13 Issues for Churches in 2013

7. Innovative use of space

I recently drove onto a church property located on approximately three to four acres.

My consultant training told me 300 to 500 people could worship on that site.

The Millennial pastor who was riding with me said the site could easily accommodate 2,000 in attendance.

The younger pastor did not see limitations of times or days of worship. Indeed, that generation will cause us to look anew at church space limitations.

8. Heightened conflict

The Millennial generation will not accept church-as-usual. They are shaking the status quo in many churches.

They are not seeking to be adversarial; they are simply asking tough questions those of us in older generations were reticent to address.

Anecdotally, the greatest resistance to change is occurring in the Builder generation and the older Boomer generation (roughly including those born before 1955).

9. Adversarial government

More public schools and other public facilities will be less accepting of churches meeting in their facilities. Some other local governments are resisting approval of non-tax-paying congregations expanding their facilities.

New churches and existing churches that are expanding their venues will be forced to become more creative as they look for new locations.

10. Community focus

One of the great benefits the Millennial generation brings to our churches is their focus on the community in which the church is located.

They are not content simply to offer ministries to those who come to the church facilities; they are going into the community to serve the merchants and residents who work and live there.

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Thom Rainer
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.