As I mentioned a few posts ago, there is a flurry of debate in blogs, facebook, etc on why young people are leaving the church in their early 20s. What you end up finding is that the experts tend to give the one thing they are most passionate about as the one reason young people are leaving. Well, there isn’t one reason. There are many. There are two big questions that are on people’s minds when it comes to this issue: 1) Why are they leaving? (what this post is about) and 2) what can we do about it? (future post).
Jesus’ insistence on highlighting God’s love for all people—not just the Israelites—touched a nerve because these people in Nazareth had turned their national identity into an idol. As my pastor noted, we have some distinctly American idols that we have allowed to master us, such that we respond fiercely when they are threatened, even by Scripture. We hold tightly our right to self-determinism, for example, or our sexual expression. But I think that many in the American church have also bowed before precisely the same idol as this crowd in Nazareth: idolizing our national identity.
To summarize, here’s what you can do:
- show Christ at work
- serve people at work
- search for opportunities to serve people who are in the extended families of those you impact through your work
This will lend authenticity to your message.
As parents of school-aged children, I’ve come to realize we inadvertently share our lives with fellow mums whilst dropping the children off, at the school gate, over coffee, and so on. Let’s not miss this opportunity to get alongside them, build relationships, and tell them the great news of Jesus
Recently I reviewed the files of 17 of the happiest churches where I consulted. As is typical in consultations, patterns emerged. In the case of these churches, I found nine common characteristics among the congregations. In each case, the characteristic seemed to contribute to the overall happiness of the churches.
Israel’s national museum will open what it calls the world’s first exhibition devoted to the architectural legacy of biblical King Herod, the Jewish proxy monarch who ruled Jerusalem and the Holy Land under Roman occupation two millennia ago.
He took a picture of a man in a gorilla suit shaking his fist, and he superimposed that image on a series of slides that radiologists typically look at when they’re searching for cancer. He then asked a bunch of radiologists to review the slides of lungs for cancerous nodules. He wanted to see if they would notice a gorilla the size of a matchbook glaring angrily at them from inside the slide.
But they didn’t: 83 percent of the radiologists missed it, Drew says.
And, never forget that every time that you use the same password for two different sites, services, or computers, a kitten dies.