21st Century Christian Trends

By Floyd McClung - June, 2005

  • Persecution and martyrdom of Christians will sharply increase as non-christian religious forces are threatened by the mass conversion of unreached peoples to Christ. Nationalistic Islamic and Hindu political parties such as the Taliban and BJP/RSS will continue to experience popularity as their leaders react to American foreign policy and the success of church planting movements and Christian aid workers.
  • The local church is reclaiming the initiative as the main sending force in global missions. Movements of local churches networks will arise across denominational lines. They will play a major role in mobilizing, training, placing and caring for workers on the field.
  • The 21st Century will see an increase in clashes between major civilizations. Samuel Huntington identifies those civilizations as Western, Orthodox, Chinese, Latin American, Islamic, Hindu, Japanese, and African. This factor makes it vitally important to train and send out missionaries who have both an adequate understanding of the civilization they work in, but also the character necessary to withstand opposition as they plant churches and give aid to the poor.
  • Global sending will replace the 20th century paradigm of First to Third World mobilization. Globalization will be facilitated by the ascendancy of the local church as a missions force in Africa, South America and Asia. This will be aided by communication technology, and easy access to international travel. English will continue to be the international language of communication.
  • The role of the Holy Spirit will continue to be a major theological perspective in the 21st century church, along with the growing awareness of God