I’m not a huge Bob Dylan fan. But my son is. So somehow, I had heard of the song by that title (These Times the are a changin’). Apparently it was a made-for-TV movie too? Same title? (The YouTube of that title sequence has 5 million views.)It was produced in 1964. The first verse goes like this…

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Does every generation think it’s in the middle of paradigm shifts to end all paradigms? Apparently. But we seem to get more than our share. In his new book, “Our Anchor in a World Adrift,” Jon Hirst (CEO of Global Mapping), chronicles 7 stats you need to know to serve the King (and lead out in missions). They revolve around these key themes:

*** An unprecedented refugee crisis that has millions on the move
*** Economic instability, unemployment, and individual identity
*** Personal disconnection in our digitally connected world
*** Evolving sexual morality and definitions of family
*** Why the world’s fastest growing population centers are becoming less Christian
*** Secularism and suicide, both of which are rising worldwide.
*** The quest for a spiritual home

Most of these themes have become central (or nearly so) in the agency that I lead, a mission agency with 300 workers in just over 40 countries. I bet the same things are popping up on your windshield as well. So I’m grateful when demographics guys like Jon Hirst make it easier for me to lead, speak, and preach to today’s audiences. That’s why I’m hoping this book (and its message) makes its way out to churches, agencies, and families all over the globe today. Learn more about the book here..

Now — disclaimer — I haven’t seen the book. But it sounds great. Once we DO see it, let’s sit down together and swap our take on how he handles the details. But from where I’m walking today, this book… these THEMES… are indeed central to everything we do. Go Jon. : )