… Jacob Morgan (in) The Future Leader… interviewed more than 140 top CEOs from around the world at companies like Audi, Mastercard, Unilever, Oracle, SAP, Best Buy, Verizon, and many others.
Jacob asked all of these CEOs … the top skills and mindsets they believe will be most relevant for future leaders over the next decade and beyond.. Jacob put together what he calls, The Notable Nine, which is the top 4 mindsets and top 5 skills that future leaders must master.
…means thinking globally and embracing diversity. Leaders need to understand and appreciate new cultures, actively seek diverse teams, lead employees with different backgrounds, and know-how to enter and succeed in new global markets.
… The mindset of the service means that you practice humility and that you serve four groups: your leaders if you have them, your customers, your team, and yourself.
Like chefs balance numerous ingredients to create masterful meals, leaders must balance the two most essential ingredients of any business: humanity and technology… One side can’t succeed without the other.
Future leaders need to be like explorers of old and embrace the unknown. They need to be open to new ideas, and change course as the world around them evolves. Just like explorers had to learn continually, leaders need to be super perpetual leaders and practice curiosity.
Great coaches motivate, inspire, and engage their teams while caring about each member as an individual. Likewise, future leaders need to appreciate employees as individuals as opposed to viewing everyone as just workers. The best coaches and leaders develop their people to be more successful than them.
Futurists make sure organizations aren’t surprised by what the future might bring. The world in which we live and work is continually changing and full of unknowns. Futurists consider multiple scenarios and think through new possibilities. They stay on top of trends and are connected to their networks. This was the #1 skill, according to the 140+ CEOs Jacob interviewed.
Teenagers seem to always be current on the latest technology, and future leaders must be the same way. They don’t need to be experts in the practical application, but they should embrace technology and know-how to best leverage it to serve their company. They need to be tech-savvy and digitally fluent.
Translators are master communicators. They listen to understand and do more than hear what people are saying.
But in the future, leaders need to be emotionally intelligent like Yoda and develop their empathy and self-awareness. Great communicators build connections and aren’t afraid to be vulnerable. Empathy understands the feelings and perspectives of others. Self-awareness is about understanding your strengths and weaknesses and helping others understand yours as well.
The American Bible Society today released the first chapter of the 12th annual State of the Bible report, which highlights cultural trends in the U.S. regarding faith and the Bible. Today’s release shows that while overall Bible reading has dramatically decreased over the last year, nearly two-thirds of people who seldom or never read the Bible indicate some curiosity toward Scripture. The first chapter, The Bible in America, is available to download atStateoftheBible.org.
“Our research clearly shows that when people read the Bible and apply its message, it brings them hope and introduces them to full life in Christ. That’s why it’s disheartening to see that millions of Americans have lost interest in the Bible. And millions more are struggling to connect Scripture to their daily lives,” said John Farquhar Plake, PhD and Director of Ministry Intelligence for American Bible Society. “We can’t tell how long this disruption will last, but we know that church leaders and other Bible advocates have a tremendous opportunity to help people in their communities understand and apply Scripture. Now is a critical time to point our neighbors to the good news of hope found in God’s Word.”
by Lauren Smiley, MIT Technology Review, 10/12/19.
“All these microaggressions people talk about?” Tom Kamber says. “Just imagine what it’s like when you’re 75.”
People knock you out of the way on the street, he says. They attend to the younger guy standing next to you first. Then the job interviews—he’s getting revved up now—when the recruiters ask your age. “Completely illegal question! It’s like asking, ‘Are you really black?’ ‘You seem gay—are you gay?’” Or if the recruiter is sly, trying to hide just how illegal this is, they’ll ask for your graduation year—“It’s such bullshit.”
… “When you live in an ageist society, your dreams, which might seem totally normal to you, are a threat to other people,” he warns. He’s speaking not only in rapid-fire sentences, but in paragraphs now. “People are trying to hold you back—because they’re afraid of their own aging. Or because you’re competing with them economically. Because they don’t want to have to introduce somebody else’s ideas into their young-person culture,” Kamber continues, his holy roller sermon coming to its emotional peak. “People are a pain in the ass!”
…That’s why Kamber created Senior Planet, a tech-themed community center that preps seniors to hack their way through a world conspiring to keep them sidelined. The glass door reads “Aging with Attitude.” With its sleek grays and wood tables, it rivals the WeWork next door in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.
