From Gordon McDonald’s journal (in Leadership):
Hurricanes and gas prices: These are a couple of things that we better start thinking about. They’re likely to redefine our ways of living. When gas regularly stays above $3.11 per gallon, people will most likely begin to change their transportation habits. And if heating costs triple, large buildings (at least in the north) are going to become a bit more of a burden. The megachurch depends heavily upon people who drive more than 15 miles to church. I would bet that a lot of people won’t do that anymore, or as many times per week as they used to. Heating costs will skew budgets. The commitment level of the larger crowd will be tested. I suspect a shake-up is coming in the way we all do church. I’d have a task force working on this one if I was leading a big church. Everyone ready for a strategy of church life that depends more upon small groups and distributed ministries?
I hadn’t thought of this at all, but how interesting to consider how something as seemingly unrelated to church life might affect how we “do church.” Our churches are already what they are because of factors unique to the US: individualism, territorial expansion, bias and racism. Are there other factors that so-called futurists are describing that might trickle into the church? I’ll have to go back and take a look at people like Faith Popcorn (her real name!) to see if what they imagine might make an impact.