Cultural Trends Impacting Church Leadership

by Christine Sine

This morning I read with interest this article on Three Cultural Trends Impacting Church Leadership. The trends identified are

  1. Influence in, power out
  2. Creativity in, corporate out
  3. Networking in, email out

Since creativity and networking are core values for Mustard Seed Associates, I was delighted to see this list and very much appreciated the article.  I am constantly looking for help in understanding how and where the spirit of God is moving and I find information like this is very helpful to reflect on in that process.

However I also struggled with the article partly because it seemed to focus on how we do things rather than what we do.  I would also love to see some discussion on the good and bad of these trends.  It seems to me there is a tendency to allow the culture to shape us a church leaders rather than expecting that we can shape the culture.

There is also a whole other dimension to trends impacting leadership that I think we need to consider too.  I have blogged about this in the past:

But there are other trends too that we need to think about:

  1. Wise stewardship in big budget spending out: Economic recession and concern about climate change are making many churches rethink the way they steward their money and how they use their church property.  I have already mentioned on several occasions the amazing rise of church related  community gardens and the number of churches that are increasing their green fingerprint – changing to CFL lights, cutting back the air conditioning and heat, often because they are recognizing that going green saves money but sometimes just because they realize that saving the planet is as much of a concern as saving souls.  And because young people are on the whole very concerned about the environment this will I think be a growing trend in churches that we need to nurture and affirm
  2. Spirituality in, church going out: I find a growing number of followers of Jesus who like Anne Rice are disconnecting from the church though they are not disconnecting from Jesus.  They are looking for a faith that connects to their everyday life and that interweaves with their daily activities rather than a Sunday go to church faith in a place where they are disillusioned by bickering about theology, power plays amongst leaders and hyped up performance based worship.
  3. Kingdom of God living in, cultural accommodation out. This one might be a little bit of wishful thinking on my part, but I do feel that there is more of a trend towards transformed lives that are active in kingdom focused ways rather than a privatized faith that goes about life as usual.

So what do you think?  What do you see as the major cultural trends impacting church leadership and how should we be responding to these?

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