The long view of how corporations and organizations are changing is hard to see. Most books and studies can see the forest for the trees. An exception is Alfred D. Chandler, recently retired from the Harvard University School of Business. His books and articles have most clearly documented the way the industrial revolution rapidly changed America in the 1830s, 40s and 50s. New technologies exploded (steam engines, the telegraph, railroads) and led to the creation of massive industrial corporations with professional managers, engineers, accountants and lawyers. This model of corporate structure has become imprinted on the American mind, generation after generation. In fact, Christian denominations have adopted the same kind of structure.
Now it is clear that this type of structure is dying. The new technology of today is creating a different way of organizing life--flat, not vertical; globalization; diversity; different kinds of financing; etc. Despite huge reserves of capital and technical knowledge, giant established firms are failing, losing out to new upstarts like eBay and Google.
How will these flat, networked structures redefine church and ministry for new generations over the next century? It is clear that re-construction is underway, but the dust has not settled. What is your guess about what will be there when the dust does finally settle?