How Evangelicals are Losing an Entire Generation – by Amy Gannett

30 Aug

I want to share this article because I have seen many Millennials who love the church, and work within it say a hearty “Amen” to what the article states.

Do not let your political bias, turn you off from what the writer is stating.  This is not a post that is intended to change votes.  It is a post that is intended to change Evangelicalism.  Don’t worry if you are not an evangelical.  Don’t worry if you don’t know what the word means – (many who claim to be one actually don’t know).  Regardless of the religious path you take, you can see why Millennials are questioning and blazing new trails.

Here is the entire article, and find out why.

8DU3KE91FPThis morning I want to throw in the towel.

The morning hustle began as it always does on Friday mornings. I walked the dog, drank the coffee, cleaned the kitchen, and headed for the shower. My phone in my hand, I checked Twitter (you know, because I’m current and all). Usually, my Twitter feed is a conglomeration of Trinitarian debates, quotes by dead theologians, and cute dog pictures. But not this morning. This morning, I had no more than opened the app on my phone and there it was: Wayne Gruedem’s endorsement of Donald Trump. Continue reading

Steele Johnson and David Boudia have faith in their diving

23 Aug

Steele Johnson and David Boudia dive in the synchronized men 10m platform during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Diving at the IU Natatorium on June 23, 2016, in Indianapolis. Photo by Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsSteele Johnson almost died on the diving platform.

In 2009, at age 12, he was practicing his favorite dive, a triple reverse somersault in a tuck position — watch for him to ace it in the men’s individual platform diving in Rio — when he cracked his skull on a concrete platform, sliced open his scalp and fell 33 feet into the pool.

Continue reading

Pinned but not down.

9 Aug

© 2012 David Hunt, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

When he was eleven, my son decided to try out for the wrestling team.  We got the gear, and showed up for practice.  Now you need to understand that this wasn’t just any program, but this was the club team for Apple Valley, Minnesota.  Apple Valley is a team that has won national championships.  People move across the nation to be a part of this program.

It is intense to say the least.

As practice began, the boys were sent running and running, then crawling, then skipping around the gym.  I was exhausted just by watching.

Then they began to pair off for wrestling.  My son saw a friend and the two of them ran off to their mat.  I tried not to watch the entire night, but when I did catch his eye, I knew that it was not going so well.  When the coach called the practice, he could barely stand, but he had not given up.

He approached me with a smile and said, “3 wins, and 23 losses.”  While I hope that not every night at practice is that difficult, I do know that as I see him struggle, he will not be the same.

The tenacity and strength that he showed that night on the mat is what I need.  When problems weigh me down, when pain has a hold, when I am disoriented from the struggle.  I will not lose heart, but I will smile and rise again.

I feel this may have been how the Apostle Paul felt when he wrote these words…

We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.… (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

David - Prof 2May you find faith in the difficult places of life.  May you know that your weakness will be replenished by His strength.  May you rise from the mat again ready to face a new challenge.

Dr. G. David Boyd is Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to educate parents and churches about emerging adulthood.  He is also the Founder of the EA Network, a networking community for those who minister to emerging adults.

 

Be Not Afraid – A word to those hurt by the church

26 Jul

This article is part of a series that I have written on PTCD called Post Traumatic Church Disorder.  If you want to read the series, please search on the site using the abbreviation – PTCD.

 

This is the most repeated commandment in the Bible.  It was spoken to Joshua as he was about to enter the promise land.  It was spoken by the angel to Mary as God’s plan was revealed to her.  It was spoken to the disciples in the midst of the storm.

A commandment that we as frail humans need to hear.  Maybe because a relationship with God is built upon faith, and fractured by fear.

FEAR from Flickr via Wylio

© 2011 amboo who?, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Fear has always come between humans and God.

It was fear that drove Adam and Eve to hide in the garden.  It was fear that caused the disciples to scatter.  It is fear that drives us to endless diversions to escape the reality of our world.

When it comes to PTCD, we are frozen by fear.  We fear those who claim spiritual authority.  We fear the Bible because of how it had been used against us.  We fear anything that reflects our past trauma as it may subject us to flashbacks that return us to our place of abuse.

God commands us to not fear.  Fear is instinctual when faced with the unknown. 

As a child, I awoke from a late afternoon nap to find myself alone in a dark house.  Muffled voices emerged from somewhere outside the house.  A fire blazed in the darkness.  I became afraid, and did what any normal child would do.

I grabbed a flyswatter and ran to the front porch.  (Okay, so maybe I wasn’t quite normal.)

