Identifying the future that has already happened

Author Peter Drucker, in his book The Daily Drucker, coined a brilliant phrase: “the future that has already happened.” His point is that it’s not generally helpful to make predictions because we can rarely be accurate about those. The people who are really effective simply recognize how reality has already changed around them and seek to take advantage of those changes.

The assumptions about how we do ministry and how we do church are fundamentally changing, yet most of us haven’t fully recognized it yet. What has occurred that people know but aren’t willing to admit?

One example of “the future that has already happened” is that the reality of running a congregation as we currently understand it is not nearly as viable as it used to be, especially in urban settings. It used to be that a congregation of 100 people could support a full-time pastor. Now that’s 200 or more, depending on the setting. Increasingly, we’re going to need to have our people be bivocational to carry out ministry. The model of church we currently have isn’t going to fit well with that reality.

The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done

Revered management thinker Peter F. Drucker is our trusted guide in this thoughtful, day-by-day companion that offers his penetrating and practical wisdom. Amid the multiple pressures of our daily work lives, The Daily Drucker provides the inspiration and advice to meet the many challenges we face. With his trademark clarity, vision, and humanity, Drucker sets […]

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