Seeing the Church with 2020 Vision


Since the dawn of time, humans have been dreaming about the future and trying to predict what might happen. Those who use scenarios understand that the future cannot be predicted, but the future can be better understood.

Those in Houston are acutely attuned to the difference between forecasts and predictions, even if they cannot articulate the difference. When a hurricane is in the Gulf of Mexico and bearing down on the fourth largest city in the United States, Houstonians don't ask their weather forecasters where the storm will hit, but rather they ask where might the storm hit. It seems ridiculous to prepare for a hurricane as if it has only one predetermined path towards land. 

Similarly, preparing for any one set of future events is just as risky. As in the purpose of a hurricane forecast, the scenarios contained in this report are intended to prevent people from being surprised by how the future unfolds. A group of eighteen leaders from around the greater Houston area met at Trinity Pines Conference Center on October 9-10, 2008. The group was divided into age cohorts: "emerging leaders," those under the age of thirty-five, and "established leaders," those between thirty six and fifty years old. Each group was then given a focal question around which to build their scenarios: "With what kind of world--and what kind of city--will the church be engaged in the year 2020?" 

> See the final report here

For more information about scenario development, contact UBA Associate Director Josh Ellis @ 713.957.2000.