I recently came across a list of eight trends in American churches for the upcoming year. This list was put together by Thom S. Rainer, the CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources. Part of what Lifeway does is to provide research regarding churches, pastors, and other religious topics.
Rainer believes that “church security” will become “the fastest growing ministry.” Sadly, this is probably already a major trend. Due to the sinful nature of fallen man, security is needed more than ever in our churches because of previous incidents and an increasing animosity towards the church (and a growing general lawlessness within the culture). As our society turns farther away from the morality grounded in God’s Word, security, even in churches, will become more important. Indeed, Christians are being increasingly looked on as the enemy in the Western world.
Rainer also notes that the need for “training in classical disciplines and doctrine” remains among pastors and other church leaders. Unfortunately, many pastors are weak on their knowledge of Scripture and important classical doctrines. And if they are weak in these areas then their congregations probably are, too. We hope the next year will see a revival of the teaching of solid, Bible-based doctrine. Likely, as more churches compromise with the world, churches that are dedicated to God’s Word will recognize the importance of teaching solid doctrine in the church so their parishioners can know what they believe and why they believe it. It’s also vital that churches teach people how to defend the Christian faith.
Rainer’s final prediction is that in 2016 we’d see “fewer segregated churches.” I certainly hope this is the case. As the coauthor of One Race, One Blood, I know the Bible is clear that every person is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and that we’re all descended from Adam and Eve and are therefore “one blood” (Acts 17:26). In a biblical view, there is no basis for racist attitudes or segregation.
Well, I thought I’d also put together a list of the top five trends I personally see growing over the next year here in America.
The trends we see in American churches shouldn’t discourage us, however. They should ignite a fire inside every Christian to be even bolder on standing on the authority of the Word of God. Parents, I encourage you to be intentional about teaching your kids to think with a biblical worldview. And pray for the upcoming generation. Pray that God will raise up godly men and women who will stand for His Word and truth in a culture that has rejected it.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.