister shifted to larger congregational care. Pastors are more specialized in their area of care (lead pastor, teaching pastor, executive pastor, worship pastor, youth pastor, etc.).
- Inclusion – More open and friendly to other faiths/denominations.
- Community Perception of Pastors – Less respect and use by the community.
- Communication – Technology has increased ability but apparently disconnected us more.
- Priority of church vs. family – Church is no longer a priority.
- Authenticity – Transparency has increased and generations clash over how much to share.
- Worship style – In regards to ministry, shorter preaching, more worship arts focus.
- Dress – Formal clothing shifted to more casual.
- Technology – More than just communication, but also travel, audio systems, a/c, and so on.
- Women in ministry – Women are taking more leadership roles and entering the ministry.
- Preaching/teaching – Style is more conversational and teaching. Regularity in times preaching. Not as much “shouting” preaching.
- More fellowship opportunities – Less time spent together outside of a church.
Future Changes – Present to Future
- Diversity/Globalization – People are scattered. Grow diverse or shrink.
- Age – Baby boomers are moving to old age.
- Relevant – How much engagement with the culture and changing along with it?
- Increasing inter-faith – Common ground. Inter-denominationally already accepted.
- Technology – Continually changing and driving church practice.
- Family Dynamics – mixed families focus.
- Authentic Worship – Experiential (attractional) vs. truth
- Online Community – Physical church or online church.
- Diversity – Women and greater ethnicity in leadership.
- Formal education less valued – Where can I get the training for less debt?
- No single source of information – Many other opportunities for information and spiritual formation outside of the church.
- Reverse formation – Younger generations teaching older generations.
- Teamwork vs. solo ministry – Greater use of staff in the church.