All posts from “Generations”

Ur Video: Skye Jethani on the Mass Exit From Church

March 27, 2012 12:00 AM

In January, Skye spoke at the Lumen conference at Mariners Church in California about the exodus of young people from our churches. Rather than focusing on the sociological data, he used his time to talk about how the way we...

Christianism Leads to Atheism

March 22, 2012 12:00 AM

As I get around the country there is one question I hear from pastors more than any other: How do we reach young people? They don’t need research from Barna, Lifeway, Pew, and Gallup to tell them young people are...

Out of Context: Jonathan Merritt

March 5, 2012 12:00 AM

"I have the opportunity to hang out with a number of younger evangelical influencers, and sometimes it's breathtaking how little we think about, talk about, or seem concerned with personal evangelism." -Jonathan Merritt quoted in "Outlooks on Outreach" in the...

Back to (a Theology of) Work We Go...

January 31, 2012 12:00 AM

Newsflash…Young adults are leaving the church. Ok, it’s not really news to anyone familiar with church attendance trends. For generations we have seen young people raised within the church depart during their later teens and twenties. But most returned once...

The Religious Views of 20-Somethings, Part 3

January 23, 2012 12:00 AM

Read Part 1 and Part 2. This past semester my students and I have been educating each other. I’ve been introducing them—at warp speed—to the major world religions. They’ve been candidly expressing their perspectives on faith, religious practice, and what...

The Religious Views of 20-Somethings, Part 2

January 13, 2012 12:00 AM

In a previous post, I described a few trends I noticed in responses of my students in a community college world religions course to prompts about the role of religion in their lives. In that post, I listed the responses...

Study Says God-Connections at Church are "Rare"

January 11, 2012 12:00 AM

Let's be honest for a minute. Most churches expend the vast majority of their resources on weekend worship gatherings. It's when facilities are most utilized, when programming is most robust, when volunteers are most required, and what many pastors spend...

The Religious Views of 20-Somethings, Part 1

January 3, 2012 12:00 AM

Last semester I assigned the students in the community college World Religions course I teach a series of writing exercises that (I hoped) would help them personalize and internalize the subject matter we were reading about and discussing in class....

Did Youth Ministry Create the Emerging Church? (Pt. 2)

December 7, 2011 12:00 AM

What I find most interesting about Tony Jones’ thesis is the way it can explain far more than just the Emerging Church Movement. I think contemporary youth ministry may also help us understand the rise of the megachurch movement in...

Did Youth Ministry Create the Emerging Church?

December 1, 2011 12:00 AM

Did the modern youth ministry movement create the Emerging Church? That’s the question Tony Jones addresses in a recent blog post. While presenting a paper at an academic conference, Jones fielded questions from professors of youth ministry primarily from evangelical...

Skye Jethani: The Megachurch Bubble (Part 2)

November 22, 2011 12:00 AM

Read part 1 Finally, the chart shows that 85% of megachurch attenders are white. And I’m guessing that stat is probably equally true about megachurch leaders as congregations and leadership usually reflect one another. (Sorta the way owners resemble their...

Ur Video: Francis Chan's Warning to Young Pastors

November 18, 2011 12:00 AM

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Skye Jethani: The Megachurch Bubble (Part 1)

November 14, 2011 12:00 AM

Megachurches are predominantly white, suburban, conservative congregations led by baby-boomer pastors. This is what an infographic about floating around the web lately has revealed. It's based on research compiled by Forbes, The Christian Post, and Leadership Network. For the most...

Skye Jethani: Love Justifies Itself (Part 2)

November 3, 2011 12:00 AM

Read part 1 3. Social action is a partner of evangelism. This, finally, is where Stott lands on the matter. He believes that social justice and evangelism “belong to each other and yet are independent of each other. Each stands...

Skye Jethani: Love Justifies Itself (Part 1)

October 31, 2011 12:00 AM

Is social justice an essential part of the gospel? The question has been raging for decades, and in some circles the matter was settled long ago. But a new generation of evangelicals with a strong inclination toward social engagement is...

