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Staying Dynamic in Children’s Ministry – #5 Futurecast

(image originally uploaded to Flickr by Mr Wabu)

You can read more about this series here.

5. Futurecast

One way to stay dynamic in children’s ministry is to futurecast. “What is futurecasting?” you might ask. Well, I’m glad you asked! To futurecast is to predict what something might look like based on trends, culture and bit of intuition. “Why not just use the term ‘forecast?’” you might now be asking. I like how futurecast sounds…

Anyway, how do you futurecast children’s ministry? This is a bit tricky because you can’t know for certain if you are correct or not. Some ways to gather the needed information to predict where children’s ministry might be going is to read what people like Barna, Andy Crouch, and Ed Stetzer are saying about ministry and culture. Also take a look at sites like TrendWatching.com and Kidscreen.com. Also keep an eye on movies, TV shows, books and magazines that are coming out for kids.

As you take a look at these resources, take the following into account:

  • Recurring Themes – If you see certain themes or topics showing up multiple times, this may point to topics that are relevant or may become relevant to address.
  • Communication Methods – What are prevalent ways messages are being communicated? What mediums are being used? What images or slogans are being used? How are messages being communicated? The answers to these questions hint at how information is being processed and how we might need to adapt the medium of our message so that children can hear and understand it.
  • Social Models – How are families portrayed? How are friendships portrayed? What social themes are being used for different age groups? This can give you a glimpse into the social dynamics of children and families.
  • Communicated Values – What values are being highlighted? What values are being ignored? How are these values examples of Biblical values? How are they not?

The more you do this, the better you get at it.

What are some ways you futurecast? What resources do you use?

You can check out other parts to this series:
#1. Creative Space
#2. Cross-Train
#3. Question Everything
#4. Be Involved in Your Community
#6. When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Grape Juice!
#7. It’s Not About You
#8. The Holy Spririt is Your Friend

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