How did I do with my 2012 Church Predictions?
One year ago today, January 2, 2012, I made some ‘mostly fun’ predictions for the church and ministry world for 2012. Let’s see how I did: Ted Haggard. Ted Haggard will again get headlines for something we wish he wouldn’t. (And his upcoming appearance on Wife Swap doesn’t even count). I predict that Ted will say or do something this year that will make us all want to hide under a rock. Ted was pretty quiet in 2013. Looks like it’s me hiding under a rock. Pat Robertson. Speaking of rocks, and our desire to stone someone, Pat Robertson will sometime this year, say something that will embarrass every Christian in this country. It could be racial, it could be silly, but it most probably will be something that will again show the world that he should have given his broadcast chair to his son a few years ago. What I lacked in my Ted Haggard prediction, I made up for in Pat Robertson’s. Just do a search here on Pat and you’ll see what I mean. Perry Noble. I predict that Perry will get ‘really pumped’ about SOMETHING this year. I think even the most liberal judge would say I won this one. 🙂 Steven Furtick. Steven will really freak out if, in fact, the sun really does stand still for a day. Didn’t happen… thank goodness. Megachurch Merger. Look for a megachurch merger sometime this year. A couple of really big churches making really big impacts will decide that they can make an even more colossal impact if they join forces. Not like I thought it would. But watch out… it’s coming. Other Church Mergers. While mergers have been happening for years, I think 2012 will see the speed up of the number of mergers happening in churches of all sizes. Most of these will be healthy churches that will be taking over struggling churches. Many churches that have considerable financial resources but are quickly dying will be looking for alternatives, and partnering with a local healthy church that will come in and carry on the legacy will look very appealing. New Birth / Eddie Long. More hard times for some large churches though. I predict that Eddie Long will no longer be the pastor at New Birth by the end of 2012. The latest divorce and marriage breakup will be the last straw as that ministry fights to survive with or without Long. The Bishop did have a rough year… really rough. But, he’s still the head at New Birth. So I blew this one. The Crystal Cathedral/Schuller Family. I predict that the Schuller family will call it quits when they leave the Crystal Cathedral. I believe they have a year and a half before they have to vacate the premises to their new Catholic owners. After looking at the spreadsheet and the number of people still left at that time, I think they’ll cut their losses and call it a good run. SUCCESS: Though I didn’t quite get it totally right, the Schuller family (with the exception of the grandson) are all gone from the Crystal Cathedral. Of course, I didn’t predict the $5 million lawsuit, or the new (just this week) article from the National Enquirer that said that the senior Schullers may now be mostly destitute and lose their home. Christian Lady Gaga. As the Christian community normally does, we’ll have some great rip-offs this year… probably to include a Christian Lady Gaga, a new Christian social media twitter rip-off or something like that. SUCCESS: I guess, kinda: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4haIvqBzYM The church around the world will flourish. I think 2012 will be a great year for the church around the world. It will be mixed here in the US… with real pockets of health developing among younger congregations. But there will be no shortage of conflict and dying churches to contend with as well. Success on the conflict and dying churches prediction, but that was a given. According to this article, I got it mostly right. A sad day. Unfortunately… with many big-name Christian leaders aging, we’ll say good-bye to a good number of high-profile leaders this year… either through retirement or death. Not really a tough prediction either. Some notable deaths: Chuck Colson and evangelist R. W. Schambach. Social Media. Some changes coming to social media as we know it. There will be a new face introduced this year that will give Twitter and Facebook a run for their money. It will be highly customizable and unique, and will help all of us cut through the clutter that we’re all now experiencing in our social media. And, no… it will not be Google+. OK… missed this one. But I might keep this on my list for 2013. Mobile Devices. Phones will continue to get much faster, and do newer and cooler things. Some great advances for the church will be the new app that automatically silences your phone ringer and disables Angry Birds as you enter the sanctuary. There are now GPS enabled apps that do this… so technically, I got it right. I still think someone needs to package a ‘church cell phone silencer’ app that shuts down the cell phone ringer when you enter the church (via gps). Sell it for $.99 to individuals (who don’t want to get embarrassed when their phone rings during the service, or license it to churches for $100k (after all, they want the cell phones to stop ringing during the invitation). Gospel Coalitions. There will be a lot of strife in the Gospel Coalition this year, as they find out exactly how many things they actually disagree on. The strife will, as in most cases, come from criticism from the outside… from people that don’t like anything, that will attack until something gives. Boy. Pegged this. James MacDonald resigned from the Gospel Coalition in January after a flurry or criticism about the Elephant Room 2 invitation to T. D. Jakes. Later Mark Driscoll steps down as the council as well. Tim Tebow. Super Bowl ring. If not, it blows the whole “God” theory thing. What? No Super Bowl ring? What was God thinking? Humility check time. Denominations. It’s only a matter of time before a mainline denomination falls on hard financial times. Look for new stories telling about a major denomination’s future in question because of finances. Yep. Here and here. Southern Baptists. Southern Baptists will probably NOT change their name (even though I’ve actively campaigned that they now be called “Stetzers”). And if they do change their name… expect about 20 – 30% of current SBC churches to defect and start a new denomination called “Southern Baptists”. They wimped out and decided to opt for a new ‘optional’ name. That saved the coop I predicted. I’m defiant enough to go with my first inclination and just call them Stetzers or Stetzerites anyway. Doomsday. You do know that the world is going to end in 2012. Man… Blew that one… I was sure it was the end of the world. Oh well… another year to blog! What are YOUR predictions for 2013?