Fast forward with me to 2020. How will Children's Ministry be different? What are we currently using that will no longer exist? Here are some predictions...
- Rows of chairs. Rows of chairs are rooted in the industrial age, some two centuries ago. As schools move toward 21st century, active, participatory learning, the church will follow. Rows of chairs will be replaced with a fluid classroom set up that resembles an airport lounge.
- Hard copy books. Bibles and class materials will shift to digital format as hard copy books continue to be replaced with digital reading.
- CD players. As CD sales continue to fall, music will be played from small digital devices instead of CD players. For many this already happening. The few CD players that remain in classrooms will disappear.
- Phone books. 70% of adults "rarely or never" use a phone book. Instead of thumbing through a giant phone book for the name of an inflatable company, Children's Ministries will simply use the internet. I suspect that for most this is already happening.
- Keyboard and mouse. Industry leaders including Microsoft and Apple believe touch will play a pivotal role in the way we interact with tomorrow's computing devices -- and it already does. Touchscreens exist in seemingly every electronics segment, including cell phones, notebooks, and even printers.
- Internet usage charges. Companies who are trying to be the gatekeepers of the internet and charge for usage, will be swept aside by free community internet.
- DVD players. By 2015, 91% of internet data will be video. DVD players will be replaced by streaming or archived movies in Children's Ministries.
- Desktop computers. Laptops and mobile devices will continue to replace desktops.
- Paper. This is closely tied to #2. In the next 10 years, schools will reduce their paper consumption by 90%. Expect Children's Ministries to follow this pattern as well.
- Lecture style learning. This is closely related to #1. Only two institutions still regularly offer lectures as a primary means of learning: universities and churches. And if a recent article in the Washington Post is accurate, the church may soon be the last institution on Earth that trains people primarily by verbal lecture. According to the article, universities are “abandoning or retooling the lecture as a style of teaching, worried that it’s driving students away.” Watch for Children's Ministries to eventually move away from a talking head model to a learn based model.
What other things do you think will change in the next 8-10 years?
What needs to change if Children's Ministry is going to stay relevant?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.