A new book from John Roberto arrived on Friday - "Faith Formation 2020". It makes the bold claim of charting a way forward for formation and education in Christian faith for the next decade, describing the new thinking, models, practices, resources and technologies required. John is the president of Lifelong Faith Associates, and is well known in Australia as the author of the Comprehensive Approach to ministry and mission with children, youth and families.
I havent rad the book yet, but here's what I can see from a quick flick through it.
1. Roberto identifies eight significant driving forces influencing faith formation 2020. These are pretty obvious - declining no.of Christians, increasing no. of people who are spiritual but not religious, declining participation in churches, increasing diversity and pluralism, increasing individualism, changing patterns of marriage and family, declining family religious socialisation, increasing impact of digital media and WWW technologies.
2. Four scenarios - Roberto uses scenario planning to envision four possible futures / responses in terms of people's receptivite to organised religion (receptive or resistant) and hunger for God and the spiritual life (high or low) - its a chart with 4 quadrants.
3. His first big proposal is that churches develop a "Lifelong Faith Formation Network of pgorgrams, activites, and resources that incorporate a variety of ways to learn in a blended approach to faith formation integrating physical face-to-face settings and virtual online settings and utilizing a wide variety of faith formation resources and programs, people and communities."
This is the first big chunk of the book and I'll return to discuss is in depth when I've read it.
4. The second big chunk of the book is about leadership. What kind of leadership in formation and education is required. You can undertsand that in terms of the research project that I'm undertaking, this is significant stuff. Roberto identifies six kidns of leadership that will be required
- an Adaptive Leader
- an Innovative Leader
- a "Blue Ocean" Leader
- a Change Leader
- a Culturally Intelligent Leader
- a Curator of Content
Without even having read the book, this starts ringing bells for me. So, join me in conversation about what Roberto says over the next couple of week. I'm already thinking that it might be time for a return visit by him in 2012. Anyone interested in co-sponsoring this?