In a recent article by Thom Ranier, the President and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources, he outlined 5 major future trends for the church in America. They are:
1. Our nation will see the emergence of the largest generational mission field in more than a century.
The Millennial Generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, will have a very low Christian representation. it is estimated that only 15 percent are Christian. With a population of nearly 80 million, that means that nearly 70 million are NOT Christian.
2. The dominant attitude of the Millennials toward Christianity will be largely indifferent.
Only 13 percent of this group rank any type of spiritual matter as important to their lives. They are not angry at churches or Christians. They simply ignore Christians because they do not deem them as meaningful or relevant.
3. Senior adult ministries in churches will experience steep declines.
As the Baby Boomer Generation moves into their older years, they will resist any suggestion that they are senior adults, no matter how senior they may be. Since many churches are generally slow to adapt to new realities or change, if they do senior adult ministry the way they have always done it, they will be headed for failure.
4. The Baby Boomer Generation will become more receptive to the Gospel.
Research seems to indicate that Baby Boomers will actually become more interested in spiritual matters in general and Christianity specifically. The Baby Boomers have tried it all and found no joy. They may likely turn to the HOPE of the Gospel.
5. Family will be a key value for both of these (Boomers and Millennials) generations.
For Millennials, family is their most important value. Nearly eight out of ten ranked family as the important issue of their lives. They indicated that they had healthy relationships with their parents, who for the most part, are Baby Boomers. Churches that reach both of these generations will make significant changes to become the type of churches that foster healthy family relationships.
These trends may become reality. This is important because these two generations (Millennials and Baby Boomers) are the two largest generations in American history.
If we are discerning and obedient as Christians and church leaders, these trends may lead to significant opportunities. Lets pray, partner together, and follow the Holy Spirit as He lead us.