Trends and Issues Affecting the Next American Spirituality

March 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News, Research

Three Trends and Three Issues Affecting Asian Missions” by David Barrett bring focus on obvious antipode of missionary need in the Western hemisphere today. The Macedonian Call to 3.7 billion Asian people with some 9% Christians is no small issue in global missions. At the same time, America becoming the 3rd largest mission field in the world is the obvious missions gap in the Western hemisphere. The parallels in post-modernity are many.

About 20 years ago, a book called “The Next American Spirituality” summarized the culture of today’s American spirituality and its relation to the apostolic church. The main question is, “What would a theology of the church look like that took seriously the fact that North America is now itself a mission field?”

To answer the question, Gallup and Jones examined how America does Biblical spirituality, using the gathered data to analyze its shift and direction. According to their survey, the marks of the next American spirituality were going to be (in short):

1. Bull-market church growth

2. Self-centered religion of me and thee

3. Hunger for experience – any experience

4. Search of roots amid the relativism

5. Quest for community resulting in self-belongingness and self-realization

In our current context of ministry two decades later, all of the above signs are evident and true. This is due on hand to the constant shift in the cultural paradigm, as well as the obvious shift in the identity and practices of the Christian church in the postmodern context. It almost seems like instead of being the model, the church is following a model, which not only changes the churches identity but interferes with its original evangelistic goal and global mission.