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10 Trends for 2013

Posted on January 9th, 2013

Where we live impacts us. I have been the pastor of a multiracial, international church in New Life in Queens, NY for the more than twenty five and a half years. It is the soil out of which I see the world and the larger church. Thus, I offer the following trends, or concerns, that I believe we need to carry to God in prayer:

  1. Evangelicalism will continue to lose young people in their teens, 20’s and 30’s who are genuinely searching for an authentic transformative experience with God.
  2. The issue of same-sex marriage and partnerships will increasingly dominate our youth ministries. We will be very slow to equip our youth leaders and ministries with a well-thought, nuanced, theological response.
  3. There will continue to be little interest for Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox believers to learn from one another.
  4. Marriage discipleship will remain non-existent or superficial in our churches. The high divorce rate, along with a large number of struggling marriages, will continue.
  5. Evangelical denominations will continue their painful, slow decline in influence and numbers as they seek missional relevance in a confusing, rapidly changing world.
  6. We will see greater social media savvy and preaching cleverness coupled with a new drive to plant churches and multisite campuses.  This will negatively impact pastors and leaders in their ability to go deeper in their own spiritual formation in Christ.
  7. Racism, sexism, and classism will continue unchecked and remain largely unaddressed.
  8. Seminaries will continue to struggle to develop leaders for the next generation of pastors/leaders.
  9. We will continue to see few women offering significant contributions to our churches due to little encouragement, few opportunities, and a faulty theology. This will be true for both complementarians and egalitarians.
  10. Churches will continue to focus on global missions while ignoring the intractable problems of racism and poverty in the cities across the USA.
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