In my mind, one of the most important trends to watch (and one that will require our most intentional counter-strategies) is what Tim Stevens calls the shrinking 40% that are still reachable by an attractional model. More to the point, the stats are coming in from many sources that indicate there are serious reasons to recognize what’s happening as just the beginning of post-Christian America.
Jon Meacham’s 2009 Newsweek article, The End of Christian America, provided an important early salvo in what’s become a deluge of accumulating evidence. Gabe Lyon’s The Next Christians, an insight packed follow-up to his earlier project (unChristian with David Kinnaman), continues building the foundation for a post-Christian America. Lyon’s recent webinar with Tim Keller provides a fascinating look into the building new reality.
The reason I write frequently about the outreach potential of crowd’s edge and urge you to recognize that the x-factor is near the edge…is that I want you to see that it’s not enough to connect the usual suspects! In fact, although I regularly remind you that no small group solution is problem-free and every small group system or strategy has its advantages and disadvantages…I absolutely believe we all need to be mindful of the fact that most small group strategies only connect people from the congregation, committed and core (to use Saddleback’s concentric circle illustration).
The reason I’ve been writing about the missional group strategy and the HOST strategy is that I believe it is critical that we pay attention to the widening 60% who will never be reached by the attractional model. This is a critical moment, friends. Be sure you’re keeping your eye on the great prize. As Larry Osborne and Ron Sylvia have said, “We have to fight our way to the fringes…because that’s where the life-change is.”
What do you think? Make sense? Want to argue? Got a question? You can click here to jump into the conversation.