Saturday, January 5, 2013

Perspective

Living in a non-mission oriented Christianity and loving it. Many missionalist remain frustrated at a wide wondering non-targeted, missionless, non-focused, where no vision is people perish Church-culture. Not me.  What I have found is Christians are hungry. They want a purpose, a mission a tangible goal and a way to get there. Disicpleship is exactly that. With all the current Churchy-trends being more about non-tangible cause-oriented statements that sound great in books and translate to nothing in the real world, people are ready for boots-on-the ground reality and a fight that makes sense.

Friday, December 7, 2012

2 of 5 Reasons I Think College Students TANK in College



4.) Global "Screwspecitve."

After being on missions trips and study abroad trips, students tend to develop a different world view than their parents and grandparents who traveled the world under very different circumstances. The information age has also brought a global awareness not seen in history. 

This is a great thing that allows us to really educate ourselves on the world and be a better witness for Christ. 
However, what exactly is being accomplished in the current youth mission paradigm? A one year, one semester or 10 day trip in another country as a student gives one a great cultural experience but doesn't really tap one into the nuts and bolts of how that particular society works. However, many students don't see it that way. They see themselves as ones who understand the world, the Global economics, and foreign relations. When one travels the world as a student, the perspective gained can be quite limiting. 

For example, I read a story about a youth group that traveled to south america to help build a church building for a local community church. The students in several different trips spent the summer interacting with the local community, bringing clothing and other necessities for the village, and building the Church. When the students returned, they returned with a sense of the culture and a perspective that they understood the needs of the community. When the students all left, the locals didn't really use the building. The quality was much poorer than what the locals could have built themselves. The locals were much more interested in getting to know the students. So there was an atmosphere in the village that was not normally there through the summer. After the students left life went back to normal in the village. So the students never really saw "normal" life in the village nor did they met any real need. 

This skewed perspective of the world leads to false assumptions carried onto mission fields, mission boards, and mission programs in churches. These false assumptions lead to very bad mission strategies and in the end make a large number of people in effective in the world....all while thinking they really do understand. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

1 of 5 reasons I think Christian Students TANK in College


The following is 1 of 5 installments. This is STRICTLY my personal observation. I have read many studies that confirm my observations but this is more my intuition and my personal conversations with christian students, researchers, youth pastors, college pastors, and non-christian students.

5.) Lack of selflessness. The average 18 year old in the united states is narcissistic (love of self more than others).  

With narcissism as a mode of thinking, understanding the mission becomes difficult. The mission implies a death of self and a focus on the one an others. Narcissism is incompatible with the mission. 

"But I thought this is the most giving, serving generation ever?" I see this question quite a bit. The current culture is "Cause Oriented" but for reasons that may surprise you. 

The "Cause Oriented" culture is self-serving. Young people are willing to serve people and help those in need as long as it does not hinder their way of life. This is not real sacrifice. 

I believe the root for the "Cause Oriented" culture is a culture desperate to find meaning. In a paradigm that puts self first, it is impossible to find meaning beyond oneself. We are creatures designed to find purpose and meaning beyond ourselves. This purpose and meaning can only be satisfied by living out the mission God has given us.

When you look in mass at how many young people serve and give, it is constructed in such a way that it severs to give one the feeling of satisfaction of helping while it may or may not help anyone. This is best illustrated in an example: 

A local soup kitchen remarked that it dislikes youth groups coming to serve. The  reason being that the groups don't interact with the homeless much at all. They document their activities with pictures and video, they serve and go home. It is obvious to the staff they are more concerned with the experience than helping anyone.

Overtime, this misconception of the mission causes them to leave the faith. They come to the conclusion that any faith group, or non faith group can do the same thing they are doing through their church. Therefore what is the purpose of Church, moreover what is the purpose of the Christian faith?