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Reality Check. What a new generation really thinks about Christianity … and why it matters. Kevin Bowman, [email protected] Dave Davis, [email protected] PowerPoint download , www.cordovachurch.com/reality. Sheltered. Current perception

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Reality check

Reality Check

What a new generation really thinks about Christianity

… and why it matters

Kevin Bowman, [email protected]

Dave Davis, [email protected]

PowerPoint download, www.cordovachurch.com/reality


Sheltered
Sheltered

  • Current perception

    • Christians are boring, un-intelligent, old-fashioned and out of touch with reality

  • Goal perception

    • Christians are engaged, informed and offer sophisticated responses to the issues people face


Recap
Recap

  • Cultural relevancy & the need to pass the baton

    • The church must be able to reach today’s varied sub-cultures

  • Our image & branding problem

    • Looking in, outsiders do not see everything that Christianity has to offer (salvation, community, etc.)

  • Why this perception

    • We don’t understand the “real world;” we’ve reduced faith to attendance & not sinning; we’re not willing to think; we live in a bubble


A faith that doesn t make sense
A faith that doesn’t make sense

  • The young thrive on unexpected experiences & enjoy searching for new sources of input; willing to try almost anything

  • They grew up as one of the most “protected” generations & enjoy defying the “safe life”

  • They resist simple answers, favor mystery, and are OK with ambiguity

  • They enjoy spending time with those who believe differently, as a way to push & expand their opinions

  • A faith that is not willing to address thorny issues is not useful or attractive


The good old days are gone
The “good old days” are gone

  • Today’s youth do not lead what we’d consider to be “conventional” lifestyles

    • But they have no less needs; perhaps even greater

  • The cultural environment has changed more than we can comprehend

    • Responding with, “Every generation faces this gap; we toughed-it out & you should too,” doesn’t acknowledge the scope of this shift

    • Businesses are adapting & changing; schools are, our government is. The church must also.


The buster mosaic normal
The Buster & Mosaic normal

  • Non-traditional family structure (1:20 vs. 1:3)

  • Sex: earlier, more partners, marriage not required, widespread divorce

  • More frequently use drugs, alcohol, profanity

  • More feel lonely, unfulfilled, & stressed-out

  • Desperation & suicide more prevalent


A painful contrast
A painful contrast

  • The fact that Christianity does offer so much makes this perception hurt even more

    • Christianity does offer a sophisticated, livable response to the nature of the world

    • Christianity does offer a fulfilling, contextualized life

  • Outsiders don’t see Christian contributions pushing culture forward through arts, literature, science, social justice, music, government, etc.

    • We are not meeting cultural expectations


Call to action
Call to action

  • Accepting responsibility

    • It is our duty to help a broken world, but it’s not easy or intuitive

    • The world won’t come to our doorstep, we have to embrace our task with humility & energy

    • God wants us in the gritty & raw places in people’s lives

  • Not being fearful & being prepared

    • Do not be afraid to engage the world & all it’s rough edges; be confident & do so in love

    • We must be influencers; we cannot wait for or assume someone else will address the world’s doubts

  • Not being offended & being in, not of

    • Being shocked by outsiders natural behavior often causes us to isolate ourselves or go on “crusades” which harm our image

    • The culture may be offensive, but we cannot take offense

    • Need both purity & proximity; living our message


Next quarter
Next quarter

  • Being culturally-relevant through a worship-filled life

  • Feedback & resources

    • Kevin Bowman, [email protected]

    • Dave Davis, [email protected]

    • PowerPoint download, www.cordovachurch.com/reality


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