Ur Video: Christian Hipster How To

October 3, 2011 12:00 AM

The Catalyst Conference is later this week in Atlanta, and we'll have some reporting from the event here on Ur. But first a quick lesson in how to be a Christian hipster...a species commonly found roaming the arena at Catalyst....

Leadership Lessons from Superman's Underpants

September 14, 2011 12:00 AM

For years I’ve been trying to help people see that popular consumer culture is a form of religion. It offers us a sense of value, identity, and context that traditional religions once provided. Similarly, pop culture has sacred symbols. How...

Can Parents Make Faith Last?

August 31, 2011 12:00 AM

“My parents were very religious when I was young. We went to church (or temple or whatever) every week. My parents never, or seldom, prayed or talked about faith at home. As I got older and things got busier, we...

Ending Age-Segmented Worship

September 20, 2010 2:31 PM

Last month Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale ended its model of offering multiple worship services designed to appeal to different ages, likes, and styles. Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor and a contributing editor to Leadership Journal, said "The best...

The Hansen Report: 5 Myths about Emerging Adult Religion

February 22, 2010 12:00 AM

If you want to rile up the evangelical masses, drag out dubious statistics about how many Christians fall away from the faith after high school. We fear for our youth, that they’ll rebel against what their parents and churches...

Ed Stetzer on Pastors and Change

February 9, 2010 12:00 AM

Ed Stetzer recently presented data to the attendees of the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. Much of that data was shared in the Winter issue of Leadership journal. In this post, Ed Stetzer explores additional information that was, until now, only...

Quiz: Determine Your Ministry Age

October 15, 2009 12:00 AM

In recent years we have entered into lengthy discussions about how worship, spiritual formation, and evangelism are transitioning in the church. However, the most crucial area of transition, leadership, has received minimal attention. For more than 35 years, I have...

Is the Era of Age Segmentation Over?

September 23, 2009 12:00 AM

The statistics are grim. Rainer Research estimates that 70 percent of young people leave the church by age 22. Barna Group argues that the figure increases to 80 percent by age 30. The Southern Baptist Convention recently observed that growth...

The Gospel for iGens

September 15, 2009 12:00 AM

The following is an excerpt from Scot McKnight's cover story in the summer issue of Leadership Journal. You can read the entire article at LeadershipJournal.net. When I saw the title of Alan Mann's book, Atonement for a Sinless Society, I...

Scot McKnight: Self in a Castle

August 28, 2009 12:00 AM

Leszek Kolakowski, a Polish philosopher who weakened Marxism’s grip on Eastern Europe, recently died. Few, I suspect, knew who he was. I consider myself fortunate to have read some of Kolakowski, one book being his scintillating sketch of the history...

The X Factor

August 24, 2009 12:00 AM

This article is from the Summer 2009 issue of Leadership Journal. You can read the entire article at Leadership's website. When the willows sway in South Barrington, the evangelical world notices. So Willow Creek Community Church provoked headlines in 2006...

Skye Jethani: Generation of Sarcasm

August 19, 2009 12:00 AM

A poll conducted by Time has revealed that The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart is the most trusted news anchor in America. He beat Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson, and Katie Couric. Walter Cronkite, having just entered his grave, must already be...

Out of Context: Kara Powell

August 14, 2009 12:00 AM

From "Is the Era of Age Segregation Over?" an interview with Kara Powell in the current issue of Leadership. "[The church] realized in the 1940s that we were not offering teens enough focused attention. So what did we do? We...

The Most Dangerous Place in America

July 24, 2009 8:21 AM

The situations in Iran and North Korea continue to concern us and our government, but where is the most dangerous place in America? New York City? Detroit? Baltimore? Chicago? Los Angeles? Large cities such as these have received a lot...

Out of Context: Staff Culture

June 12, 2009 12:00 AM

The editors of Leadership are finishing the summer issue due out in July. Here's a preview excerpt from John Peacock found in a report by Collin Hansen, "The X Factor: Most of the highly celebrated, experimental worship services launched in...

