Amazingly, we can learn to be better Christians by studying the evolution of dogs. Weird, right? Apparently, between 12,000 and 40,000 years ago, the wild wolf was domesticated into the common dog. But how did that happen? How did some parts of a species go from ruthless predators to cute fluffy balls of fur that snuggle with us on the couch? And what does that have to do with being a Christian?
Koinonia is a Greek word that means things like “fellowship, community, communion, joint participation, intimacy, and contribution.” It’s an important word for churches because that’s the kind of spirit a church should have: an intimate participating fellowship held together and guided by God. Koinonia is what God wants the church to look and be like, and I think our church is doing a pretty good job of it.
Folks who go to church all the time their whole life will be fluent in churchy lingo, but others won’t be, so we don’t want to use insider language they don’t understand, especially if it sends a wrong message. New perspectives are very helpful, because they force us not to use hollow language just by habit. Is there a better way we can talk about issues of faith? The main thing young adults don’t like is hollow clichés. So here is a helpful list (I love lists!) of “churchy phrases that are scaring off millennials.”
Last month we started thinking about why there has been a decline in American church attendance the last few decades. In the sermon last Sunday, we heard the words of Jesus–“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Luke 10:2)–and we applied it to our society today: people are different now, so it’s like there’s a different kind of crop that needs harvesting. This new crop requires different harvesting methods, which the church hasn’t really learned yet.
Arguments are unpleasant. They make us angry, devolve to shouting matches, and usually don’t actually solve the problem that started them. If we never listen to why the issue was important to the other person, then we’ll never be able to resolve the conflict. So instead of arguing, we should try listening instead.
Helping people is hard to do. Before you even start, it takes a lot of maturity to actually want to help people in need, because it means taking something that you have (whether money, time, resources, energy, whatever) and giving it to someone else who needs it. But then it’s even hard to know how to help: you don’t want to help out the “wrong” way, and you certainly don’t want to make things worse. So what do you do?
One young adult Christian laments, “The most frustrating part of being a Millennial is that my church does not understand me.” Yikes! Is it even possible to understand them? (Hint: Yes! And we’re in a good position to do it.)
You never know when God’s Holy Spirit will move. You never know who it will move through. It might be the person you least expect in a place you’d least expect.. But surely not the checkout line at the grocery store, right?
There’s a new book out called Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore. It examines why average church attendance in America has been continually dropping for decades. So what can we do about it? Should it bother us? And how can we make our church one that is alive with the Holy Spirit?
Our lives will be better the more we follow Jesus. We know that and we say it, but it’s actually hard to put it into practice because the way of Jesus is totally different from the rest of the world. For the first people who followed Jesus, his disciples, he called them to a life […]
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