… The post-60 set is here for many reasons. By and large, they do not want your wearable panic buttons and fall detectors, thank you very much. They’re here for the free classes and camaraderie, to learn to find the photos their daughter is putting on Facebook, to grok the smart lock system their apartment building is installing whether they like it or not (and mostly not). They want to plug back into a world in which “technology has run them over,” as Kamber puts it.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel. Donald McGavran, the founder of the church growth movement, emphasized that tracking transfer growth is not healthy and mostly misleading. That’s because, it makes the church feel it is healthy because it’s attracting people at the expense of other churches.
As a student of Donald McGavern I’ve always enjoyed Thom Rainer’s research, a fellow McGavran Award recipient. H
Below is what he points out his research has discovered about transfer a growth.
In his analysis only about 5% of the people in our churches are coming because of conversion growth. And even in growing churches that percentage is that only about 6% of the people are there because of a conversion experience.
This is a wake up call.
by Thom Rainer …
Growing churches are growing largely by transfer growth. Most of them are not reaching people with the gospel. They are growing at the expense of other churches. The conversion ratio of all 1,000 churches is 19:1. Growing churches are only slightly better at 17:1. Their growth comes largely from other churches.
The modern leader has lived most of life in a realm of “command and control.” Command and control is necessary in crisis situations, such as warfare or firefighting. For Baby Boomers born after World War II, the command and control way of leadership became a popular leadership style in business and the church.
Modern leaders of this generation believe the way to succeed is to control through power, rewards, and punishments. Slow cycles that grew out of an agricultural economy began to affect business principles, where the agricultural approach of “command and control” began to be applied to the business world. Like breaking a horse, “The worker must be trimmed to fit the job,” Frederick Taylor famously intoned. Subsequently, modern leaders bristle at the thought of losing control. When wrestling with the freedom found in emerging networks, the modern leader tends to try to exert control through ownership. In the ever democratizing world of electronic communication, control through ownership is increasingly difficult.
Modern leaders attempt to take possession of networks that shape them. In business, this often means controlling access by charging a fee and thus reinforcing a modern notion of ownership. In the church, we may do this by restricting access to those times and places the modern leader deems fitting. Former Silicon Valley executive Rusty Rueff noted, “Movie theatres have long tried to control mobile phone signal in their movie theatres. They say it is because it disturbs people. Really, they don’t want teens text-messaging their friends that the movie is dreadful.” From the days of passing notes in church, to text-messaging a friend far removed from the church sanctuary, church leaders have also tried to limit the location and occasion of electronic communication.
Millennial leaders who have grown up in the expanding world of communication networks, view these networks as public property. And, to restrict access or monopolize them seems tyrannical. Modern leaders may recall similar unfair restrictions. At one time, restaurants and businesses charged a fee to use the restrooms. Charging a fee or otherwise restricting network access should seem just as illogical to leaders today.
Millennial Attitude: Networks should be accessible
Rueff, who serves as an advisor to the president at Purdue University, recently showed a picture of a classroom at that university. Of the almost 100 students assembled, every one was sitting behind a laptop computer. “Think of when this will happen in your church,” Rusty Rueff, the former Silicon Valley executive, said. “What do you do in church? Is there a place for those who want to communicate with laptops? Or would an usher ask them to put their computer away?”
Immediate, Even Critical Feedback. In a millennial world where unfettered networking is routine, millennial church leaders are starting to accommodate instant feedback. Some young churches have an “ask assertive environment” where those who disagree are encouraged to state their differences of opinion, even during the sermon. Millennial congregations such as Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis regularly invite questions or challenges from the audience during the sermon. Even millennial megachurches such as Mars Hill Church in Granville, Michigan, sometimes welcome a congregant on the stage to ask the preacher questions during the sermon (since the audience is too vast for everyone to shout out a query). Leo Safko, author of the Social Media Bible calls this “a fundamental shift in power … no longer does the consumer trust corporate messages … they want to be educated by, hear their news from, and get their product reviews by people they know and trust.”
At recent conferences I keynoted, participants were given a keypad so they could rate the presentation and/or their understanding of the content in real time. Even now increasingly smaller smartphones allow electronic feedback as presentations unfold. Though modern leaders might initially resist such quick and honest feedback in the church, the day is not far off when immediate, even critical feedback will be visually displayed in our churches in much the same manner that words are displayed to a song.
