Last year I posted some fun guestimates about what might happen in the world of children’s ministry in 2009. I repost them here with my evaluation of their current merit at the end of 2009. My comments are inline in blue.
- Leaders in the broader church world and possibly the business world will take notice of the efforts and accomplishments of children’s ministry leaders with the motive of learning from what they are doing. I honestly don’t know if this is happening on a broad scale, but it ought to be. I am very proud of my colleagues from all over the world who are doing innovative things to further the cause of Christ through children’s ministry. Think about networking leaders like Michael Chanley of cmconnect.org, Tony Kummer of ministry-to-children.com, Karl Bastian of Kidology.org. Also think about leaders like Jim Wideman and the team who created American Children’s Minister’s Association, and Roger Fields who created the Children’s Ministry Expo. Think in terms of social networking, topflite conferences, online training, coaching I have some ideas which I think can cause coaching to become normative in CM, that is moving it from the hands of a few notable experts and into the domain of many skilled, caring individuals who love CM, informal networks, ongoing mentoring, recruiting and retaining large groups of volunteer ministers, using technology, developing innovative strategies, techniques and products.
- Children’s Ministry leadership models will trend toward decentralization. Some of this is happening in specific churches due to the current economic downturn, or in smaller, more fluid church settings. In established larger campus settings the trend is toward centralized control.
- Children’s ministry budgets may see decreases in church budgets due to economic downturn, I am sad to be correct on this and yet be better off as a result through direct assigned giving and through measurable results which benefit the local church. The jury is out on this.
- Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber will ride again. Bigger. Better. Vegetableier. At least, I hope so. :) Probably not in this form, although it sounds like Phil Vischer has some cool things up his sleeve with his new venture.
- Long term prediction: Social networking will become a primary source of online learning and relationship building. More so than blogging, chatting, email, or message boards individually. What I am not sure about is what form that will take. I suspect it will involve some form of all of the above, but that it will also include technological platforms and delivery systems which do not yet exist. It may well be something which renders the current iterations of Facebook and Myspace obsolete. I think the jury is still out on this. It will depend on how mainstream the various platforms become and whether they can leverage multiple delivery modalities such as streaming video, at-large participation through handheld technology, and relationship building through social aspects of the technologies.