The New Guard

It seems to me that the torch is being passed from one generation of Megachurch pastors like Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Greg Laurie, Ed Young Sr., and T.D. Jakes, to the next generation — Erwin McManus, Ed Young Jr., Andy Stanley, etc. The old guard, in my opinion, is doing their best work now. They seem to have balanced out  a bit and are taking the time to mentor younger ministers.

I know there are some who think that in 10 years the institutional church will be gone and everyone will meet in soup kitchens and homes. But the truth is that churches are getting bigger and smaller nationwide. There are more megachurches than at any other time in American history, and the number continues to increase rapidly. I’m curious about what all this means for the future of the church in the world.

Here’s a question: Do you think that the church universal will have a greater or lesser impact on the world for Christ over the next 20 years than it has in the last 20?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Share Your Thoughts

4 thoughts on “The New Guard

  1. I just don’t know.
    I see two things happening that seem to be wildly out of control.
    1. Islam.
    2. Hedonism.
    Both are the work of the devil. Their converts seem to be caught up in something that pulls them further from God every day. The challenge facing ALL churches is to get the Word out with urgency and appeal – in ways that will counteract those evil forces. We know God trumps Satan. We just have to be better agents, ambassadors, and warriors.

  2. I’m excited about what is happening in certain areas of our fellowship. We are finally moving away from some things that have limited us in the past, and I thank God for the courageous men and women who have led the charge.
    As far as the church universal, we’ll see. I think it will have a lot to do with how we handle post-modern thinking. If we sell out to it, along with its denial of pretty much anything absolute, our influence and impact in the world will diminish. On the other hand, if we take the best things from it, which there are many, and still are able to point people to the cross as the source of God’s healing and to the Book as God’s wisdom, then our influence and impact will increase.
    I’m excited about the future. It looks bright.

  3. I think we will look back and see Church (especially the Mega parts) as being at the peak during the early and mid 00’s. I think the season has begun to change with the drop in popularity of the Conservatives, the demise of people such as Haggard etc. The same thing is happening in New Zealand where the Christian right nearly controlled the out come of National elections in 2005 and are now struggling with corruption and morality issues.
    I do like what you say about the growth at either end of the spectrum of Mega and small. I think it is the congregational middle that is the one that is struggling.

  4. I’m optimistic. I, too, have great hopes for the institutional church as long as it is willing to reassess its position amidst the rest of our changing culture.
    But some of the most exciting things are occuring in the Southern Hemisphere. Dr. Philip Jenkins just came to campus talking about all of the exciting things happening in the global south. Who knows when we will start receiving as many missionaries as we are sending to the south.