Tuesday, December 20, 2016


2045. That is the big year.  29 years from now, but already impacting us, with the rise of disaffected white blue collar voters in the heartland, feeling the impending loss of the world soon to be extinct.  The administration they've elected is beholden to the interests of folks who are markedly nervous about 2045.  But this political swerve to the right will be met with a hard swerve to the left sooner than we might suspect.  It could be violent.  Sometimes we swerve hard, folks.  The shift in demographics will shape more than just the political conversation - 2045 will be the most important year in American history since 1776.

What happens in 2045

Anglos become a minority in the USA

After that, for at least a century, mainstream American culture is multi-ethnic. If we ever become a country with an ethnic majority again, it will be Latinos who rise to power.  Anglo children will drop to minority status in just a few years, possibly as early as 2020, but finally by 2045, Anglos are a minority in America.  Forever.  29 years.  I will be 83.  But hopefully I will live to see the transfer of power.  And I do mean transfer of power - a transfer far more dramatic than whatever is going on in Washington this month.  Possibly, more akin to what happened in South Africa in the 90s - depending on what happens between now and then.


Almost any church that is hunkered down in white America will have long-term survival challenges.  

One of my favorite clients is a church in Houston called Chapelwood.  A lot of Trump voters in that church to be sure, but also a wise commitment to become a church whose human diversity mirrors that of its multicultural home city. Chapelwood has three services serving its traditional affluent white audience with a variety of worship styles in its main sanctuary.  But they have also added a recovery service, a Spanish-English bilingual service, a multi-ethnic quasi-Pentecostal service with no ethnic majority at all, and an east-of-downtown faith community that is all but Reconciling with its embrace of the diversity emerging in the loft and condo world of the central city.  Chapelwood is on its game. If it plays well into 2045 it also will lose Anglo majority among its membership, and it will discover Pentecost along the way.

A new America is rising.  A lot of folks are scared.  But 2045 is still coming.  Right.  On.  Schedule.

I have been re-reading MLK Jr's last book Where Do We Go From Here, at the behest of my friend Joe Daniels.  It was written in 1967, but it sounds like a blog written this week.  As if we have slipped through a wormhole back to 1967...  

It is possible that we will see a new Civil Rights movement, one that could level the Tea Party.  Long before 2045, a coalition of people who have been cast aside could rise to undo every single thing about to be enacted by the US government in the Trump years.

I hope we can make this shift with a minimum of violence. We do not need another Civil War.  But I cannot promise that the violence will be avoided

Any church or denomination that is setting itself up to thrive in the waning years of what may become a brief Apartheid culture - beware!  Such churches will be extinct by the end of the century

Evangelical, liberal - whatever you call yourself: memo to church: the people who are entering the USA through American Hospital Delivery Rooms in 2016, and who will be 29 years old in 2045, they care NOTHING about our labels and our positioning for power in a world passing away.  Nothing.  They will care that we rose above partisan trends of the moment to speak truths of biblical justice to the culture, even when those were decidedly out of vogue.

2045.  Are you going to position yourself on the winning team?  Are you positioning yourself to help lead this multi-ethnic nation to embrace kingdom values?  Young pastors should pay especially close attention to this moment.  They will bill fully charged with church leadership by 2045.  They will steer us through that pass!

I am writing a book with Trey Hall relating to all this, to be published in 2018.  In the meantime, be still and listen for the rumblings of the Spirit across the North American continent.

Christmas blessings to all!

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