Tag Archives: Leadership

Why did emerging adults not vote in the 2016? What does this mean for the Church?

26 Jul

In the 2016 election, 46% percent of emerging adults (18-29) voted.  This percentage was up slightly from the 2012 election.  Historically, younger Americans do not vote as much as older generations.  For example, over 70% of those over the age of 65 voted in the election.  We could say that the reason that emerging adults don’t vote is because they are all lazy and narcissistic, but that would not be true.


I believe that young voters often do not believe that their vote will make a difference.

Democracy is built upon a belief that each individual has a voice, and that each vote matters.

I recently read an article that was discussing the recent election in the United Kingdom.  In the last election (which included the decision about the UK leaving the European Union), 43% of voters between the ages of 18-24 did not vote.  The author stated that behind each young adult, there is a story as to why they feel as if their vote did not matter.

The author states that she believes the same thing is true about the church.  She states, “If they [emerging adults] haven’t been included in decision making and leadership, if they’ve been patronized or belittled, why would they bother turning up?”  I believe that there is a correlation between the involvement of emerging adults in the institutions of government and the church.

Emerging adults are rarely allowed into places of leadership.  Emerging adults are rarely given the opportunity for their voice to be heard.

The decline of religion in the UK has been occurring for many decades, and as the decline of religion is becoming clear in the US (Millennial Exodus), we should listen and learn from them.

Unfortunately, sometimes current church leadership does not want them to vote – because they are afraid.  They are afraid of what the new generation believes.  So instead of everyone coming together to work out our differences, we simple don’t leave room for them at the table.

Instead of fear, I believe that we should respond in faith.

Without the voice and vote of emerging adults, the church suffers.

Relevant Links

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources.  He is the founder of the EA Network.  If he can help you and your community ministry to the emerging adults in your community, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

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.

6 Growth Practices for Leaders – by Mark Oestreicher

1 Sep

Slide1One of the people that I follow in my reading is Mark Oestreicher.  I don’t know him personally (although we are Facebook friends).  I like Mark because he is quirky and unpredictable.  He put a post out last week, and it is worth sharing.

It is so short that I included all of it, but here is the link to Mark’s website.

one of my coaching peeps asked recently for thoughts about growth practices of leaders. i did a little brainstorming while listening to others respond, and came up with this list (uncharacteristically, for me, all starting with the same letter!):

  • Rhythm — some refer to this as balance; but i’m not a big fan of balance. i think the issue, instead, is sustainability. great leaders pursue a rhythm of work and non-work that leads to sustainability.
  • Read — you know the saying, “Leaders are Readers.” read widely.
  • Risk — there is no growth without risk.
  • Renew — healthy leaders find meaningful pursuits that provide recalibration, refreshment and renewal.
  • Reflect — great leaders make intentional time to reflect. this requires a discipline of slowing down (at times).
  • Retreat — overlapping with some of the other practices on this list (particularly rhythm, renewal and reflection), growing leaders pull away for extended times on a regular basis. short bursts of renewal and reflection are great; but real growth also requires more extended retreat.

stop and consider which one of these you’re missing


MThe O Familyark  Oestreicher is a partner in The Youth Cartel, providing services and resources for individual youth workers and organizations. He is married to Jeannie for 28 years, and has two great kids: Liesl (20) and Max (16). Here’s The Youth Cartel’s website. twitter: @markosbeard instagram: @whyismarko

You can’t keep a good man down? – Tullian Tchividjian and the Spotlight

28 Aug

Tullian’s Current Twitter Image

We have all heard the expression, “You can’t keep a good man down.”  While there are situations where this expression rings true, there are other situations when staying “down” might be the best thing to do.

Tullian Tchividjian – “Evangelical Posterchild”, writer, author, and speaker – was the Lead Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church until June when it became public that he had been involved in an affiar.  Here is more about the story.

Since his resignation, Tullian has been defensive about his continued use of social media during this dark time in his life.  He has 107k twitter followers, and regularly tweets.  Recently, most of his tweets focus on pain, sin, and his grandson.

Tullian has said that he is “tempted to hide until [he is] ‘shiny’ again,” if he did [hide], he would “undermine the message” the work of God.  (As if the work of God is dependent on him?)  Time to be real – Twitter is about product and personal promotion.

Tullian is doing more than tweeting these days.  I recently listened to a podcast produced by Vanderbloemen Podcast  which featured Tullian  on the topic of “Recovering after You have Failed.”

I was a little shocked by the title (which may not have been his choice).

I was a little shocked by the timing.  He resigned from his church at the end of June.  It has been less than two months since since he stepped down.  I am not sure that two months is enough time to comprehend his failure.  I am positive that it is not enough time to speak about recovering after his failure.

I listened to the podcast, and here are a few thoughts that stood out to me.

  1.  Half of the podcast focused on his “Amazing Past.”  During this time, he was definitely still on his well-rehearsed preaching and teaching pedestal.
  2.  He wonders what type of person he had become.  Great question because nothing warps people more than power (especially when it is spiritual power).
  3. Adultery is a “Career Killer” for the pastor.

Should Christians raise this Evangelical Leader back to his pedestal applauding the message of grace?

Please Note:

The giving and receiving of grace is not up to us as Christians – God alone is the Giver of Grace.

However, as Christians we do make choices about who we follow, listen to, and purchase their resources.  We desire leadership, and are quick to pick up the latest “Christian” trend-setters.  (It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 3:4 which says, For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,”).

