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Welcome to the Center for Parish Development Think Tank Blog

November 17, 2010

24 people gathered on July 21, 2010 for the Center for Parish Development’s first Think Tank event in Chicago.  The purpose was to identify key trends in North American culture and context, and to identify implications for the church and for the Center for Parish Development.

The purpose of this blog is to continue and broaden this conversation among partners and participants in the Center for Parish Development together with its staff and Board.

While the think tank process is widely used in the political arena, it is useful for us to see a “think tank” as a space for open and accountable process of analysis, research, decision-making, and evaluation.

In the start up weeks we’ll be blogging the summarized Trends as identified by participants in the July 21 Think Tank.  We invite you to comment.  That’s what this is about – both for your learning and ours.  Comments can be a sharing of your thinking, your experience, observations, anecdotes, resources or books you suggest, questions, and more.  Then, we’ll post emerging thinking about the Center’s vision and ministry as we discern and shape this direction for the next decade.

We want this, very candidly, to be a blog of value as partners who share a vision of God’s reign for all of creation, and the church as a sign, foretaste, and instrument of God’s reign.  Within this context, the Center is a learning community of communities contributing thinking and practice for the transformation of the church toward a missional posture, a platform for collaboration and learning together across our local contexts globally.  We are grateful for your participation!

A summary of Trends, identified by Think Tank July 21, 2010:

  • Shifts in relational culture
  • Changing face of Christianity
  • Post-modernism – loss of overarching narrative
  • Managing transitions
  • Decline of civil discourse
  • Consumer culture

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