Midweek Ministry Links

May 18, 2011 — 7 Comments

First off – Mark Driscoll takes aim at Serial Christian Conference Goers.

  • It’s funny, because at the conference I went to last week, I mentioned to a buddy – “It’s mind-blowing how many churches pay for their entire staff to be here. Granted some probably got discount tickets (or free like me). But I can’t believe someone in the church isn’t calling churches out for funding their staff to conference hop at $300 a pop (costing time AND money).
  • Cue Mark Driscoll

For those of you in college ministry, here’s a bucketload of links about the students/colleges we serve:

  • Some Crazy facts: This month, after graduating college, 85% of new grads will move back in with mom & dad. And some polls are reporting 54% unemployment for college grads. (Time Magazine article via @the99percent)
  • Think there’s pressure to drink in college? The Harvard Business Review reports: “References to alcohol appear on 85.3% of male college students’ Facebook pages”
  • A telling article from the NYTimes on how treating students as consumers has led to less academic rigor in higher ed
  • The Economist tackles the question: Is there a higher education bubble (and how do we even evaluate that)? HT @DanielPink
  • Dave Kinnaman, president of The Barna Group, says there are 3 things that will define ministry to young people over the next decade (read moremy notes from his talk at Catalyst).
  • 1) Unprecedented Access – to products, services, ideas, and worldviews
    2) Alienation – New levels of isolation from family, from community, from each other
    3) Authority – Confidence/trust in leaders has drastically decreased in the last few decades

Sobering facts on college graduates and the dismal economic outlook from the HuffPost College:

“A new survey of college graduates from the last five years finds that the Great Recession has hit them hard, forcing them into low-paying jobs often unrelated to their educations and leaving half of them expecting less financial success than their parents.”

  • 83% of college graduates worked when they were in college
  • The median starting salary for those who graduated between 2006 and 2008 was $30,000. For the 2009 and 2010 grads, it dipped to $27,000
  • Nearly half the graduates say they’re working at jobs that don’t require a college education
  • Nearly half say they’re subsidized in some way by their parents or other family members
  • About half say they personally don’t expect to do as well as their parents. And 56 percent say their generation won’t do as well as their parents’ generation.

photo courtesy of smemon87


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  • I don’t think I’m a conference Christian in general, but, dang, guilty here:

    “They treat preaching the same way wine snobs treat wine tastings. They start comparing and contrasting the bold flavors, subtle hints, and theological tannins only detectable by the most discerning of preaching palates. You will hear them say, for example, how they love the Edwardian hints in Piper and the Lloyd-Jones tannins in Keller, as if the preaching of God’s Word were to be merely sniffed, sipped, and then commented on for the purpose of impressing one’s friends.”

    • timcasteel

      Haha – I thought that was funny/convicting too.

  • DE


    I found it highly ironic that Driscoll’s post on conference goers focused all the blame on the attenders and none of it on the celebrity speakers/promoters who help create the conference scene.

    Every paragraph in his post begins with “They”. None of the paragraphs include any introspection about how he or other “conference creators” might have some responsibility in the situation.

    It’s not a bad thing to bring up the fact that the Christian Bubble has created serial conference attenders. Placing all the blame on them is just taking the easy way out.

    • timcasteel

      I thought the same thing DE. Who’s more guilty of the “conference culture” of the two guys in the picture at 6 different conferences in the same year – Mark Driscoll or the random fanboy?

      • *Like*

        What a succinct way to state it. And the answer is both.

        • timcasteel

          Though- giving Mark Driscoll (and other gifted speakers) the benefit of the doubt: they’re probably just trying to be a good steward of what God has given them and try to invest in as many people as possible. Not sure what the answer is.

  • timcasteel

    For those of you who want to read a bit more on the Christian celebrity/conference culture, Tim Challies and Carl Trueman have some great, unique insights as non-Americans (Canadian and British respectively): http://www.challies.com/articles/when-youre-oblivious-to-whats-obvious