On Sunday, the message began with a biblical teaching on discerning the times (1 Chronicles 12:32; Jeremiah 6:16; Isaiah 43:18-19).
To discern the times means we actually know what is going on, what people are thinking, how they are acting, what motivates them, etc. But most of us go on our own personal experience and just assume that our experience and opinion and perspective is true for everyone. It is a form of distortion bias.
So, we need to collect information. We need to do studies, surveys, polls, and interviews, or find those whose job it is to do just that. One of my favorite sources is the Barna Group (you can read their history here), which has been doing this about specifically Christian matters since 1984.
I just picked up a copy of BarnaTrends 2018. It is a good read, a fun read, a visually well-designed read, and one that communicates a good deal of information and insight about that information. See the table of contents below.
These are the types of resources that help our lead team study, reflect, dialogue, and discern the future of faith in our community, and what we need to do to be missionally faithful and fruitful.
Pick up a copy.
Pray, live, serve, and lead with the wisdom gained.