Don Sweeting, President of RTS Orlando has listed trends he sees in faith, the nation, world and give
us some important dates to note.
His list of faith trends in our culture:
- Faith makes a hit at the movies: This
Spring movies like Noah, Heaven is for Real, Son of God and Mary of Nazareth
are released, but, as always, amidst a mountain of cultural slush like Godzilla
and Fifty Shades of Grey.
- Mega church pastor angst: Younger
leaders worry about the role of mega church pastors, given all the recent
transitions, scandals and crashes. They wonder what the “one great leader”
model does to a person/church and how it can be improved.
- Low pastor esteem: Trust in clergy
reaches record lows, according to a recent Gallup Poll. The overall trend for
clergy has sloped downward since 2001, a contrast to 30 years ago when
community and congregation held pastors in higher esteem. Trust, integrity and
honesty are issues.
- Pope Francis is held up as religious
model: As TIME’s man of the year,
influence and example are being promoted both within and outside the Roman
- America “the hardest mission
what some are saying. In our post-Christendom era of material abundance,
outreach is a big challenge. There are numerous barriers to deal with before
many people will set foot in a church.
- Growth of multiple venues in one
church: More churches are experimenting with multiple venues and campuses.
- The issue of leadership: The
Economist writes, “in 2014, the world will crave leadership!”
Demands and expectations of pastors are higher than they were 25 years ago.
Churches are looking for pastors that can preach and lead. More smaller
churches are hiring executive pastors.
Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International. As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.