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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. What does it mean to lead from the future?

A. Leading from the future is a multidimensional approach that views the past, present, and possible futures as interlocking systems. Anticipatory leadership looks back through hindsight, looks ahead through foresight and leverages both perspectives to gain insight for current decisions. The objective is to enable leaders to shift their mental model from seeing the future as more of the same to developing awareness of their external environment and alertness to trends and emerging issues. In today’s volatile world where change is constant, both local churches and denominations must address strategic leadership. It is no longer something to be left to the experts.
 

Q. Why these particular scenarios and not something else? Are they credible?

A. The multichurch, vocachurch, hybridchurch, and rejuvchurch scenarios are not predictions. It is possible that one or more of them could emerge or that some blending of these characteristics could reshape traditional churches.These scenarios are based on trends that inform us that immigrants, women, emerging generations, and new organizational models will impact the future of our society and with it, our churches. The primary concern is whether we are paying attention to what is going on around us. In any case, the church will survive but...it has the potential to flourish if we can see our way to be both true to scripture and culturally relevant.
 

Q. Is there a biblical basis for anticipating the future?

A. Foresight as a leadership ability aligns with the scriptural concept of wisdom. For example, Solomon observed, “A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” (Proverbs 22:3, NLT). Also, high commendation is given to leaders of the tribe of Issachar who "understood the temper of the times and knew the best course...to take” (1 Chronicles 12:32, NLT). From the pages of the New Testament we are urged to live “as those who are wise [making] the most of every opportunity" (Ephesians 5: 15-16). The ultimate benefit of developing foresight skills is to add perspective and gain insight for better decision-making in the present.
 

Q. Why are church leaders attracted to ‘futurecasting’?

A. Many people intuitively sense that our world is changing and the cultural ground is shifting beneath them. They may experience apprehension about the future. In times like these, people look to their leaders for understanding, assurance, and direction. Leaders who have cultivated their sensitivities to changing external conditions and emerging issues are better prepared to provide guidance that garners the respect and confidence of their people.
 

Q. What can Church Futures do for me?

A. Church Futures can help you develop a foresight-based vision of a preferable future for your organization and a strategic plan to implement it. We can help you assess organizational strengths and weaknesses along with corresponding opportunities and challenges. If needed, we can provide support for a healthy and successful organizational change effort.
 
 
Q. Why the backwards 'R' in Church Futures?
 
A. It’s a bit of symbolism that plays off the interesting coincidence of a UR in the middle of both church and futures. One R looks forward and the other backward symbolizing foresight and hindsight, which together generate insight. As a forward thinking leader, UR the church and UR its future.

 

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