And yet, I was smitten. I was being been wooed by someone who offered everything—everlasting life and love, protection and vision, peace and unfailing commitment. In return, however, this someone demanded that I lay aside all that I had ever known and commit fully to a person I hardly knew.
In Trump’s first 100 days in office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 41,318 immigrants, up 37.6 percent over the same period last year, the agency said Wednesday. Almost 3 out of 4 of those arrested have criminal records, including gang members and fugitives wanted for murder. But the biggest increase by far is among immigrants with no criminal records.
Fortunately, I can point to a number of young ministers with a very different spirit. I know young ministers who love Scripture, are passionate for the Lord, and who exude humility as they talk about the human condition. These young ministers are likely to ask others for their counsel and input regarding situations and chapters in life they have never experienced.
They do not have an unhealthy self-consciousness which seems to be preoccupied with appearance, image, style, etc. Rather, these ministers seem to have a very healthy God-consciousness that goes way beyond referring to Jesus, talking about spiritual formation, etc.
That is okay, because the task for the child of God is not to look like people of days gone by. The task is to think, behave, and honor like Jesus did. The example of what is God-approved is not so much early Christians (although they did God-approved things), but to live like Jesus. Paul told early Christians, “Be an imitator of me, in the same way that I imitate Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
- There has been a numerical decline for four or more years.
- The church does not look like the community in which it is located.
- The congregation is mostly comprised of senior adults.
- The focus is on the past, not the future.
- The members are intensely preference-driven.
- The budget is severely inwardly focused.
- There are sacred cow facilities.
- Any type of change is met with fierce resistance.
What follows are a few reminders as to why we must use some of our best time, energy, and resources to train up plumbers, lawyers, teachers, and bankers. I will focus this discussion on the discipling of men in particular. The need to care for sisters in the Lord is critical and is related to most of the points I make, but won’t be the aim of this article.
- Where is guest parking?
- What is there for my kids?
- How do I join the church?
- How do I join a group?
- Why do you ______?
- How do I get involved in the ______ ministry?
- What denomination is ______ church affiliated with?
- How do I contact the church for _______?
At the same time America is graying, recent Pew Research Center surveys find that seniors are also moving towards more digitally connected lives. Around four-in-ten (42%) adults ages 65 and older now report owning smartphones, up from just 18% in 2013. Internet use and home broadband adoption among this group have also risen substantially. Today, 67% of seniors use the internet – a 55-percentage-point increase in just under two decades. And for the first time, half of older Americans now have broadband at home.