October 29, 2012
The Church in 2062: A Dream Come True or Nightmare?
David Murrow believes celebrity preachers will replace denominations--and that's not a bad thing.
Best known for his books about "Why Men Hate Going to Church," David Murrow has forecasted what the church in America will look like in 50 years. Overall he believes the future looks bright--at least for men--and will bring a needed correction to the overly feminized church that keeps them away.
Here's what he thinks church will look like in 2062:
1. The midsize congregation will disappear.
2. An explosion of satellite campuses and microchurches will occur.
3. There will be a small number of megachurches led by amazingly talented communicators that dominate the country.
Murrow expands on this last idea:
No denominations? You heard me. Since 1517, churches have branded themselves around denomination. But the old brands have died before – and they’re dying again. In 2062, churches will brand themselves around their teaching pastors (see I Cor. 1:12):
1600s brands: Calvinist, Puritan, Anabaptist, Quaker, etc. 1800s brands: Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Church of God, etc. 2000s brands: Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, etc.
By 2062, America will have about 200 well-known preachers. These will be the new brands. They’ll all possess three key gifts: (1) God’s spirit, (2) amazing communication skills, and (3) ambition. These men will establish satellite campuses and microchurches in every city and town in America. Their messages will be so compelling and so widely distributed they will make mediocre preaching obsolete. That quality gap will drive many churches-on-the-corner out of business. These changes may sound horrifying to you, but in 50 years they will be the norm. And they will bring many advantages.
He then goes on to list the benefits of these shifts, including the consistence and efficiency provided by the celebrity pastor/megachurch model. (To my ear is the echo of McDonald's corporate motto: "One world, one taste.")
So, what do you think? Are his predictions correct? And if they are, should we be celebrating these trends or lamenting them? Share your opinions.