Houstonians pay close attention whenever a hurricane approaches the coast. Weather forecasts depend on a proper understanding of how certain factors--or drivers--will interact to produce future circumstances. In other words, forecasts are options for the future. Houstonians make preparations based on scenarios of where a hurricane might hit, how strong it might be, and how long it's likely to last. The alternative is to not prepare based on a single prediction of all those factors. But if one factor changes and the prediction is wrong, the results can be disastrous.
Scenarios are a powerful tool for groups and organizations to better imagine how the future might play out and prepare themselves accordingly. Scenarios tell stories, prompt curiosity, and encourage conversation. The reports on the right contain denominational, associational, and congregational resources for taking the long view and preparing for the future.
To see a novel example of how current discoveries lead to wild forecasts about the future, see this report from Global Futures about the world in 2045.
A Futures Wheel is a brainstorming technique used to explore the implications of decisions, trends, events, or plans. By placing a change in the middle of the wheel and then asking yourself, "What are the first things that will happen as a result of this change?", you will be exploring first order implications. That's where most people stop. By asking yourself the same questions for each of the implications, you will have a much better understanding of how the future may unfold. Check out this presentation to learn more.