The landscape of the planet earth is drastically changing.
• At the turn of the 19th century world’s most developed and powerful nation was England.
• At the turn of the 20th century, the world’s super powers were the Russia and the United States.
And who knows what the future will hold, but it looks like the world’s power and influence is shifting again.
• The most populated country in the world is China with 1.3 billion people.
• India is not far behind with 1.1 billion people.
• The United States is a distant third with 300 million people.
That alone in itself doesn’t mean much. But listen to these figures.
• The top 25% of the Chinese with the highest IQ is greater than the population of the United States and Canada combined. And that means is that China has more honors students than we have students.
• Within our lifetime, China will become the number one English speaking nation in the world.
• In the next five minutes:
o 60 babies will be born in the United States
o 244 babies will be born in China
o 351 babies will be born in India.
o This happens every five minutes of every single day.
• According to the former Secretary of Education, Richard Riley – the top 10 jobs that will be in demand in the year 2010 did not exist in 2004.
o We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist
o Using technologies that haven’t yet been invented
o In order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet
Not only is the world and technology changing, it is changing our culture as well.
• Today, 1 out of every 8 couples getting married in the United States met online.
• As of today, there are over 140 million registered users on MySpace.
o If MySpace were a country, it would be the 10th most populated country in the world between Russia and Japan
o There are 2.7 billion searches performed on Google every month.
o There are more text messages being sent and received every day than there are people on the planet earth.
Not only is the world changing, but change is happening more rapidly than at any time in history. In fact, scientists refer to the change taking place today as exponential change. Here are some examples.
• When Shakespeare wrote his great works there were about 100,000 words in the English language. Today, there are more than 550,000 words, more than 5 times as many during the days of Shakespeare.
• More than 3,000 books are published daily.
• The Sunday morning edition of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in their entire lifetime in the 18th Century.
• It is estimated that 1.5 exabytes (1.5 x 1018th) of new information is generated each year.
• That is more information than the previous 5,000 years combined.
• And the amount of new technical information is doubling every year.
• This means that a freshman entering college this year, half of what they learn in their freshman year will be outdated by their third year in school.
Change is all around us. Change is everywhere.
• Science continues to change
• Education continues to change
• Technologies continue to change
• Medical science continues to change
About the only institution that has not changed over the last three four centuries, is the church in the western world. For the most part, the way we do worship, the way we do church is the same today as it was during the days of Christopher Columbus.
Leonard Sweet says, “In the medical world, a clinical definition of death is a body that does not change. Change is life. Stagnation is death. If you don't change, you die. It's that simple. It's that scary.”
Kevin Harney says in his book Seismic Shifts, “If the local church refuses to change, it will die. And, this sad reality is being experienced all over the world. Churches that are stuck in the proverbial rut of sameness eventually find themselves closing their doors and never opening them again.”
Bottom line. Unless our church changes, unless we come up with different ways of being and manifesting the good news of Jesus Christ, we will become a totally irrelevant in the emerging world.
• As long as we act as if being a denomination of 92% white while the rest of the country continues to become multi-cultural and multi-ethnic…
• As long as we continue to do church the way we’ve always done church just because that’s the way we’ve always done it…
• As long as we continue to think that we can contribute something to a multicultural world while we remain in our mono-ethnic and mono-cultural ghettos…
• As long as we continue to turn a blind eye to the problems of world hunger and poverty….
• As long as we continue to be a church that acts as if what happens to God’s children a half a world away just because they are African and Asian or Hispanic…
• As long as we continue to be a church that refuses to change our white-anglo-saxon world view…
We deserve to be a church that goes out of business.