Today’s contribution to the “Church Trends” series comes from Will Mancini. Will is the founder and Clarity Evangelist of Auxano. He is a consultant, strategist, and vision architect for churches and ministries across the country. Here are a couple of Will’s latest thoughts on trends he’s seeing in the church:
Networks are Becoming the New Denominations
The rise of church planting networks not only validate the entrepreneurial spirit but enable new groupings of “the small” from the prior trend to exert more influence. As the new learning, new strategies, and new relationships cluster in these front line networks, the knowledge, encouragement, and accountability of traditional denominations bring less value. It’s no surprise to most readers that the time and resources from most denominations are woefully tied up with ineffective congregations.
What are some of these growing networks? Here are a few: Acts 29, Redeemer City to City, New Thing, ARC, ChurchPlanters.com, PLNTD, Vision360, and the ICF Movement. Of course, there are countless more and new ones popping up all the time. Two that just started are the Houston Church Planters Network and the Launch Network in Atlanta. Please note that these networks are not trying to be new denominations, but their momentum is changing the game. Also note that some effective networks like Stadia and the Church Multiplication Network are denominationally based.
Leaders Will Pay More Attention to Shorter Time Horizons
Everything in the vision and clarity space pushes to shorter horizons as the pace of change accelerates. A mantra that Reggie McNeal coined is “Preparation over planning.” The emphasis on leadership is preparing for the uncertainties of the future, rather than trying to predict them. As a result, answering the question, “Where is God taking us?” requires a 90-day focus and a 1-year horizon of shared storytelling like never before. Will other time horizons be important? Yes, they will, but not like the way we used to think about it. Read this post on the Five Horizons of Leadership to glean more.
Take note that this year, 2020 is exactly 10 years away. For better or worse (and I suspect mainly for worse), we will see a new glut of 2020 vision reports. While the use of 20/20 for its opportunistic pun has been used widely for 10 years, it will legitimately fuel some new dreams for many leaders.
Will recently highlighted nine more trends for the New Year. You can read the entire list on his site.