If in twenty years, I hear that Tullian has wrestled with his heart, healed his marriage,  fought for his family, and clung to faith as he sought new life and vocation.  Then – I would pay GREAT money to hear his story and learn from his journey.    

What are your thoughts?

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.  david in hat


Another CELEBRITY Pastor Falls From his Throne

2 Jul

The name Tullian Tchividjian may not mean much to you, but I am sure that you are familiar with the name Billy Graham.  Billy Graham was his grandfather, and paved the road to his Christian stardom.  Tullian was a poster-child of Evangelicalism and a celebrity pastor from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.  Here is a link to the official statement from church leaders.  He resigned on Sunday due to an inappropriate relationship.

My only connection to the man is that I was forced to read one of Tullian’s book while on staff at a “megachurch.”  The book’s title was Unfashionable:Making a Difference in the World by Being Different.  (There is much I want to say, but I will choose to hold my tongue.)

Here is a link to the news story.

This news does not excite me.  This news does not make me more cynical of the church or church leadership.  his news motivates me to once again speak about the dangers of megachurches and their affect on the men and women who lead them.  I was once an insider.  I have served on staff at two large churches, but never again.

How many men will we broadcast exposing them to a spotlight that their faults cannot hide?  How long will we set pastors upon pedestals that they cannot maintain?

I was a child when the Jimmy Baker failure came to light.  I remember the jokes and stories about Tammy Faye Baker (including the t-shirts smeared with make-up).

I am not laughing today.

This is not an actor, but a real man.  This is not a reality tv show, but a real family.  While a megachurch, Coral Ridge is filled with real people who are seeking spiritual health (Megachurches tend to lose their personal touch and feel.).

My thoughts and prayers are extended to them.

My mind wonders how the Kingdom maintain any integrity in our culture when we create megachurches and celebrity pastors.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to understand emerging adults.




10 Things We Need To Hear From Young Church Leaders

5 Feb


This week, I am focusing on the concept that the church needs to empower young leadership.  I came across this article that I wanted to share with my readers.  I love the positive expression with which the author speaks about those younger than himself.

Many churches believe that younger leadership refers to anyone who isn’t quite a Baby boomer.  However, we need to reach deeper and call upon leadership from all generations.  Are you calling upon young men to lead within your men’s ministry?  Are you making room on your church board for younger voices?  The Body of Christ is incomplete without a complete mix of God’s people.

By sharing it, I hope that…

1.  Younger Leaders will be challenged to speak out within their communities for change.

2.  Older Leaders will seek out  younger leaders from whom to listen and learn.

3.  Inter-generational bonds will be built for the strength of the Advancing Kingdom of God.

Here is the article – Enjoy!

Five “Disastrous” Results of Inviting Emerging Adults into Leadership.

3 Feb

Although some people believe that mixing generations in leadership can cause the same results as mixing Mentos and carbonated drinks, I believe in young leadership.  I actually believe that the church needs Millennials in order to be healthy.  That doesn’t mean change will be easy.  Here are some results to expect as you invite emerging adults into leadership.

1.  Questions will be asked.

tommy_portrait_blackwhite_690882_h[1]As you invite emerging adults into leadership, be ready to answer questions.  Asking questions is key to a healthy community, while authority that stifles questions and criticism is quickly headed towards disaster.  God-ordained leadership can face questions without feeling threatened.  Hierarchy is so often ingrained into our communities, that we learn to not question authority or the systems that elected them.  As we invite emerging adults to speak, they will need to ask questions to provide understanding, and at other times to evaluate decisions.

2.  Elephants will be acknowledged.

Elephant's tea party, Robur Tea Room, 24 March 1939, by Sam Hood from Flickr via Wylio

© 1939 State Library of New South Wales, Flickr | PD | via Wylio

Many organizations have an elephant (or two) in the room that no one is willing to talk about.  Young leadership will gladly point them out – either because they don’t understand them, or because they can see how unhealthy these huge burdens have become for the group.  Unfortunately, most of these elephants have protectors in the room.  When established leadership chooses to ignore problems within our communities (because they are too painful), emerging adults will want to revisit them.

3.  Reality Checks will be given.

We all need a dose of reality from time to time.  Emerging adults are often idealistic, and do not realize how difficult it can be to bring change to individuals and an organization.  In spite of their idealism, other generations can learn from those who understand how our world is changing, and how the church sits on the precipice of irrelevancy.  A healthy spoonful of reality is needed by both sides.  Inter-generational leadership is a medicine that will grow and strengthen the church.

4.  Assumptions will be challenged.

Whether due to being raised in a postmodern society, a digital world, or because they want to see change, EA’s will challenge assumptions –  no matter how old.  A community’s leadership is often blinded to their own assumptions.  A new leader will see what is being assumed by the leadership structure, and how these old assumptions are obstacles to growth and healthy change.

5.  Growth we result.

As you place emerging adults on your team, their leadership skills will improve.  However, growth should not be associated simply with youth.  Diversity creates a dynamic working environment that will cause everyone involved to grow.  This growth process is characterized by moments of pain and pleasure.

Inviting younger leadership to the table would require something from everyone. 

It is risky. 

It requires humility. 

It requires work. 

It requires courage. 

Maybe these are the reasons why Emerging Adults get shut out.

In the end, we will discover that the results of working with emerging adults are not disastrous at all.  Rather, we will discover that they are exactly what the Church needs.

david in hat - blackDr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.  If he can help your church create avenues to minister to emerging adults, you can contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

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