Who would have thought the global missions landscape would shift so quickly on us?
Five years ago I started training leaders on The Macro Trends. These are the 7 most important global trends churches needed to understand and begin preparing for if they wanted to do effective global missions in the future. Now, we are seeing that each of these trends is progressing, some more rapidly and markedly than others.
Take the trend of the Paganization of the West and Spiritual Rise of the Rest, for instance. Many of the countries the West evangelized a hundred years ago are decidedly more Christian today than the increasingly post-Christian United States.
While we fully anticipated that the West would grow increasingly paganized, I never expected how hard the rise of the pagan mind would hit the church. Maybe, I just didn’t expect how poorly the church would respond.
We would do well to take Paul’s principle to heart:
We must stop reacting and responding badly when the world behaves non-biblically. If we make a ruckus when non-believers sin, we are bypassing the importance of the gospel and replacing it with self-righteousness. This behavior is taking an unfortunate toll on the church. With each new generation, there is an increasing polarization that is more public and demonstrable than I ever thought imaginable.
Right now, we have a great opportunity to reach those who need the love and grace of Jesus – and live right in our own cities, neighborhoods, and homes.
Looking ahead, the only way to combat this alarming trend of estrangement in the body of Christ is to return to our deep need to cultivate a robust spiritual vibrancy within the church, especially in our youth. We have the responsibility to raise a generation that, instead of simply reacting to the culture around them, is prepared and ready to give a response to the headlines or the question of the day.