The Big Shift
Imagine you lived you whole life in remote village in the jungles of Ecuador. You have never seen a car, a stove, a refrigerator, a doctor, a skyscraper, an airplane (close up) or a television. This is the exactly what we found to be true when I went to visit Mincaye and his friends there in 2001, in the very village where he and his friends met and killed Jim Elliot, Nate Saint and their coworkers in 1956. Most people know the end of the story, how their martyrdom rallied many thousands to go to the mission field, and how the wives of the men martyred stayed on Ecuador to reach the very people who killed their husbands.
As we got to know Minkaye, we began to see the world through his eyes. After he and most of the village came to Christ, they began to learn about the developed world. They were just befuddled at the idea that the tiny thing in the sky they would see from time to time could carry people. He was shocked when he went into the capitol city Quito for the first time and went into a tiny room, and when the doors opened again they were in another place!(an elevator)
When he first saw a television, and saw fire blow up a building, he was so sad to see that so many had died, but then was shocked to see the same actors in another movie. As batteries, medicine and other advances came to their village, life began to change. They did not have to hunt all day every day for food, as it would keep cold and preserved in a refrigerator. Their lives were prolonged with doctors and medicines.
The world as they knew it completely changed as they began learning what had been developing for many years, even though they were unaware. It was not just that they learned about the rest of the world, but their way of live was turned upside down. They barely got their mind around the fact that a man could fly in a plane, and then they tried to explain that man had actually gone to the moon and landed. It was Big Shift for them. In their thinking, in the way they understood the world, in their way of life.
Try to imagine what that did to their mindset. All the norms in their lives were altered. The more they learned, the more change apprehended and upended their lives. Many of the changes were good, but still a shocking accelerated metamorphosis in all they knew to be reality. A Big Shift.
What if we all live in that village right now?
Like it or not, we are about to come out of our village and discover changes happening all around us that are about to impact all of our lives. We are all about to experience a Big Shift.
A man named Buckminister Fuller(Critical Path, 1981) created the, “Knowledge doubling curve.” He noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled about every hundred years. Today all total knowledge is doubling every year. Think about what that means for all the science, medicine, innovations, technology that is and will affect our lives.
“Every technology is doubling in processing power, storage, and capability every twelve months. It is a guiding concept, as is the hyper connectivity of people, devices, systems, markets, and technology.”(Canton, James, 2015, Future Smart) what is different than any time in our lives (or in the history of man) is the accelerated speed of knowledge acquisition, and change. It is specifically exponential change and it refers to an acceleration in the rate of change— the velocity.
More innovation and more disruption demands faster adaptation
- Self-driving cars are already being tested, and Uber is introducing self-driving taxis in Pittsburg this month. (Bloomberg news)
- Why it matters: Average child under 5 years old will never drive a car, save 1 million lives a year, different paradigm of transportation and being productive
- Electric cars-already Tesla is out along with many hybrids and all electric cars like VW in development. Norway has already passed law by 2025 only allowing electric vehicles in their country
- Why it matters: With doubling of solar and other green power efficiency every year, By the year 2030 we will have more electricity that needed. A few of the implications include a cleaner planet, shift away from oil, balance of wealth will change in the world.
- Mapping all 23 million genes in a person to know every disease you will ever get.
- Why it matters: If you can see the disease you will get, especially cancer, heart disease and dementia, and start early preventive medicine, predicted immediate lifespan increase average to 100 years old.
Changes almost here
- Private groups sending shuttles to the moon (2017) and asteroids to mine the minerals there like gold and silver, creating fuel while on the moon, and bringing mined goods back to earth
- Reproducing of vital organs with stem cells to replace failed organs
- Rapid deployment of free internet by Facebook and Google to
cover the whole earth by 2020
- By 2020 5 Billion people online, and 8 billion by 2025, all will have smart phones and be literate
- Click-Streamers— always online, (100 hours a week) digitally savvy, connected, and mobile. These are the customers who use their wearable computers (using contact lenses to see their screen constantly)to conduct business, play videogames in their driverless car, navigate the web on their phone
- Artificial Intelligence where computers think faster and interact with humans, and we don’t even realize it is a computer, infused with moral decision making power
- Chip implants in brain to control epilepsy, other behaviors, boost intelligence to make a superhuman(I know it sounds like a sci-fi movie but it is eminent)
Some have said that the rate of change is increasing so quickly it is going to totally redefine the Human experience on the planet. Just as radically changed as Minkaye’s life was changed once he left his village, all of our lives are about to shift. In the same way it is a totally different experience to live in the 1700’s versus living now, our experience living in this world will fundamentally change in the next 10-15 years.