Fact checking and further research. Allowing laptops and smart-phones into churches may at first seem disruptive, but it will enhance understanding as it allows checking of facts and further research on a topic. I remember sitting in college classes, balancing a three-inch (or so it seemed) textbook on one knee, while holding in my left hand a large diagram of the human organs. Amid this balancing act, I tried desperately to write what the professor was stating. Today, multiple items sit neatly on computer desktops where only a flick of a mouse pad is required to separate sources or conduct further research.
The accessible church describes a church that is accessible via as many social networks as possible.
The accessible church creates networks that reach out to those in need. Meeting the needs of the disenfranchised is a priority among millennial leaders. Expanding network access should not be limited to just Christians who attend a church, but to those outside as well. One congregation in Edmonton, Alberta started a church plant in an Internet café. Unexpectedly, the free Internet access they offered met the needs of a large Asian-American community in the neighborhood that did not have computer access. As a result this accessible church in an Internet café created an ongoing network with a growing Asian-American community.
The accessible church fosters instantaneous research and feedback at teaching venues, including during the sermon.Because Christianity is an experience- and knowledge-based faith, access to information can foster a better understanding about God. The accessible church can offer Internet access at teaching times such as during sermons, Sunday school, committee meetings, etc. Many modern leaders bristle at the thought of laptops and Smartphones being used during church, but so did professors several years ago (only to lose the battle). At one time sound systems, video projectors, guitars and even pipe-organs were banned from many churches. Though uncomfortable at first, new ways of communication and exploration will emerge, first among these cutting-edge millennial congregations, and eventually among everyone else. When speaker Stan Toler speaks to younger audiences he often uses instant messaging so attendees can ask their questions via a Smartphone while he is still speaking. He then displays their questions on the screen and answers them during his lecture.
The accessible church provides on-line communities to augment its off-line fellowship. Online communities “felt the connection and affinity they experienced in these groups fully justified their designations as a form of community.” Online communities often enhance off-line friendships. A church offering a 12-step program can create an online group in which participants can dialogue between meetings. Groups, committees, Sunday School classes and small groups can create, share and edit documents via Web-based word processors, such as Google Docs. These online documents allow collaborative work (such as designing a Bible study) prior to face-to-face meetings. Online communities can allow those who have special needs or limited time/resources to still feel like full participants in the community. In the same way that Robert Schuller continued a life-long ministry to drive-in worshippers because a physically-challenged lady’s husband requested it, online communities can engage people who might be challenged in their ability to physically connect with a church.
Leaders having little experience with online communities may wonder about their cohesiveness, value and permanency, but those who have seen them in action know that increasing accessibility to the church community only enhances the faith experience.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: In Jesus’ discussions about the Pharisees, he often pointed out that they were meticulous in obeying law, but they did not practice the purpose or spirit behind it (Mark 2:3–28, 3:1–6; 2 Corinthians 3:6).
A humorous example comes from a recent New York City law that permitted on the subway only those dogs that could fit in a bag. Now that’s the letter of the law. But the spirit of the law was to keep large dogs, and they’re leavings 😉 away from the subways.
However, enjoy below some of the ways that creative New Yorkers obeyed the letter of the law, and not the spirit.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: In our fractured and litigious modern world, people often wonder what forgiveness means. Does it mean forgetting? Does it mean ignoring? The word used by the Bible authors tells us that, “forgiveness is something akin to waiving one’s rights.” Read on to find out more.
“What the Lord’s Prayer really says about forgiveness” by Daniel Esparza, Aleteia, 7/7/21.
What is it that we do when we forgive? Are we forgetting, disregarding, overlooking, ignoring wrongdoing? Are we giving up on our desire to pursuit revenge, retribution, even justice? How can I tell if I have really forgiven someone? The fact that we have a hard time answering these questions makes it evident forgiveness is multi-faceted and difficult to explore. It has oftentimes been historically (and tragically) confused with a vague understanding of reconciliation as the submissive acceptance of rather unacceptable states of affairs.
This is probably because forgiveness was not entirely considered a philosophical problem until the interwar and postwar periods of the 20th century, when genocidal war ushered in the question of the unforgivable — Can humanity forgive Auschwitz, the Gulag, the Bomb, the Apartheid? Who forgives? Who is forgiven? What are the limits of forgiveness? What constitutes an unforgivable fact? Is there such thing as “the unforgivable”? In more ways than one, forgiveness is a relatively new intellectual concern. And even if the topic became somewhat relevant in the second half of the past century, it is not exactly a modish preoccupation among most scholars today. Chances are it has never really been — perhaps not even among noted Christian thinkers.
