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Reality Check What a new generation really thinks about Christianity … and why it matters Kevin Bowman,

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Presentation on theme: "Reality Check What a new generation really thinks about Christianity … and why it matters Kevin Bowman,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Reality Check What a new generation really thinks about Christianity … and why it matters Kevin Bowman, Dave Davis, PowerPoint download,

2 Sheltered Current perception – Christians are boring, un-intelligent, old-fashioned and out of touch with reality Goal perception – Christians are engaged, informed and offer sophisticated responses to the issues people face year olds Unfavorable ImageOutsidersChurchgoers Boring68%27% Old-fashioned78%36% Out of touch with reality72%32% Insensitive to others70%29% Not accepting of other faiths64%39%

3 Culturally relevant Sheltered individuals are disconnected from the culture they are attempting to influence Of all the perceptions we’ve talked about, we feel this is the one which has historically impacted our congregation the most – As perceptions go, the Church of Christ starts off down in the count here – We have seen, and continue to see, the departure of young families & young leaders We contend that, to continue to have impact, Cordova must address some of the perceptions we’ll talk about today

4 Sheltered Our church, like all churches, must be cognizant of the fractured sub-cultures which define the modern mission field Our reach needs to touch a broad spectrum – from the intellectual elite to the overlooked – We must empower culturally relevant leadership year olds Unfavorable ImageOutsidersChurchgoers Boring68%27% Old-fashioned78%36% Out of touch with reality72%32% Insensitive to others70%29% Not accepting of other faiths64%39%

5 Empowering the next generation

6 We have an image problem A sinking ship unaware of its fate A powerful amplifier with poor wiring & weak speakers A pack of cats looking like they are thinking deeply when in fact they are just waiting for their next meal An ostrich with its head in the sand A hobby that diverts people’s attention

7 Re-branding Christianity Like it or not we have been branded – McDonalds, Apple, Starbucks, Disney, Pepsi Christians have been simplified to something that can be used or consumed – Christianity is not seen as a product that can transform this world – Christianity is not seen as something desirable or needed Young leaders are our key players in this mission

8 Why this perception? Christians are out of tune with real-world choices, challenges, and lifestyles outsiders face – 80% of outsiders do not believe that an active faith helps people live a better life – Outsiders see Christianity & the Bible as behind the times and not relevant to today’s society Faith reduced to attendance & not sinning – We’ve separated ourselves from the spiritual realm – Outsiders’ experiences with Christians do not translate to an experience with a living God – Christian faith seems dull, flat, and lifeless

9 Why this perception? Christians are not willing to think – We stifle curiosity, encouraging brain-dead followers – Christians are unwilling to face doubts & questions Christians live in a bubble – We surround ourselves with other Christians & are not interested in trying to understand outsiders – We are part of a club and you’re either “in” or “out”

10 A faith that doesn’t make sense The young thrive on unexpected experiences & enjoy searching for new sources of input; willing to try almost anything They grew up as one of the most “protected” generations & enjoy defying the “safe life” They resist simple answers, favor mystery, and are OK with ambiguity They enjoy spending time with those who believe differently, as a way to push & expand their opinions A faith that is not willing to address thorny issues is not useful or attractive

11 A painful contrast The fact that Christianity does offer so much makes this perception hurt even more – Christianity does offer a sophisticated, livable response to the nature of the world – Christianity does offer a fulfilling, contextualized life Outsiders don’t see Christian contributions pushing culture forward through arts, literature, science, social justice, music, government, etc. – We are not meeting cultural expectations

12 The “good old days” are gone Today’s youth do not lead what we’d consider to be “conventional” lifestyles – But they have no less needs; perhaps even greater The cultural environment has changed more than we can comprehend – Responding with, “Every generation faces this gap; we toughed-it out & you should too,” doesn’t acknowledge the scope of this shift – Businesses are adapting & changing; schools are, our government is. The church must also.

13 The Buster & Mosaic normal Non-traditional family structure (1:20 vs. 1:3) Sex: earlier, more partners, marriage not required, widespread divorce More frequently use drugs, alcohol, profanity More feel lonely, unfulfilled, & stressed-out Desperation & suicide more prevalent

14 Next week Special-guest speaker & Judgmental Feedback & resources – Kevin Bowman, – Dave Davis, – PowerPoint download,


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