Understanding the Times, Knowing What to Do

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the others find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” -- Eric Hoffer

We live in a rapidly changing world where North American mission organizations, like One Challenge, face significant issues as we look to the future. Realizing that change impacts the effectiveness of mission work as we know it, OC leadership invited the Global Research Team to facilitate a two-day Futures Think Tank. Here are several significant highlights from the Futures Think Tank and some of the tools you can use to understand our changing world.

Understanding the Times and Trends

How exactly can a mission organization prepare for the future? A key biblical passage that provided a blueprint for the Futures Think Tank is 1 Chronicles 12:23-40, which describes how all the tribes of Israel came together with a “whole heart” and “single mind to make David King” (v. 38 ESV) “according to the word of the Lord” (v. 23 ESV). In the middle of a list describing each tribe, a significant comment is made about the leaders of the tribe of Issachar who, “understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (v. 32). These two characteristics set them apart from the others. Following their example, we must strive to understand the times and know what to do. Read on to learn how this is done.


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