I wrote yesterday about the importance of noting data points and trends. I promised to write today about the importance of spotting macro trends.
One look at the trends affecting American culture leaves little doubt about the need for our country and leaders to "appeal to heaven." (I highly recommend Jennifer LeClaire's new book, The Next Great Move of God.)
If we don't keep our eyes trained upon what is happening around us, how can we possibly lead others? Doesn't it seem important to at least have a feel for what is happening on the other side of the mountain?
An important element of my formal education included a doctoral minor in demography. I'm so thankful, even today, for how much I learned about trend tracking by studying current demographic data. Population statistics inform the future. Cohorts move en masse in fairly predictable behavior patterns. For example, family nest structure moves through definable and predictable patterns through marriage, children, home buying, education, empty-nest, etc.
We aren't looking for absolutes. But we do want to note and perhaps act upon trending patterns.
I subscribe to Trends magazine as an important source of information from professional trend trackers. I'm not suggesting that every leader needs to read this type of research.
However, every leader needs a radar screen. I don't use radar to predict, as much as I do to understand what is happening around my team.
For example, in the April 2015 issue of Trends magazine, there is an excellent article on the decline of trust across the world. Big shock, right? But did you know that leader credibility is at an all-time low? CEOs are hunkering down and attempting to disappear from the limelight because of this fact. Consumers don't believe the words or promises of leaders. Consumers want to hear from people like themselves.
Does the church need to consider this current trend? Is pulpit credibility more challenged today than yesterday?
There's the problem with trends. I see things coming that will be a difficult challenge for my walk and ministry. I trust that anxiety about developing trends will cause me to fervently appeal to our Lord.
"But know this, that if the owner of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not have let his house be broken into" (Matt. 24:43).
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
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