In two posts at his website, Thom Rainer talks about 16 trends to watch for in American church life during 2016. Here are the first seven:

Church security as the fastest growing ministry. Shootings in churches and sex abuse of children mandate this unfortunate trend. No church can afford to be without serious security measures, policies and equipment. It will evolve into a major church ministry.

Decrease in worship center size and capacity. The large worship gathering is not as popular as it has been. Through multiple services and multiple sites, churches will follow this preference with smaller capacity worship centers.

Increase in successfully revitalized churches. More church leaders sense a call to lead revitalized churches. Because of this desire and intentionality, we will see more success stories of churches that have experienced significant revitalization.

Rapid growth of coaching ministries for pastors and church staff. The current trend is anecdotal, but it will soon be verified and obvious. Pastors and staff who have the humility to be led, and the willingness to invest resources in coaching are becoming the most effective church leaders.

Increase in the numbers of churches in gentrified communities. Thousands of older urban communities are becoming revitalized. Churches are following the increased numbers of residents to these communities.

Increased emphasis on practical ministry training. Church leaders in America have seen a much needed two-decade renewal of training in classical disciplines and doctrine. That need remains, but more leaders are crying for training in leadership, relational skills and other practical ministries. Read the full article here.

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