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Why should a missional community gather?

// In Yoda style, ‘Wrestle with this. I do.’

Just read Brad Watson’s helpful post tackling the question of “Why does our missional church gather on Sunday“. Unlike Brad I’ve come to the question from a different place as I am a child of the ‘gathered’ church. I don’t have any distilled learning to share yet from our experience of the last 4 years with Mosaic and Exilio but may share some someday…

It’s a good post to read anyway.

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‘Millennials’ musings – part 3

// I introduced Millennials a few years ago (written by the coolest named couple in the world, Amy & Frog Orr-Ewing) in previous posts (part 1 – Intropart 2 – What the commentators say) and have finally been able to pick it up again to digest some of the further gems within.

Here’s some nuggets from chapter 2, ‘Generational analysis':

Characteristics

The Orr-Ewings highlight 7 key characteristics on p47 of the ‘Millennial persona’, as they put it, taken from Strauss and Howe’s, Millennials Rising:

  1. Special – previous generations have impressed upon them the belief that they are vital to the nation
  2. Sheltered – they are the recipients of some of the most radical youth safety policies
  3. Confident – they believe that good news for themselves is good news for the country
  4. Team-orientated – living life with others is paramount
  5. Achieving – they are the best educated and behaved adults in the nation’s history
  6. Pressured – they feel the need to excel
  7. Conventional – they believe that social rules help

The authors also quote a report from the Evangelical Alliance Council Meeting on September 16, 2009 on ‘The 18 – 30 Mission: A Missing Generation’

In research carried out by Innovista it was found that 96% of church leaders think that increasing the number of 16 to 30 year olds in the church is either more important or as important as any other top priority. Yet despite this, only 11% of the same church leaders felt ‘well resourced’ to do this in terms of people, training, and tools. p48

Work

They are looking for a job that will give them everything. p49

The “magic” for Gen Yers comes in making a difference – producing something worthwhile – whilst working with a great team and getting the rewards they feel they deserve. p49

Teaching on giving will need to be strong and clear as will the link between caring about social justice and doing something about it personally as the gap between rich and poor increases. p52

Consumerism and brands

Due to the amount of adverts, the focus of the millennial consumer has become lifestyle image rather than functional need. p56

[Millennials are] used to not having to exert much effort. p57

To become part of the inner circle a brand needs to be trusted, agile, transparent, and engaging. p59

Communication

“Hyper communication” leads to constant multitasking, and the potential for CPA (continuous partial attention). p62

This point resonated as I’ve recognised the shifts in my behaviour over the last five years or so: multi-device consumption, shorter attention span, increased ease of distraction etc.

Morality

Quoting p46 of Smith and Snell, Souls in Transition,

The vast majority are intuitionists – that is, they believe that they know what is right and wrong by attending to the subjective feelings or intuitions that they sense within themselves when they find themselves in various situations or facing ethical questions… The majority of emerging adults interviewed had difficulty thinking of even one example of a situation recently when they had some trouble deciding what was the morally right or wrong thing to do. p64

Conclusion

If we succeed in reaching this generation for Christ they have the potential to rival the Victorians in the impact they make in the world in rebuilding the community and the family, tackling poverty and seeing massive social transformation in the face of poverty and inequality. Could they usher in another great Evangelical century? p70

Fatherhood

Great Men

// This coming Sunday is a national celebration of Fatherhood here in the UK; Father’s Day. In the run up, gift ideas and advice on what makes a good Dad is flooding our culture and media. In the midst of the bombardment, the following wisdom to fathers came into my inbox.

You are rich when you’re content with a life full of things that money can’t buy.

Read it again.

Yes.

It’s a provocative statement.

You are rich when you’re content with a life full of things that money can’t buy.

Continue reading

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Church: Like it or Love it?

There is a difference between liking the church and loving the church the way Jesus commands us to. To be sure, we do not like gatherings of strangers who never meet or know each other outside of Sundays, who sit passively while virtual strangers preach and lead singing, who put up with second rate pseudo-community under the guise of connection with each other, who live different lives from Monday to Saturday than they do on Sunday, whose sole expression of worship is pop-style praise and worship, who rarely laugh together, fight injustice together, eat together, pray together, raise each others’ children together, serve the poor together, or share Jesus with those who have not yet been set free. We do not like the church if it’s a fractured organization with hundreds of competing creeds, names and doctrines, teaching a multitude of contradictory beliefs and insisting on compliance with a raft of recently invented traditions. But if it’s a family of Jesus followers striving, no matter how inadequately, to be Christlike, holistic, peace-loving, worshipful, devoted, graced, holy, and healthy, then we will love it with every ounce of physical and emotional strength we have.

Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch, reJesus