In many parts of the world, the church is floundering right now. And all indications are that she will be in decline for several decades to come if we keep doing business-as-usual. Much of this coming reality is outlined very accurately, though heartbreakingly, by John S. Dickerson in The Great Evangelical Recession. (Thankfully, Dickerson offers some answers worth considering, too.)
The temptation, when faced with such predictions of doom, is to reinforce and require greater adherence to methods that have worked in the past. On core theology, that is essential. But on everything else, it’s a mistake. One of the church’s great strengths has always been found in greater diversification of methodology, not less.