ChurchMorph is written to identify and explain various ways that the church is adapting to current societal transitions. These transitions or megatrends include:
- From modernity to postmodernity: Recognizing that people today place lower value on rationalistic or authoritative approaches to defending truth.
- From industrial to the information age: Recognizing that communication today is flat, instant, and inexpensive.
- From Christendom to post-Christendom contexts: Recognizing that in many places Christianity has moved from the center to the fringe of society.
- From production initiative to consumer awareness: Recognizing that believers are willing to exercise their freedom to switch churches to seek the best fit for their needs.
- From religious identity to spiritual exploration: Recognizing that believers have less commitment to traditional structures and are more open to experimentation with new expressions of their faith.
The ways that churches are responding or morphing include:
- Fresh Expressions: Existing denominations are increasingly responding to the need to start new churches that may look different than existing churches as they adapt to local contexts.
- The Megachurch Factor: Larger churches are using their resources to move the focus of their activity from their building and meetings to greater local community involvement.
- Urban Engagement: The cultural variation within cities requires churches to vary ministry approaches and church expressions.
- Resurgent Monasticism An increasing number of believers are disillusioned with compromise within today’s expression of church and desire to step back to create a community that embraces costly discipleship.
- Expanding Networks: Many denominational structures are giving way to newly organized networks of churches with a focused mission of church planting.
- The Heartbeat of Worship: Renewed interest in the arts is creating not only new worship songs, but an explosion in participatory worship styles and forms.
ChurchMorph is more of a conversation starter than a carefully argued book. The goal isn’t to come to clearly defined conclusions based on careful research, but on experienced observation. The observations of the church’s response to these megatrends as well as the specific examples give much food for thought to church leaders as they consider how to adapt to their local contexts.