-Leonard Sweet , Summoned to Lead 76-77
"New Reality Number Five is the shift from planning to preparation.. Much of what has ultimate effect on the church happens outside it it and its control...Typical approaches to the future involve prediction and planning. This works OK in a world that experiences significant continuity. It doesn' t work in the current environment. Planning tends to be incremental, pushing what we currently are doing into a world that we imagine wil be the same as today. Incrementalism as an anticipatory strategy is dead,, The Bible sounds a recurrring theme : Go0d wants his people to pray and prepare for his intervention ...It is God who declares 'I know the plans I have for you ', in Jer 29.11. He does not say 'I am waiting for you to develop plans I can bless." I am not against planning. I am just suggesting,.the North American church has settled for (its imaginations, plans and dreams).. The future belongs to those who prepare for it, not plan for it. If the North American church is going to make the leap off the sigmoid curve and avoid the sure death guaranteed by incrementalism, it will have to shift its beginning point from present to future"
. -Reggie McNeal, The Present Future, 92ff