Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Young Adults Walking Away from Church

Protestant churches are losing young adults in "sobering" numbers, a survey finds. Seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30 — both evangelical and mainline — who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23, according to the survey by LifeWay Research. And 34% of those said they had not returned, even sporadically, by age 30. That means about one in four Protestant young people have left the church.
This August 6, 2007 USA Today article goes on to say:

Just over half (51%) of Protestant young people surveyed (both the church dropouts and those who stayed on in church after age 22) saw church members as "caring" or had other positive descriptions, such as "welcoming" (48%) or "authentic" (42%).

Among dropouts, nearly all (97%) cited life changes, such as a move. Most (58%) were unhappy with the people or pastor at church. More than half (52%) had religious, ethical or political reasons for quitting. Dropouts were more than twice as likely than those who continued attending church to describe church members as judgmental (51% for dropouts, 24% for those who stayed), hypocritical (44% vs. 20%) or insincere (41% vs. 19%).
Check out the rest of the article HERE.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What If Your Superhero Had A Change Of Heart

What makes Superman so super? What makes Wolverine a hero? What about Batman or Spiderman? Think for a moment about a superhero your familar with and ask yourself what makes that hero interesting and worth knowing. Think about their personality, how they treat others, and what things they juggle in their life. What is it about Superman that makes him Superman or any other superhero?

Now let me ask you this question. . .what would happen to your superhero if they encountered Jesus, heard His message, and that hero's life was permanently changed into a Jesus-follower? Would Wolverine continue to smoke those cigars and call everyone "bub"? Would Batman continue to see himself as the judge and jury of criminals? Would Spiderman have a different perspect on his relationships with women? Would Superman ever use his x-ray vision again to tell Louise Lane what color her panties were? What would these heroes have to give up? When we read about them in the comics what differences would we see in our favorite heroes?

I think this is the question so many who hunger for the truth ask them self, "what must I give up and change about myself in order to go to church?" The seeker looks at himself and sees what he must first give up in order to move towards the very thing something deep inside of him is saying "there is the truth". But then he walks away. . .

Some are like Superman. They're already very moral and good people. They treat everyone with love and respect. They can't see the "benefit" of Christ.

Some are like Wolverine. They have a nasty past, and while something inside of them wants to be better they know how aweful they are.

Maybe I'll keep posting about this and maybe not, but with all of the hero movies over the past few years and Vintage, at Nags Head Church, having the theme of heroes, this has been on my mind.