…The original Greek text of the Gospels uses a number of different expressions for the concept of forgiveness, rather than one single word. What we do find in biblical texts, the Our Father included, are different expressions that can be translated as the waiving of one’s right over a debt, or to being unburdened. In that sense, Augustine’s understanding of forgiveness as almsgiving is thoroughly biblical: forgiveness as almsgiving and the scriptural understanding of sin as debt go hand in hand, as the former covers the latter: “for almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin” (Tobit 12, 9).
… What’s dramatically declining in the U.S. is white Christianity. People of color are actually preventing a more precipitous drop in overall church participation. The Assemblies of God, one of the few denominations showing growth, saw its white membership decrease in the 10 years between 2004 and 2014, but nonwhite members increased by 43%, reflecting trends continuing today. One-third of U.S. Catholics are now Hispanic. Without its growing nonwhite members, the Catholic Church would be in free fall instead of remaining at about 22% of the U.S. population.
The nones who enjoy lattes at downtown coffee shops on Sunday mornings instead of singing in church are largely young, hip and white. But the country’s demographic future as a whole is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, and this will impact the religious landscape.
While designing a course to help pastors and churches successfully navigate pastoral transitions for Fuller Theological Seminary, I became aware of how much church communication must be a priority during pastoral transitions. But often too much or too little information is shared, leading to confusion at best or suspicion at the worst.
This client congregation overcame this problem and communicated its process well through three simple charts.
CHART 1 (behind the word “prayer”) depicts the 5 stage process with a time for each stage. Attendees can quickly see where they are in the process and which steps are still ahead.
CHART 2 depicts how the selection process “narrows” to the selection of a candidate. It is important for attendees to see that the eventual selection has emerged from a significant pool of candidates.
CHART 3 (with the word “prayer” superimposed) reminds that the overriding consideration is that this is a spiritual exercise and prayer is how each stakeholder participates.
… The decline of membership in churches, synagogues and mosques cannot be equated with decline in religious curiosity or practice. When nones are asked why they have disaffiliated from any religious organization, only 22% say it is because they do not believe in God. The primary challenge facing pastors, rabbis and imams is how to invite nonmembers into an authentic experience of God rather than persuade them to join or rejoin a religious organization.
The latest available data from the General Social Survey, a major tool for sociologists, shows that the percentage of mainline Protestants in the U.S. recently increased for the first time in nearly 30 years, from 10.2% to 10.8%, while Catholics and evangelicals showed a moderate decline. Researchers caution that subsequent data would be needed to verify a trend. Yet the graph of steady, relentless decline, stopped by a sharp recent uptick, can’t be ignored.
For many, “evangelical” has become more of a cultural and political label in the U.S. than a theological one. Some evangelicals who left versions of Republicanism defined by Trump also discarded that religious brand and migrated to more mainline congregations.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: In 30+ years of church consulting excessive meetings and insufficient action is a major misstep that stops churches from moving forward and growing. Too many meetings often drain volunteers and leaders of their enthusiasm, energy and progress.
The Old Testament business leader Nehemiah provides a helpful example of what to do when you are badgered by people who want to slow you down with endless meetings … when action and effort is required. Take this take a look at the way Rick Warren explains this in the following article.
God uniquely created you for an important assignment on Earth that only you can accomplish.
But you will face naysayers along the way. They’ll tell you: “You’re the wrong person. You’ve got the wrong idea. You’re doing it the wrong way.”
Take the Old Testament story of Nehemiah, for example. Nehemiah wasn’t a pastor or a priest. He was a businessman. Israel had been taken captive by the Babylonians. The Israelites had been in exile for 70 years—and then the Babylonians let them go home.
Jerusalem had been destroyed and was defenseless. But Nehemiah got a big idea to change that. “I’ll rebuild my city,” he thought. “And I’ll start by rebuilding the wall to protect it.”
Nehemiah’s story teaches that every opportunity comes with opposition.
For Nehemiah, the opposition was instant. Israel’s enemies didn’t want to see Jerusalem defended. They tried all sorts of things to stop him from rebuilding the wall. They tried ridicule, rumors, and threats. When none of that worked, they tried to slow him down by involving him in bunch of meetings.
Your critics—the naysayers who want to prevent you from doing what the Lord has called you to do—will use the same bag of tricks. They’ll ridicule you, spread rumors about you, and even threaten you to get you to stop doing what God wants you to do.
But instead of listening to them, respond the way that Nehemiah did: “So I replied by sending this message to them: ‘I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?’ Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply”(Nehemiah 6:3-4 NLT).
