There are three things that will define ministry over the next decade:
Unprecedented Access – to products, services, ideas, and worldviews
Alienation – New levels of isolation from family, from community, from each other
Authority – New questions about who to believe and why – what has claim on our lives?
I’m at Catalyst Dallas this week. Honestly, I was a little underwhelmed today by the content at the Labs. I’m sure it will improve as the real conference starts tomorrow.
Here’s my notes from what I thought was the most insightful Speaker today: Dave Kinnaman, President of The Barna Group (author of unChristian).
His main question: Are we a Post-Christian Culture?
- 83% self-identify themselves as Christians in America
- 8% of Americans are evangelical (based on correct answers to 8 theological questions)
- Most Americans have a broadly Christian perspective
- 75% have made a personal commitment to Christ
- 3 out of 4 Americans believe the resurrection is literally true
- We are a very Christianized culture but not a Christ-following ones
- Are we post-Christian – yes and no
Our role in ministry: to introduce them to the God they think they know
1. Unprecedented Access to products, services, ideas, and worldviews
- His 6 year old son doesn’t even know how to spell but yet knows that Google has all the answers to any question (I wonder if. . . – we go right to the internet)
- Does your church feel in tune with the times when it comes to access?
- Have students twitter or text in questions and answer them in the service
- You Lost Me – new book. Young people feel that science is very accessible but the church is not
- University of Phoenix is largest University in the U.S. – around 500,000 students
- Whether it’s legit or not, online is where people are going
2. Alienation – New levels of isolation from family, from community, from each other
- % of people born with unwed mothers:
1960 – 5%
Today – 42%
- % who have completed major life transitions by 30 (leaving home, finishing school, financially independent, getting married, and having a child)
77% of men
65% of women
46% of women
31% of men
- It’s a different cultural reality today than it was 50 years ago
- Who’s working with these people who are starting “adulthood” later?
3. Authority – New questions about who to believe and why – what has claim on our lives?
- Confidence in Leaders 1966 vs 2007
Congress – 42% vs 10%
Major Companies – 55% vs 16%
- How can we as a church thrive as an authority-centered institution in an anti-authority culture?
1) Authority – The response to that is one of revelation
- Do we really have a sense of God speaking to us?
- The Bible is more than a textbook, or an owner’s manual
- It’s a living breathing document, a revelation from the Living God instructing us in how to be on Mission with Him
2) Access – response is one of vocation
- Young people are leaving the church because they don’t feel that the church is giving them a calling
- They never connected how the Bible applies to their major, their vocation
- Reconnecting the idea of our vocation to the bible
- Our faith matters outside of Sunday AM
3) Alienation – the response is our presence
- Presence can be facilitated via technology (not always being physically present) – twitter, email, etc
- We can respond to their questions quickly and be more accessible
What do you think about those three: Unprecedented Access, Authority, and Alienation?
What will it look like for us to minister to college students in light of these three?