Discovering and Escaping Liturgy

April 3, 2009 12:00 AM

For years I served on the staff of a megachurch with a very contemporary style of worship. We had a state-of-the-art sound system, large video projection screens, pop-rock music, and a sophisticated lighting system. The worship services were programmed to...

The Hansen Report: Suburban Church Slump?

March 6, 2009 10:23 AM

What if your city never recovers from the current economic crisis? What if your entire region enters an irreversible long-term decline? Richard Florida dares to declare the downturn's winners and losers in his March cover story for The Atlantic. In...

Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church

February 23, 2009 12:00 AM

The following is an excerpt from Dave Gibbons' new book The Monkey and the Fish (Zondervan, 2009). The church is called to be a third-culture community. Third culture is about the two purposes of life for every Christ follower: loving...

Welcome to a Third Culture World

January 23, 2009 12:00 AM

by Dave Gibbons It's just the beginning. With the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president we are seeing what many consider a dream fulfilled. Of course there are still conflicts, and there still is racism, prejudice, and stereotyping...

Professional Mystery Worshipers

October 15, 2008 11:33 AM

The Friday (Oct 10) edition of the Wall Street Journal contained an article whose title and deck pretty much say it all: "The Mystery Worshipper: To try to keep their flocks, churches are turning to undercover inspectors, who note...

From Useful Idiots to Political Misfits

May 14, 2008 12:00 AM

What is an "evangelical"? According to almost 80 prominent pastors, theologians, and activists, the word "evangelical" has become "a term that, in recent years, has often been used politically, culturally, socially - and even as a marketing demographic." The group...

Out of Context: Dave Terpstra

May 8, 2008 12:00 AM

"I think our generation is approaching ministry more as an art than a science. Since the Enlightenment, 'doing church' has been seen as a science, and it was seen as linear, organized, with clearcut leadership principles. Our generation doesn't see...

You Might Be Emergent If...

April 21, 2008 12:00 AM

In the introduction of their new book whose title says it all - Why We're Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be (Moody, 2008) - authors Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck offer yet another attempt at defining "emergent...

T4G's 5,001 Theology Freaks

April 16, 2008 7:47 PM

I'm sitting at the airport in Louisville, Kentucky, heading back home after spending two days with 5,000 theology freaks, and I mean that in mostly a good way. Together for the Gospel ("T4G" to the initiated) is the second gathering...

Live at Shift: Deep Ministry in a Shallow World

April 11, 2008 12:52 PM

If there is one thing that everyone in youth ministry seems to be talking about it's how to keep students following Christ after high school. That's been a hot topic here at Shift, and this morning Kara Powell addressed...

Live from Shift: Ministry 2.0 in World 2.0

April 10, 2008 3:44 PM

Darren Whitehead leads the student ministry of Willow Creek. He compared the church in our changing culture to his own experience as an immigrant (he's from Australia). Most immigrants suffer from "cultural freeze," he says. This is the tendency...

Live from Shift

April 9, 2008 9:05 AM

I'm sitting in Willow Creek's auditorium as hundreds of youth leaders and students slowly make their way in. In a few minutes Shift 2008, Willow's student ministries 3-day conference, will begin. As previously mentioned, for the next few days...

We're Going to "Shift"

March 27, 2008 12:00 AM

In two weeks the Willow Creek Association is hosting a different kind of student ministries conference. Shift 2008 will address the cultural changes that are impacting the way we think about reaching the next generation. Out of Ur is excited...

Let the Work Begin

March 4, 2008 11:59 AM

The pastors who attended last week's National Pastors Convention have now returned to their churches across North America. David Swanson presents his final reflections on the convention and the issues it brought to his attention. Now that the National...

Disarming the Boomers (Part 2)

January 17, 2008 12:00 AM

David Swanson is back with the second half of his post about working with a church leadership team dominated by Boomers. He believes there are a few simple strategies that can help a younger leader not only survive in a...

Disarming the Boomers

January 9, 2008 12:00 AM

Let's be honest. The distance between the Boomers and Busters isn't just a generation gap - it's a generation gorge. The cultural, technological, and philosophical shifts that have occurred in recent decades have given these two generations fundamentally different perspectives....

Don't Change Your Church!