You don’t need to fight with naysayers. It’s not worth it. If you try to take on people who have a negative opinion about God’s plans for you, you’ll just waste your time.
Nehemiah didn’t defend his work. You don’t need to defend yourself either. Just let the naysayers’ criticisms go.
… Americans’ membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup’s eight-decade trend. In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.
Line graph. U.S. church membership was 73% in 1937 when Gallup first measured it. It stayed near 70% through 2000 before beginning to decline, to 61% in 2010 and 47% in 2020.
U.S. church membership was 73% when Gallup first measured it in 1937 and remained near 70% for the next six decades, before beginning a steady decline around the turn of the 21stcentury.
Decline in Membership Tied to Increase in Lack of Religious Affiliation
The decline in church membership is primarily a function of the increasing number of Americans who express no religious preference. Over the past two decades, the percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religion has grown from 8% in 1998-2000 to 13% in 2008-2010 and 21% over the past three years.
As would be expected, Americans without a religious preference are highly unlikely to belong to a church, synagogue or mosque, although a small proportion — 4% in the 2018-2020 data — say they do. That figure is down from 10% between 1998 and 2000.
Given the nearly perfect alignment between not having a religious preference and not belonging to a church, the 13-percentage-point increase in no religious affiliation since 1998-2000 appears to account for more than half of the 20-point decline in church membership over the same time.
Most of the rest of the drop can be attributed to a decline in formal church membership among Americans who dohave a religious preference. Between 1998 and 2000, an average of 73% of religious Americans belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque. Over the past three years, the average has fallen to 60%.
Line graph. Changes in church membership among Americans who express a religious preference or affiliation. Between 1998 and 2000, 73% of religious Americans were members of a church, synagogue or mosque. That dipped to 70% between 2008 and 2010, and it fell to 60% between 2018 and 2020.
Generational Differences Linked to Change in Church Membership
Church membership is strongly correlated with age, as 66% of traditionalists — U.S. adults born before 1946 — belong to a church, compared with 58% of baby boomers, 50% of those in Generation X and 36% of millennials. The limited data Gallup has on church membership among the portion of Generation Z that has reached adulthood are so far showing church membership rates similar to those for millennials.
The decline in church membership, then, appears largely tied to population change, with those in older generations who were likely to be church members being replaced in the U.S. adult population with people in younger generations who are less likely to belong. The change has become increasingly apparent in recent decades because millennials and Gen Z are further apart from traditionalists in their church membership rates (about 30 points lower) than baby boomers and Generation X are (eight and 16 points, respectively). Also, each year the younger generations are making up an increasingly larger part of the entire U.S. adult population.
“Persuading the Unpersuadable” by Adam Grant, Harvard Business Review Magazine (March–April 2021)
…The legend of Steve Jobs is that he transformed our lives with the strength of his convictions. The key to his greatness, the story goes, was his ability to bend the world to his vision. The reality is that much of Apple’s success came from his team’s pushing him to rethink his positions. If Jobs hadn’t surrounded himself with people who knew how to change his mind, he might not have changed the world.
For years Jobs insisted he would never make a phone. After his team finally persuaded him to reconsider, he banned outside apps; it took another year to get him to reverse that stance. Within nine months the App Store had a billion downloads, and a decade later the iPhone had generated more than $1 trillion in revenue.
Almost every leader has studied the genius of Jobs, but surprisingly few have studied the genius of those who managed to influence him. As an organizational psychologist, I’ve spent time with a number of people who succeeded in motivating him to think again, and I’ve analyzed the science behind their techniques. The bad news is that plenty of leaders are so sure of themselves that they reject worthy opinions and ideas from others and refuse to abandon their own bad ones. The good news is that it is possible to get even the most overconfident, stubborn, narcissistic, and disagreeable people to open their minds.
… Here are some approaches that can help you encourage a know-it-all to recognize when there’s something to be learned, a stubborn colleague to make a U-turn, a narcissist to show humility, and a disagreeable boss to agree with you.
