Ed Stetzer on the Dangerous Church of 2010

Kent Shaffer —  January 28, 2009

At Innovation3, Ed Stetzer discussed what does the dangerous church look like in 2010.


The dangerous church over the next few years will have seized economic opportunity. If the current trends continue, some church workers will loose their jobs, and churches will loose money. But more people will come to Christ because in a bad economy they seek God more.

The dangerous church will address sexual brokenness. Homosexuality is an issue that the church must address in the next decade. Most churches don’t know how to address sexual issues of homosexuality, marriage, and other sexual issues in a biblical way.

The dangerous church will wrestle through the issue of gender inclusion. Can women be pastors?

The dangerous church will face increasing intolerance.


The dangerous church will have navigated the post-seeker movement. The dangerous church will have found new ways to reach people for the world.

The dangerous church will have regained confidence in the gospel. They will have clarity and biblical discernment.

The dangerous church will have addressed evangelical confusion. Evangelicalism is a broad term, a broad label.

The dangerous church will have rethought discipleship. Many churches are not making disciples well. Only 16% of Protestant church goers read their Bible daily.

The dangerous church will have worked through denominational catharsis.

The dangerous church will learn how to network will other churches. Networking should be more than interacting with clones of your church.

The dangerous church will innovate.

Kent Shaffer

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I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.

6 responses to Ed Stetzer on the Dangerous Church of 2010

  1. No offense to Ed, but he could have given this same exact talk in 1989, because all the topics he speaks on applied then too. How do we do all of this in 2009 in new and creative ways?

  2. Adam,

    i’d be curious what context you write your response from. I disagree with you in a handful of areas. (1) First, 1989 was most certainly NOT a post-seeker culture. Which is the key difference Ed brings up. (2) The way we disciple was certainly not being questioned or rethought as an acceptable response like it is today. (3) While denominationalism was certainly in a state of catharsis in 1989 (and probably way before that), churches were much more tied to denominationalism than they are today and networks were not nearly as prevalent. (4) Churches today are also dealing with semantics like never before. (5) Today terms are being used in such broad strokes that they confuse even us pastors… Ed’s call for clarity, while needed in the past, is essential for today.

    Where I do agree with you is that the charge to be innovative was certainly alive in 1989… or at least we were on the cusp of a new season of innovation and creativity. The key however, is that it will require as much as, if not more innovation, in this new season.

  3. The Pastor of my church is beginning a series on The Dangerous Church. Didn’t know if that was something he discerned or was part of a larger movement within the Body Of Christ.

  4. Dr. Stezer,

    I took a class from you at AGTS in 2007. You have a hour time blocked for me when needed to discuss church planting etc. I would like to be innovative in giving it to a successful youth pastor from Toledo who is contemplating a jump to planting a church. He needs some good wise counsel. Can you give him your time? Where can he reach you?
    Quick comment: I still believe the innovation comes from the marketplace and into the church. The gospels seem to breath easier from culture outside the church walls yet semantically have trouble controlling or regulating it inside the four walls. The Church just needs to take in the artificial liquid as used by the heroe from the 1989 movie The
    Abyss. It will continue to shake a little, pass out but then breath again. Much like a new convert. It should be very natural. The marketplace is the most natural and dangerous place from which we get innovation. The church is the marketplace and can have many liberal forms than the traditional sunday church we all have grown to love and be cynical and very hard on. I would be intereted in views about this since we last had class.

  5. Just to clarify my first sentence under comments: The church is the marketplace. I work with a 27 year old company called Actors, Models and Talent for Christ a company converted Christian by the conversion of it’s leader Carey Arban. She is a woman and is leading her church. Dr. Stezer we discussed the sacraments and other essentials that make a church. We do these through AMTC and could offer altar calls at auditions and our conventions. Does or would this make our company a church? It seems innovative, gender related to dangerous (we address homosexuality and the need to clean up Hollywood by discipling talent before they enter one of the seven areas of cultural influence).

  6. You were right on the money with this article….Preach brother!!!