*“Discerning future trends can be difficult if not risky,” writes Thom Rainer in the summer 2011 edition of Facts & Trends magazine. ”If we miss a trend, we risk missing opportunities because we had our resources directed elsewhere.”

“I am thus careful when I do trend projections,”  he writes. “I am especially careful when I am projecting trends that will have a direct impact on the churches in America.”

Nevertheless, here are five that he sees headed our way:

1. Our nation will see the emergence of the largest generational mission field in more than a century. According to our current research, the Millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, will have a very low Christian representation. Our estimates now are that only 15 percent are Christian. With a huge population of nearly 80 million, that means that nearly 70 million young people are not Christians.

Read more and Beliefnet.com.