Ask a Know-It-All to Explain How Things Work
The first barrier to changing someone’s view is arrogance. We’ve all encountered leaders who are overconfident: They don’t know what they don’t know. If you call out their ignorance directly, they may get defensive. A better approach is to let them recognize the gaps in their own understanding…
Let a Stubborn Person Seize the Reins
A second obstacle to changing people’s opinions is stubbornness. Intractable people see consistency and certainty as virtues. Once made up, their minds seem to be set in stone. But their views become more pliable if you hand them a chisel…
A solution to this problem comes from a study of Hollywood screenwriters. Those who pitched fully formed concepts to executives right out of the gate struggled to get their ideas accepted. Successful screenwriters, by contrast, understood that Hollywood executives like to shape stories. Those writers treated the pitch more like a game of catch, tossing an idea over to the suits, who would build on it and throw it back…
Find the Right Way to Praise a Narcissist
A third hurdle in the way of changing minds is narcissism. Narcissistic leaders believe they’re superior and special, and they don’t take kindly to being told they’re wrong. But with careful framing, you can coax them toward acknowledging that they’re flawed and fallible.
It’s often said that bullies and narcissists have low self-esteem. But research paints a different picture: Narcissists actually have high but unstable self-esteem. They crave status and approval and become hostile when their fragile egos are threatened—when they’re insulted, rejected, or shamed. By appealing to their desire to be admired, you can counteract their knee-jerk tendency to reject a difference of opinion as criticism. Indeed, studies in both the United States and China have shown that narcissistic leaders are capable of demonstrating humility: They can believe they’re gifted while acknowledging their imperfections. To nudge them in that direction, affirm your respect for them.
In 1997, not long after returning to Apple as CEO, Jobs was discussing a new suite of technology at the company’s global developer conference. During the audience Q&A, one man harshly criticized the software and Jobs himself. “It’s sad and clear that on several counts you’ve discussed, you don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. (Ouch.)
You might assume that Jobs went on the attack, got defensive, or maybe even threw the man out of the room. Instead he showed humility: “One of the hardest things when you’re trying to effect change is that people like this gentleman are right in some areas,” he exclaimed, adding: “I readily admit there are many things in life that I don’t have the faintest idea what I’m talking about. So I apologize for that….We’ll find the mistakes; we’ll fix them.” The crowd erupted into applause.
How did the critic elicit such a calm reaction? He kicked his comments off with a compliment: “Mr. Jobs, you’re a bright and influential man.” As the audience laughed, Jobs replied, “Here it comes.”
As this story shows, a dash of acclaim can be a powerful antidote to a narcissist’s insecurity.
Faith in numbers: Behind the gender difference of nonreligious Americans
… According to data from the Nationscape survey, which polled over 6,000 respondents every week for 18 months in the runup to the 2020 election, men are in general more likely than women to describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or nothing in particular. The survey, conducted by the independent Democracy Fund in partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles, was touted as one of the largest such opinion polls ever conducted.
However, tracking the gender gap by age reveals that at one point the gap between men and women narrows. Between the ages of 30 and 45, men are no more likely to be religiously unaffliated than women of the same age.
But the gap appears again among older Americans. Over the age of 60, men are 5 to 8 percentage points more likely to express no religious affiliation.
“How Missional Theology De-Stabilizes – Missional theology de-stabilizes what many think is transnormative theology” by Scot McKnight, Christianity Today, 12/22/29.
… One way of doing theology is to frame theology by the Creed. So one takes the Apostles’ Creed or the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (the official name for the Nicene Creed) and fills in the lines and blanks with more theological reflection. Thus, Calvin’s Institutes.
Another way of doing theology is to frame theology by Topics. So one lists the major topics in some order: God, Humans, Christ, Sin, Salvation, Ecclesiology, Eschatology. Then one maps each of these topics.
Another way of doing theology is “nothing but Bible, baby, nothing but the Bible.” The Bible is our only Creed kind of people. No one actually does this, so I’ll drop it. Why? Because everyone’s theology is shaped by one’s past, one’s community, one’s previous learnings.
Which is why many are attracted to the newest kid on the block, missional theology. Here are the major ideas of missional theology as theology, as outlined by John Franke in his new book Missional Theology: An Introduction.
The nature of missional theology: an ongoing, second-order, contextual discipline
The first order of theology is the Scripture’s narrative. First order theology is Bible. Second order theology is constructions more or less rooted in Scripture.
But missional theology then is always contextually located. It is local, it is not universal. It is temporal, not eternal.
The aim is to be open to the culture to see how the gospel speaks in that culture. As Paul challenged Peter’s practice of the faith in Galatians 2, so missional theology must examine our practices to see if they are consistent with the gospel. Thus, it is critical but also constructive: it seeks to make sense of the gospel in each cultural context.
The purpose of missional theology: assisting the community of Christ’s followers in their missional vocation to live as the people of God in the particular social-historical context in which they are situated.
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