Url Scaramanga's - the guy from Out of Ur (Christianity Today's blog) - five predictions for 2009... And he may be right; you know how we are...
I've been giving a lot of thought to the state of the church as we enter a new year. In these uncertain, times we naturally look to reliable and wise voices to guide us through the fog. And who is more reliable and wise than yours truly? To help you plan ahead, I've compiled my list of the top five predictions to watch for in 2009.
The next BIG word: Post-Missional
There was a time when everything was "postmodern." Then we all "emerged." Now it's nearly impossible to find a ministry that isn't passionately "missional." But in 2009, I predict the truly innovative ministries will be "post-missional." No one will actually know what post-missional means, but the word will become ubiquitous, finding its way into the subtitles of at least 34 percent of all ministry books published in 2009.
The next BIG outreach trend: The 30-Day Alcohol Challenge
A number of churches have gotten enormous attention for variations of the 30-Day Sex Challenge. These ministries have tried to attract the sexually-charged unchurched by proclaiming that Christians have better sex and more of it. In this "more is more" philosophy of Christian liberty, I predict the next hot outreach trend will focus on alcohol as a way of deconstructing the church's tee-totaling reputation. Pastors will challenge church members over 21 to drink every day for a month—an expensive proposition for Lutherans who only drink imports.
The next BIG book: REVEAL 3: You Go, I'm Staying Right Here.
The Willow Creek Association published REVEAL: Where Are You? in 2007. Last year brought REVEAL 2: Follow Me. In 2009 I predict we'll see the publication of a third book in the series, REVEAL 3: You Go, I'm Staying Right Here. The new book will outline why changes to Willow's ministry strategy really aren't, and how it's more seeker-sensitive than ever.
The next BIG celebrity pastor: Rod Blagojevich
I predict that after the embattled, corrupt governor of Illinois is forcibly removed from office, he will have a "come to Jesus" moment at the federal penitentiary. He will emerge with a new mission and one of the most marketable conversion stories since Stephen Baldwin's. Because of his bountiful mane, Brother Blago (as he'll be known) will likely end up a televangelist.
The next BIG catch phrase: "Jesus is my bailout plan"
With the government issuing bailouts to banks, mortgage brokers, and the Big 3, I predict that the "bailout" language will quickly be adapted to Christian T-shirts and bumper stickers. Other possible phrases to be seen in '09: "My 401k is in Heaven," "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: These Big 3 Don't Need a Bailout," and "SEC: Secured Eternally in Christ."
Url Scaramanga is the moderator of Out of Ur.