Once there, I huddled down in the darkness waiting for something to happen.  Something bad.  Apparently something – that I could overcome with my tightly-gripped flyswatter.

In my fear, I didn’t see any other options.

I could have turned on some lights.  I could have pushed away fear to realize that the spooky house was still my home.  I could have overcome my emotions to realize that the voices were strangely familiar.

In the midst of your fear, there are other options.

You may not see them.  You may need someone to see them for you.  You may need someone to talk you through them.  You may need someone to hold your hand.

Faith from Flickr via Wylio

© 2012 Eric Eberhard, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio

These options require faith.

In the darkness, I can reach for a light.  In my panic, I may recognize the voice.  In my isolation, I can find those who care.  I can exchange my frozen fetal position into a bold, running embrace.

For this is the life of faith.

Be Strong and Courage.  Do Not Be Afraid for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you will go.                                                                                                                                                  Joshua 1:9

Why Traditional Manhood Is Killing Us – Article from The Huffington Post

21 Jul

by Mark Greene, blogger at The Good Men Project

2015-09-02-1441232571-6174157-why3

Enforcing traditional manhood as the only acceptable path for men is called living in the Man Box. Charlie Glickman does a great job of explaining the Man Box here.

The rules of the Man Box go something like this:

  1. Real men don’t show their emotions (anger, yes, but little else).
  2. Real men are always confident. They make all the decisions.
  3. Real men are providers not caregivers.
  4. Real men are heterosexual and sexually dominant.
  5. Real men continuously talk and play sports.
  6. Real men are never handicapped, disabled or unemployed.

And so on. Whatever else they are, “real men” never do anything that might appear as feminine. And that’s the biggest tragedy of all.

Click HERE to read full story via Huffington Post.

21 Sentences NOT to Say to a Sexual Abuse Survivor

12 Jul

men-887501_1280Author, blogger, and speaker Mary DeMuth recently released a helpful, practical guide for ministering to individuals affected by sexual abuse. The title: 21 sentences not to say to a sexual abuse survivor.

Many of us have friends who have experienced sexual abuse to one extent or another. It’s talked about in the news media. It’s carried around in the hearts of women and men at our churches, schools, and workplaces. Yet, when it comes up? We don’t know what to say. So, all too often, we say things that — while well-intentioned — might be hurtful.

“My intention in writing these,” writes DeMuth, “is not to shame those who want to help, or make them walk on eggshells. Instead it’s to help friends and family members of victims best love and understand the sexual abuse recovery journey.”

In order to better help and not hurt others, we hope you’ll check out the article.

Click HERE to read the 21 Sentences compiled by Mary DeMuth

What do you think? Is there anything you would add? How could you use this awareness (and NOT use these sentences!) in your day-to-day life?

When Church Hurts

7 Jul

This story was written by Julia Powers, our new blog manager here at EA Resources, and was originally published by the blog of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. Julia has written in this story, as well as at her own blog, about the issue of Post-Traumatic Church Disorder (PTCD), which we have been discussing here in recent months.


church_pew.resizedSeveral years ago, I didn’t want to go to church ever again. Yet several weeks ago, I started an internship at a church. I can’t help but wonder: How on earth can a person go from wounded by church to working at a church?

Leaving Jesus?

When I was 16, a few well-liked pastors at my church—including my youth pastor—were very suddenly and mysteriously laid off. The abrupt leadership changes, accompanied by changes in worship and preaching styles, led many families to leave the church en masse. A sense of shock set in for many of us youth as a veritable spiritual safe haven was pulled out from under our already-wary adolescent feet.

The biggest issue, though, was lies from leaders. Church leaders denied problems and discouraged questions, reminding us to “respect our elders.” They started threatening individuals not to leave, even informing me that “Jesus has a plan for this church, so if you leave you’re leaving Jesus.”

Guess I’m leaving Jesus, I thought.

But leaving Jesus, it turns out, isn’t that simple. Because Jesus is the very embodiment of truth, he is able to speak more powerfully than lies, threats, or any other church hurts we experience. “If you continue in my word,” he says in John 8:31-32, “you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Click HERE to continue reading.

In short, the path Julia describes for moving forward when church hurts:

  1. Remaining a disciple of Jesus Christ to the best of your ability through prayer, Bible study, service to others, and sharing life with others — whether or not that looks like being a member of any particular church.
  2. Regaining trust in churchgoers and church leaders through one-on-one or small group meetings, conversations, counseling, or whatever works for you.
  3. Returning to church at your own pace, allowing yourself hearty doses of discernment, patience, and hope.
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