Church and community leaders are busy. They do not have adequate time to anticipate emerging challenges or to address pressing challenges.
Therefore, the church and other types of Christian organizations are often reactive and struggle to flourish when challenges arise. Also, professors at seminaries struggle to write for the church and often do not allow church and community leaders to help shape their research agendas or writing.
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates this issue well. The majority of churches were not prepared to do ministry online—and yet, we live in a new media age. Social media was very popular for 13 years before the pandemic hit. However, churches were not equipped to respond well and are still struggling to recover and respond well to this challenge.
The major activities of the PFFC that will tackle these challenges are:
- Collaboratories: We will create convenings of 15 church and community leaders and two thought-leaders that provide opportunities for nurturing soul-care, relationship-building, naming challenges, and designing experiments for churches.
- Research Hubs: We will create teams of faculty, graduate students, lay leaders from local congregations, and members from the local community who will address a challenge of the future church (often challenges that have been described in collaboratories).
- PFFC Fellows: We will have masters, Doctor of Ministry, and PhD students who will investigate and design interventions for challenges facing the future Church.
- Resources: We will use digital storytelling and other types of writing/media to equip church and community leaders to respond well to pressing and emerging challenges.