Yesterday I spent about an hour being interviewed by a publishing company who is trying to take a fairly comprehensive look at the state of youth and children's ministry. Over the course of our time, I was asked a bunch of great questions that I felt fairly confident in answering. I was beginning to feel like quite the expert when she asked her final question...a question that really shouldn't have stumped me: "What do you think ministry to young teens will look like in 5 or 10 years?" Maybe it was the fact that I was 'on the record' and knew that my predictions might be read by my peers, or maybe just that I was tired after a 60 minute interview. I don't know why...all I know is that my answer that now is 'on the record' was pretty weak. "Ah...I'm no futurist but I could see the return of the big event that is balanced this time around with a stronger small group structure to back it up." STUPID! Don't get me wrong, I do think the big program/outreach/lights, camera, action approach to ministry is due for a comeback (not so much because I think it works but, because like everything else, youth ministry tends to run in cycles) and I think we've learned the importance of small groups and won't trade the small for the big, but might come up with a good blend of the two. But this was my chance to say something significant and profound...to sound really smart.
So, to all you out there who are profound and smart: What will junior high ministry look like in 5 or 10 years?