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Almost Christian
Sep 14th, 2010 by Mike

An excerpt from “The Ivy Jungle Network Campus Ministry Update September 2010”:

Princeton Seminary Professor Kendra Creasy Dean shares what she considers some depressing news in her new book, Almost Christian. As a researcher in the National Study for Youth and Religion, she helped conduct in depth interviews with more than 3300 teenagers who call themselves Christians.  Her findings show that most “Christian” kids are indifferent and inarticulate about their faith. The faith they do discuss often boils down to what has been labeled “moralistic therapeutic deism” – a belief in a generally good God who exists primarily to help make people happy.   This “imposter” faith contributes to the massive departure of so many young people from the church during their high school and college years.  Too often parents and churches have low expectations for teenagers.  Too many youth groups are designed to keep students out of trouble and simply being nice – not truly exploring the faith.  However, she did find some who had a passion for their faith and an ability to talk about it in a meaningful way.  These committed teenagers most often came from Mormon or evangelical backgrounds.  She identified four common traits among this group: They have a personal story about God they can share, a deep connection to a faith community, a sense of purpose and a sense of hope about their future (CNN August 27, 2010)

© 2010 – 2013, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Leaving Church Behind
Sep 6th, 2010 by Mike

According to Barna, only about 25% of teenagers are active in a youth group; a statistic that has remained relatively flat for the last decade. Lifeway Christian Resources reports that many students drop out around age 16. Their research indicates that many teens do not find church relevant or think it meets the needs of young people today. While in the past they may have come for free food and entertainment, today’s teens don’t want to be relegated to basement pizza parties. They are looking for significance and connections. Sadly, the numbers fall again when they leave for college. (USA Today August 11, 2010)1

© 2010, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

- - - - - footnotes - - - - -
  1. published in the Ivy Jungle Network Newsletter, August 2010 []
Oh Joy!
Feb 3rd, 2010 by Mike

Our discipleship/small groups moved from Wednesday night to Saturday night. Wednesday is the night Mrs. Major has cards, so now I have Wednesday night free to read. Yea!

© 2010, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Awesome Worship
Aug 2nd, 2009 by Mike

Our youth pastor is on vacation so last night, the interns ran the youth worship service. It was awesome. The music was inspirational and the message deep and inspiring. Good work David, Kyle, Luis, and Holly. You guys are awesome!

© 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Our Side
Apr 25th, 2009 by Mike

“Those who agree with us may not be right, but we admire their astuteness.”1

© 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

- - - - - footnotes - - - - -
  1. Cullen Hightower []
More on Manly Church
Apr 8th, 2007 by Mike

Relevant to yesterdays post, I found a post by Chris Elrod regarding music in the church. He’s got a point about the feminization of the church. Here are a few concluding paragraphs from his blog on the subject.

The songs of yesterday were hymns about blood, victory and battle put to the beer drinking tunes of the day. Manly stuff that makes me want to go pee in the woods just writing about. Today we sing about love, peace and joy put to music that sounds like The Wiggles. Excuse me while I go watch Oprah and hug myself. To top it off, most preachers seem to get their topical message ideas from watching one episode of The View. May God have mercy on our soul.

This is not an “I’ve-lost-touch-with-today-because-I’m-an-old-fart” or pro “Wild-At-Heart” cultural thing. I’ve heard these same views expressed by many unchurched, artistic 20-something men. Musically they want AC/DC and we give them Celine Dion. Lyrically they want Tom Clancy and we give them Danielle Steel. Spiritually they want Braveheart and we give them Sleepless In Seattle. Everywhere I turn there’s this…estrogen…feel to church. It’s all so safe, sappy and sad.

If the church is going to be relevant in the coming generations we’ve got to get back to reaching men…and helping them become Godly husbands and fathers. In order for the church to reach men we’ve got to have music on Sundays that has the lyrical depth of John Newton, the musical kick of Guns N’ Roses and led by a man that looks like Ted Nugent. In order for the church to reach men we’ve got to have sermons that hit like a NFL linebacker, spoken in a voice as bold as a WCW wrestler and led by a man that acts like…John The Baptist. If there’s one thing that today’s society of broken marriages and children with no father figure has taught us…it’s that we need more manly churches!!!

Happy Resurrection Sunday.

© 2007 – 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Church for Men
Apr 7th, 2007 by Mike

It’s about time. Studies have shown that women are more attracted to the traditional church than men are. In Daytona Beach, FL, there is now a Church for Men.

Fox News reports:

The Church For Men meets one Saturday evening a month, drawing about 70 guys dressed in everything but straight-laced shirts and neckties. The service features a rock band, a shot clock to time the preacher’s message and a one-hour in-and-out guarantee.

© 2007 – 2013, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

What’s With The Episcopal Church?
Jun 25th, 2006 by Mike

Cal Thomas has some very cogent remarks about the recent US Episcopal Church refusing to disavow ordination of openly, practicing homosexual bishops.

Read the article, then let me know what you think. Biblically, we’re commanded to love everyone, but we’re also commanded to repent of our sin (including practicing homosexuality).

Homosexuality is one of the sins that is clearly identified as sin. The old addage, “Hate the sin, love the sinner,” applies.

© 2006 – 2008, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Speaking of Service
May 20th, 2006 by Mike

My friend Mark Waltz cites examples of poor service from companies that should know better and opines whether we do the same in the church. He asks, “Are we serving what we’re selling?” Read the rest of this entry »

© 2006 – 2014, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

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