In July of 2013, a well known Christian magazine that focuses on Christian outreach asked me what I thought they should cover in 2014.
WHAT I SUGGESTED
I suggested articles on urban agriculture, going off-grid, permaculture, voluntary simplicity, interaction with Muslims, nomads, social enterprise, DIY and self sufficiency, outreach that includes seekers rather than targets them, outreach for churches that don’t have programs (or services, or buildings).
They asked me what leaders they should focus on and I said “I think you should shift from the same old famous faces to unknown, ordinary people doing influential and transformative ministry in their spheres”.
WHAT THEY DID
Well, I saw an article on Muslims but generally the trends I outlined were ignored. Maybe we live in different worlds??? What they did do is have Steven Furtick headline an edition with an article where he finds an educational illustration about a nice clean toilet at the nice hotel his family was staying in. In another, Mark Driscoll gives advice on cultural divisions. The mag also provided detailed numerical charts of the largest and fastest growing churches in USA and gave advice on how churches could get bigger.
That worries me. Many of my Christian friends in USA no longer attend a church and the celebrity culture, along with the pillars that hold up the Christian industrial complex (conferences, seminaries, publications, etc) is crumbling. So the task of equipping God’s people to impact their worlds through contagious lifestyles and sensible answers, must ALSO exist outside institutional programs and megachurch superstars with oversized houses and ostentatious vacations. This will take a deeper level of thought and a new lineup of writers who are living out the answers. I hope the magazine can make the necessary pivot into the next season.
MY ADVICE FOR 2015
Read what I suggested for 2014