"Contexts go through fundamental change, which require congregations to consider how they might respond. The tendency is to approach the challenge of contextual change primarily from the perspective of developing strategies. But unfortunately, the strategies employed by many congregations often tend to be either too late in response or too limited in scope. Congregations that successfully adapt to such fundamental change are few. Even those that are successful usually end up having hteir core identity substantially challenged and eventually changed. This often occurs largely by default rather than by design. It is the premise of this book that in the midst of this process of constant change taking place within congregational contexts a congregation needs to understand the ministry of the Spirit. God’s intent often is to use such change either directly or indirectly to move a congregation in new directions of meaningful ministry under the leading of the Spirit.
"It is critical for congregations to realize that contexts are always changing. This is the very nature of life. Congregations would be well served by staying on the front side of the curve in anticipating contextual changes so they could intentionally continue to recontextualize their ministries to address new conditions as they emerge."
** from Van Gelder, Craig. The Ministry of the Missional Church: A Community Led by the Spirit. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2007, p.48.