Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fourteen Predictions for American Churches for 2014 – part two

By Thom S. Rainer

In my earlier post on the first of this year, I offered the first seven of fourteen predictions for American churches for 2014. I must admit I am concerned about my focus on American congregations when so much is taking place in churches around the world. I am challenged to write more global posts for fear they will become too generic without local applications. I will continue to work on that issue.
For now, I will continue to look at American congregations. As a reminder, I noted that my predictions are based on both objective and subjective information. Each of the predictions has a reasonable explanation. For these fourteen predictions, I gleaned from several sources:
  • Data-based research, particularly LifeWay Research.
  • Trends that are already underway and gaining momentum.
  • Conversations with hundreds of church leaders.
  • My own experiences, based on 25 years of consulting and research of American congregations.
For these fourteen predictions, I added a new feature, a confidence factor. For example, if I said I had 100 percent confidence that a prediction would become reality, it would mean that I have absolutely no doubt about it. None of these predictions have a 100 percent confidence factor. But none of them fall below 70 percent either. That means I have a fairly high level of certainty about each of these trends.
The order of the trends is random. They are not ranked in any particular priority. On Wednesday, I shared the first seven predictions. I conclude today with the final seven.