The Futurist magazine dec 2008What is changing in the world and how will the world be changed in the near future is part of the church being discerning to reach people with the Gospel. Since 1985 editors of the magazine “The Futurist” have suggested possibilities that  are the most likely.  In the past they spotlighted the internet, virtual reality, and end of the Cold War.

Below are the top ten suggestions from Outlook 2009.  You can read the explanations by following the previous link.

#1. Everything said and done will be recorded by 2030.  Gene Stephens, “Cybercrime in the Year 2025,” July-Aug 2008, p. 34

#2. Bioviolence will become a greater threat as the technology becomes more accessible. Emerging scientific disciplines (notably genomics, nanotechnology, and other microsciences) could pave the way for a bioattack.  Barry Kellman, “Bioviolence: A Growing Threat,” May-June 2008, p. 25 et seq.; Antonietta M. Gatti and Stefano Montanari, “Nanopollution: The Invisible Fog of Future Wars,” May-June 2008, p. 32

#3. The car’s days as king of the road may soon be over.  Thomas J. Frey, “Disrupting the Automobile’s Future,” Sep-Oct 2008, p. 39 et seq.

#4. Careers, and the college majors for preparing for them, are becoming more specialized.  World Trends & Forecasts, Sep-Oct 2008, p. 8.

#5.  There may not be world law in the foreseeable future, but the world’s legal systems will be networked.  Joseph N. Pelton, “Toward a Global Rule of Law: A Practical Step Toward World Peace,” Nov-Dec 2007, p. 25.

#6.  Professional knowledge will become obsolete almost as quickly as it’s acquired. An individual’s professional knowledge is becoming outdated at a much faster rate than ever before.  Marvin J. Cetron and Owen Davies, “Trends Shaping Tomorrow’s World, Part Two,” May-June 2008, p 41.

#7.  The race for biomedical and genetic enhancement will-in the twenty-first century-be what the space race was in the previous century.  Gregory Stock quoted in “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally, Living Personally,” Nov-Dec 2007, p. 57.

#8.  Urbanization will hit 60% by 2030.  Marvin J. Cetron and Owen Davies, “Trends Shaping Tomorrow’s World, Part One,” Mar-Apr 2008, p. 52.

#9.  The Middle East will become more secular while religious influence in China will grow.  World Trends & Forecasts, Nov-Dec 2007, p. 10.

Access to electricity will reach 83% of the world by 2030.  Andy Hines, “Global Trends in Culture, Infrastructure, and Values,” Sep-Oct 2008, p. 20.

Given these things… if indeed they are true and accurate… it is our call as believers to present the Gospel in a context that addresses these events.  Consider the following…

Regarding #1… How will this effect counseling in a pastoral context?

Regarding #3… How will this effect church attendance?

Regarding #5… How will the church address a multi-cultural world wide ethic without a Judea-Christian basis?

Regarding #7… How will the church prepare people for the ethical and moral questions that we don’t know are going to be asked?

We will need to be like the men Of Issachar… “Men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…” (1 Chronicles 12:32).  Note: Thanks to Joan Marsh for this idea.