Becoming aware of the trends that may shape the future, but also how you can use these trends to shape that future, is our opportunity.
You’re either managing the future or the future is managing you. This is our opportunity.
Disruptive changes happen when breakthrough discoveries have an unpredictable impact on the main industry or other unrelated industries. They produce fundamental change that require business to rethink how they operate. It is estimated that 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies will not make the changes need to survive, and 25% of all businesses will go out of business. Most of the products that will be sold in 2030 have not even been invented yet.
Some of the smartest people on the planet are looking at all the opportunity these kinds of break throughs are offering and are determined to solve the world greatest problems.
- World hunger-with all the developments in food, nutrition agriculture, people are using innovation to eliminate world hunger within 20 years
- Education-the X prize is being awarded next year for the group that develops gamified tool to take a person from illiterate to literate and essential mathematics within 18 months. With 1 billion donated old smart phones, and global internet connectivity, global literacy is predicted within ___
- Poverty-with changes in education, the internet, and redefining the global workforce poverty is being targeting to be eliminated by _____
The threshold on which we stand
What an incredible moment in history we get to participate in! all of the revolutionary discoveries create significant opportunities to communicate the message of the Gospel in fresh ways!
We must ask now, how will these changes impact my church? How will they impact the next Generation? How can we leverage technologies to get the Gospel to all peoples? How can we finish the Great Commission more effectively with these tools? How can Christians be part of solving the world’s biggest problems? How do we need to train our children now, to be those that carry the gospel into a completely different Human experience? How will this impact parenting right now?
Remember, we not talking about a future that is 20-30 years away that will be different. This is the next 5 years. 10 years. It is rapidly approaching, and is actually already changing all around us if we would just come out of the village long enough to notice. The Big Shift is happening now. For those that notice and engage in creative ways, they will have the opportunity to shape how it all unfolds.
WE ARE ISSACHAR
1 Chronicles 12:32 tells of the sons of, “Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”
If we purpose to be like the sons of Issachar, we must be:
- Hungry to learn-instead of burying our heads in the sand, we must aggressively learn as Minkaye did when he left the village, so we can spot trends in advance and not be surprised by the.
- Determined to Innovate- Just as companies must innovate to survive, we must innovate how we serve people. Of course we don’t need to innovate the message, but only how we deliver the message, and how we leverage changes as the unfurl to communicate at an exponential level. Constant Innovation must happen at all levels in our local churches; youth ministry, children’s ministry, Sunday mornings, connectivity with the body all week, ongoing discipleship. This regular innovation will become the ongoing adventure for all church bodies that survive this BIG SHIFT.
- Authentic Christian Living-in the midst of all these changes, while we are trying to innovate, we must help maintain the most raw, genuinely intimate walk with Christ, that pierces through the technology and mental superiority that the times will exalt. For all the great breakthroughs that can really help mankind, they cannot answer the question of purpose. Only God can do that.
This is our Seminole moment. What is about to happen is more significant and will happen much quicker than the Industrial revolution. We can shape how the future will proclaim the gospel by how we engage in the process right now. Let’s make sure that the people of God have a say in how the Human experience will be redefined.
Let history record that when the Big Shift happened, the people of God were right in the middle of shaping the new realities of the world as we know it. Let it record how we seized our Seminole moment and the Gospel spread exponentially as a result!
Let’s stay fervent, like the sons of Issachar, we will know the right things to do to bring God the most glory possible in our season on this planet. It’s time to come out of the village for good.