September 14, 2007 12:00 AM

In part one of our interview with Dan Kimball he talked about the intersection of the emerging church with missional theology. Simply changing the church's worship style isn't enough, he says. Becoming truly missional requires "an ecclesiological change." In part...

How Teenagers Transformed the Church (part 3)

May 22, 2007 12:00 AM

In this final installment of Angie Ward's report on the impact of youth ministry on the American church she talks more with Tic Long, Youth Specialties' president of events. Long shares his thoughts on the lasting impact youth ministry has...

How Teenagers Transformed the Church (Part 2)

May 18, 2007 12:00 AM

In part 2, Angie Ward continues her reflection on the emergence of youth ministry and its impact on the church. The first generation of youth ministers, she points out, grew up to lead the seeker-driven movement that has dominated evangelicalism...

How Teenagers Transformed the Church (Part 1)

May 14, 2007 12:00 AM

Seeker churches, emerging churches, ancient-future churches, mega-churches, house churches, Boomer churches, Gen-X churches. There is a debate occurring in American evangelicalism about the future of Christianity and what form the church should take within our culture. But is it possible...

Dancing with Consumerism

April 20, 2007 12:00 AM

Url: You moved from a career in advertising to pastor a Mennonite church. Is that reflective of a generation that's reacting against consumerism? Do you see a trend of younger people preferring smaller, less market driven, ministries? Hipps: We are...

Out of Context: John Burke

October 25, 2006 12:00 AM

"I think we've focused some good attention on racism in the last 20 years, but I'm starting to wonder if 'ageism' is the next divide we will have to address." -John Burke is pastor of Gateway Community Church in Austin,...

Praise the Lord, Pass the Ammo: A new video game uses violence and murder to spread the love of Christ

August 30, 2006 12:00 AM

One of the reoccurring debates on this blog has been whether cultural forms used in ministry are neutral, or do forms possess inherent value that may or may not be compatible with God's kingdom. For example, Andy Stanley shared his...

Scum of the Church 2: What churches should learn from ‘80s youth ministry

August 24, 2006 12:00 AM

Many churches are struggling to reach young adults. The conversation on Out of Ur for the last two weeks has wrestled with this problem. Brian McLaren believes we need to be asking different questions of those who've grown up in...

Scum of the Church: How the drive for “excellence” is driving young adults from the church

August 21, 2006 12:00 AM

Recently, Brian McLaren challenged us to ask new questions about the absence of young adults in most churches. Mike Sares, pastor of Scum of the Earth Church in Denver, continues the topic by discussing the divergent values he has encountered...

Family Faith Feud: Why are young adults not finding their places in their parents’ church?

August 16, 2006 12:00 AM

Many churches struggle to reach the ever-elusive young adult demographic. Are 20-somethings simply disinterested in church? Not according to Brian McLaren. He believes we are failing to listen to the questions young adults are asking. This post is a preview...

Axis Denied (part 2): What should we learn from the demise of Willow’s Next-Gen ministry?

July 18, 2006 12:00 AM

In part one Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, discussed the inherent difficulties of the church-within-a-church model that has been popular with churches wanting to reach the next generation. In many cases the divergent values...

Axis Denied: What should we learn from the demise of Willow’s Next-Gen ministry?

July 13, 2006 12:00 AM

Ten years ago the leaders of Willow Creek Community Church realized that 18-30 year olds, popularly known as Gen X, were largely missing from their church. In response, the "seeker-driven" church launched Axis to help "the Next Gen connect with...

Image Isn’t Everything 2: depth and transparency offer hope for GenX

April 30, 2006 12:00 AM

In part 1 of his post, Andy Rowell lamented the preoccupation his generation has for image management, and the way GenX church leaders have adopted this vice. In part 2 Andy offers a few antidotes to younger church leaders seeking...

Image Isn’t Everything: the uneasy conscience of a GenX pastor

April 27, 2006 12:00 AM

Not long ago I attended a young adult ministry conference. My wife commented that I looked out of place because none of my clothing was torn. I showed her the frayed cuffs of my pants to verify my young-church-leader credentials....

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