Then, within the last ten years, the Missional Movement has emphasized the place of the church to serve the human needs of its community, integrating social justice and community development.
The church is about to embark on a next movement – the Creative Church. The Creative Church is being primed by two specific global trends, and will meet three key needs.
1. Urbanization – Over the next few decades, the majority of the world will be moving into cities. This rapid urbanization and development will create communities that are densely diverse ethnically, socioeconomically, and culturally. As one international affairs expert puts it, there is much we can learn now from the time of St. Augustine – during times of rapid development and human density, most social structures (like government, education, etc.) are unable to move fast enough to deal with the diversity and social needs. Religious institutions and organizations, for better or for worse, have usually been the glue that keeps a heterogeneous world moving (and that isn’t always in a positive direction!). An urbanized world will require the church to move fast and innovate and create solutions at a high level to build urban communities that are resilient and collaborative.
2. Generational Shift – Millennials are one of the largest generations in history, and are reaching adulthood. Their DNA is creativity, entrepreneurship, and authentic expression. As they move into maturity and church leadership, their expectation will be for the church to have the same personality. This will be compounded by the fact that the generation after Millennials, GenZ (Homelanders or Founders as some are beginning to call them), will be even more creative and entrepreneurial than Millennials. The church in a few short years will be creative people serving and leading even more creative people.
The future of the church is exciting, as generational expressions align with trends. Here are three needs that the Creative Church will be in a position to meet.
1. Friction – physicist Geoffrey West outlines that the reason cities work is because of their friction; consistent collision of people and ideas in close space to innovate models and systems. The Creative Church will be an integral part of this friction, serving as numerous close spaces where people and ideas connect, mediating and unifying the different ideas and backgrounds of diverse populations.
2. Resiliency – communities are discovering that their resilience is closely linked to intergenerational connectivity and collaboration. Unstable and rapidly changing environments will depend on churches that are skilled in bringing generations together well for conversation and common effort.
3. Investment – a common ingredient of strong communities is human and financial investment in people and their ideas. As grassroots and localized bodies, churches will be in a position to be support networks for rapidly launching solutions and innovations.
Putting all the pieces together, the Creative Church will be a movement to design fast and flexible churches that are collaborative spaces where intergenerational relationships launch big ideas.
Back to You
How does this match what you’re seeing? Is this the future of the church? How might it be different? Leave your comments below, and share this post to start conversation!