Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

Every new generation influences society in profound ways. Every new generation also affects churches in America. The Millennial generation is no different.

Those adults and youth born between 1980 and 2000 are large in number, nearly 80 million. They are the largest generation in America, and they will continue to shape much of what takes place in our nation. They are also setting the tone for American churches today.

I have written about Millennials extensively, so I thought it might be helpful for me to share some key ways this generation is already shaping the church. Here are six of the most profound shifts.

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Trip Lee talks with us about the Unashamed Tour 2012, his new book ‘The Good Life,’ and what’s next for him after stepping away from music.

In an age of multiple mash ups and duos in the music world, I still would never had put together Adam Young (aka Owl City) and Carly Rae Jepsen.

Do you think he called her…maybe?

And their collaborative effort has gifted us with a song that sounds like a list of my friends’ Facebook statuses all strung together in a Dr. Suessian synthpop jam:

Woke up on the right side of the bed.
What’s up with this Prince song inside my head?

Slept in all my clothes like I didn’t care.
Hopped into a cab, take me anywhere.

Freaked out, dropped my phone in the pool again.
Checked out of my room hit the ATM.

I do not like green eggs and ham.

I do not like them, Sam I am!

Ok Ok, I added that last one, but doesn’t it seem like it should be in there somewhere?

And if you’ve not guessed it, this tune called Good Time is surprisingly heavily themed with the whole idea of having a good time:

Doesn’t matter when,
It’s always a good time then.

It’s always a good time.
Woah-oh-oh-oh Woah-oh-oh-oh.
It’s always a good time.
Woah-oh-oh-oh Woah-oh-oh-oh.
We don’t even have to try, it’s always a good time.

And judging by the popularity of the song and hits on the video, there are a lot of folks looking for a good time.

Read more here.

Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.

G – GOD | O – OUR | S – SINS | P – PAYING | E — EVERYONE | L – LIFE

God created us to be with Him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sins separate us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds. (Genesis 4 – Malachi 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life. (John)
Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever. (Acts – Revelation)

GO HERE TO READ MORE: http://www.dare2share.org/gospeljourney/

Dare 2 Share Ministries is mobilizing teenagers to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Read more here.

Teen girls around the nation can participate in a high-energy, inspirational 2-day weekend tour with some of the top Christian music artists, authors, and performers.

The Revolve Tour will kick off Friday in Dallas and feature such artists as Britt Nicole, Group 1 Crew, Courtney Clark Cleveland, Hawk Nelson, and newcomer, Jamie Grace. The tour will also feature speaker and author Jenna Lucado Bishop, daughter of bestselling author Max Lucado.

It is estimated that about 6,000 girls will attend the event at each of the 10 cities. This year, the main theme of the tour will be about dreams although issues about relationships, guys, friends, faith, and choices will also be addressed.

In a video message aimed at Revolve girls, speaker and author Jenna Lucado Bishop – who said she has a “deep” calling to give hope to teen girls – encouraged her young viewers to pray to God on a regular basis and talk to God about mundane things in their lives in order to build a relationship with Him.

Also speaking on the tour is author and speaker Chad Eastham, one of the few male participants in the Revolve Tour. Eastham will give expert advice on guys and relationships. Males attending the Revolve events are usually volunteers or chaperones, such as dads, uncles, and youth pastors.

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ChristianPost.com is the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website and was launched in July 2000 with the vision of delivering up-to-date news, information, and commentaries relevant to Christians across denominational lines.

Every data point I’ve seen indicates that Christianity in America is in sharp decline. According to recent surveys, one of the fastest growing religious categories in America is “non-religious.” While some megachurches are flourishing in suburban Christian enclaves, the number of self-identifying Christians has fallen 10 points over as many years. Each year, the Christian church experiences a net loss in attendees and the waning political influence of the movement is now more than apparent.

What has driven this shift? According to Michael Spencer of the Christian Science Monitor, the answer is two-fold. First, the church’s rabid pursuit of “relevance” and “pragmatism” has produced in many churches a shallow vacuity. Second, he says, we have become too closely identified with political partisanship and the American culture war. Such attitudes among young non-believers were confirmed by the national study commissioned for Unchristian, a book I co-authored a few years ago.

Some Christians are understandably frustrated by the demise of “Christian America,” and many of them have exerted considerable energy into slowing the decline. Among old guard evangelicals, for example, there are many who still preach of moral decline and proudly wear the battle armor of cultural war. But young Christians, it turns out, are far more optimistic about what the future might hold for the two-thousand-year-old faith.

Over the last several years, I’ve conducted hundreds of focus groups, interviews, and gatherings of young Christian leaders. I have tracked and compiled a list of their common characteristics—from the desire to create good cultural artifacts to a strong sense of calling—and these leaders’ optimistic outlook on the future has steamrolled me.

There is my friend, Scot, in New York City whose organization’s is leading the way in giving clean water to those who lack it. There is Phileena in Nebraska who believes the church can be reconciled with the poor when we roll up our sleeves and serve alongside them. And Gary in Washington D.C. whose vision for how the world ought to be put sex trafficking on the map for many Americans and policy-makers.

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Gabe Lyons is author of The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America (Doubleday) and founder of the Q learning community.

The faith of teenagers is a picture of contrasts. Teenagers are consistently among the most religiously active Americans, with nearly six out of every 10 teens engaged in some type of group spiritual activity in a typical week. Yet, the spirituality of teenagers is also remarkably diverse and fluid.

A new research study from the Barna Group explores the changing religious environment of teenagers, comparing their participation in personal and group forms of faith over the past dozen years. While most teenagers remain spiritually active in some way, it appears that six specific types of teen faith engagement are declining.

Changing Faith
In several ways, teenagers are much less inclined toward spirituality than were teens a dozen years ago. The study assessed nine different forms of teenage involvement; six of those religious activities are at their lowest levels since Barna Group began tracking such teen behaviors. These included small group attendance, prayer, Sunday school participation, donations to churches, reading sacred texts other than the Bible, and evangelism by Christian teens (explaining their belief in Jesus Christ with others who have different faith views).

David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group and the director of the research, pointed out that some of these changes may go unnoticed by church leaders because the most visible activities – teen church attendance and youth group involvement – have not changed much in recent years. Bible reading was also roughly on par with previous Barna tracking of teenagers, further confounding a clear picture of teen faith.

Kinnaman commented on the findings: “While there is still much vibrancy to teen spirituality, it seems to be ‘thinning out.’ Teenagers view religious involvement partly as a way to maintain their all-important relationships. Yet perhaps technology such as social networking is reconfiguring teens’ needs for relationships and continual connectivity, diminishing the role of certain spiritual forms of engagement in their lives. Talking to God may be losing out to Facebook.”

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The Barna Group (which includes its research division, the Barna Research Group) is a private, non-partisan, for-profit organization that conducts primary research on a wide range of issues and products, produces resources pertaining to cultural change, leadership and spiritual development, and facilitates the healthy spiritual growth of leaders, children, families and Christian ministries. Located in Ventura, California, Barna has been conducting and analyzing primary research to understand cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984. If you would like to receive free e-mail notification of the release of each new, bi-monthly update on the latest research findings from The Barna Group, you may subscribe to this free service at the Barna website (www.barna.org). Additional research-based resources, both free and at discounted prices, are also available through that website.