Recently a friend asked me this question: What are 3-5 forces or key variables that will affect the growth of our ministry?
After pondering his question for several days, I responded with these four cultural shifts that are affecting you and me right now.
1. Cultural shifts that reflect an underlying and often inexplicit post-modern worldview. Specifically, this generation has grown up believing that God is irrelevant, vulgarity is cool, and I am the center of things. When “I” am at the center my world lacks gravitas. It becomes increasingly more difficult to acknowledge that I am subject to norms of society or sources of authority outside of myself. This has serious implications for followership in a company, a marriage, a friendship, or in a discipleship relationship to Jesus.
2. Urbanization and globalization. The world is smaller, but I am more isolated and overwhelmed as a result. This breeds a growing sense of anxiety and lack of permanence, which can be fueled by…
3. Digital technologies that promote addictive behavior resulting in information overload. Continual alerts (texts, emails, tweets) and the gamification of apps with badge notifications stimulate the same pleasure center in the brain as sex and addictive drugs. This results in a love/hate relationship with our devices and creates unrealistic expectations for other sources of less-exciting input (e.g. reading, studying Scripture, listening to a 30-minute sermon with intent to follow the logic of the preacher) that cannot be easily met. We struggle with sustained concentration. This results in a shallowness. We are cultivating a generation of tech savvy people who do not possess wisdom to live life rightly.
4. The deep heartfelt desire for meaningful relationships that bring purpose, connection and groundedness in light of #’s 1-3 above. We have answers for this. That is good news!
What cultural trend would you add to this list?