Podcast Episode #092
Trend prediction is both an art and a science. It is a science in the sense that I utilize the good objective research of credible research organizations like LifeWay Research and others. It is an art in that I depend on observations, anecdotal information, and ongoing interaction with church leaders and members.
At the beginning of every year, I attempt to present to you the major trends for congregations for the coming twelve months. I review my predictions from previous years to see how accurate I am. I have come to two conclusions. First, I am far from perfect in my predictions. Second, I do have a decent track record.
Some of my trends are called “tipping points.” Formally defined, a tipping point is the critical moment in an evolving situation that leads to a new and somewhat permanent reality. In simple terms, a tipping point here means that something has changed in our churches to the point that it appears to be permanent.
So this week, Jonathan and I cover my 15 trends for 2015.
Some highlights from today’s episode include:
- The Millennial generation is almost insisting on smaller worship gatherings.
- A larger percentage of church attendees are attending larger churches.
- The multi-teaching pastor trend we are seeing in churches is a healthy trend for pastors and churches.
- In 2015, less than 5% of churches in America will continue to hold a separate Sunday evening service.
- The majority of churches in America have been isolated from their community in recent years. But that is changing.
- Denominations are becoming more streamlined with more money going to the mission field.
- A church that does not put an emphasis on small groups is likely not a healthy church.
The 15 trends to look for in 2015 are:
- More partnerships between denominations and churches.
- Continued increased in the number of multi-site churches.
- Smaller worship gatherings.
- Continued flow of people from smaller churches to larger churches.
- The tipping point for a plurality of teaching pastors.
- The tipping point of churches eliminating Sunday evening worship services.
- Congregations growing in favor in their respective communities.
- The beginnings of prayer movement in our churches.
- More emphasis on congregational singing.
- More focus on theological education in local churches.
- The waning and reconfiguration of denominational structures.
- A rapid increase in bivocational church staff.
- Increased difficulty in matching prospective pastors with churches with pastoral vacancies.
- Growth of verbal incarnational evangelism.
- The tipping point for small groups.
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