The Sheltered Christian

My reflection on chapter 6 of UnChristian:

The perception that Christians are boring, unintelligent, old-fashion, and out of touch with reality.

The Christian culture or sub-culture, seems to be well behind the secular culture. It is not as exciting to outsiders.

The perception continues to build since many outsiders see the “moral behavior” of Christians as boring, dull, predictable, lifeless, disconnected, and a rigorous standard of rules that keeps Christians away from pleasures.

Some outsiders go so far to say that Christians do not even have room to think and act for themselves. Their religion keeps them in an insulated box.

And there are good points here that outsiders are making. Think about how much time we Christians spend together doing things together for our own enjoyment. IN OUR OWN BUBBLE!

Instead of engaging a social club, we need to be out in the world as Jesus was.
Outsiders are not aware of their main problems. The true Christian worldview is not prevalently known by all people. We are failing at explaining the problem of sin to our common men. We are failing at sharing God’s love and Gospel!
we are not in the culture creating, contributing, and fighting for good art, music, history, literature, government, science, medicine, education, and social justice. Christians have had a history of creating and contributing to culture in the past and through this they have transformed the world and demonstrated God’s love and the Gospel to others. But today we are failing at this also!

Today’s younger generations are more flexible in viewpoints, more diverse in opinion, more comfortable with just about anything…they enjoy searching for new sources of input. They/We are more protected and more safe. We like safety. Everyone is entitled to safety and their own way of life and opinion and viewpoint.

Of course, every life is messy. Sin is messy. Fortunately our God is a god who can work in the mess, in fact he works better when people’s lives are messy and out of whack.

What do we do?

As is, Christians are not sharing the Gospel enough. They do not even have time to.
We need Balance. We need to spend less time doing in church things and more time reaching out in the world.

We have a responsibility to engage culture and engage lives. We have relationships with outsiders, but are we really sharing the Gospel with them? Are we salt? Are we light? Are we being the city on a hill?
These things take time and energy, are we devoting time and energy to the lost and our outreach to them?

Love dispels fear. Do not be afraid. But let the Holy spirit work and speak words through you.

Have compassion. Expect trouble, persecution, and to be offended. But do not let it bring yo down.

Be ready at any time. God wants to use us if we are willing and ready. Listen to the Holy Spirit!
Also be ready and willing to help the desperate: the sick, the needy, in gritty, real and raw places.

We come back to the idea of balance:
We are to be in but not of the world.
Pure and proximity.
Both are important.

One of the most important things to do is to forget about having this “Christian culture or subculture”
and to simply live in (but not of) this real world.
Secondly inside of this world we all a have a sphere of influence -people we see, live with, go to class with, sit by, in real life at school, at work, and everywhere we go normally.
These people are the people God has placed in your life to talk to, interact with, and share God’s love with.

A new kind of Theologian

Theology is a passion of mine. I love studying it. I am no expert. In fact one reason why I love theology so much is because it makes me think and I challenge almost everything in it while it challenges everything in my life. My main source is the Bible. I struggle with the issues regularly. There are tons of resources, classes, theories, and what not but the most important is what the Word of God says.

What really gets me going, is the fact that there are quite a few other Gen Yers who are really strong in Theology. But they are not limited to specialization. You see, us Gen Yers are tired of all the categories, all the specific politics that is within anything, including theology.

Instead of fighting between conservative and liberal theologies, the next Generation of theologians are wise in that they want to work together. They want to know what the essentials of our faith are. They want to engage culture and share the Good News, instead of gaining respect among the elite Christians fighting for their side of an issue. Instead they want to use their arguments in real life. They want to led people to Christ and be well-informed. Instead of merely arguing theology, they want to live theology. We are at a point where we can do big things through the love of Jesus. At point where we can do what truly is essential in our faith, evangelism.

Okay, yes we must be careful NOT to fall into extremely liberal thoughts. For example we do not want to be so engaging that we loose our doctrines. We need to be engaging but we do not have to compromise our doctrines and standards. We can be emerging but not emergent! And the beautiful thing is that many Gen Y theologians understand this. We are sort of trying to get the best of both conservative (strong doctrines) and liberal (engaging culture) theologies.

The point is we are able to dig into our roots, the Bible. We are to be “in but not of the World!”
And I am so excited that a lot of young theologians are ready to make social changes real, engage our neighbors with the true Gospel, and yet not loose the actual doctrines of the Word of God. We ourselves need to remian in the Wword, but also we are called to disciple followers.
Evangelism is part one, discipleship is on-going and continual!

I blame Mario Kart….jk lol

So many Gen Yers and younger have ADD.
Our attention spans are shot! We grew up with an electronic baby setter…the television.Go to fullsize image
At that time our parents did not know they were creating little monsters who would have NO attention spans. It was still relatively new (the TVs).
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Then, we grew addicted to the screen…next came some amazing classic video games where the screen had a lot of action every millisecond keeping our attention….(you know what I am talking about OLD SCHOOL Nintendo consoles!)

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Then we grew into the “age of maturity,” we got our own screens of attention, laptops…and we watched the drama unfold every five minuets (or less) on the AIM statuses and now the Facebook notifications!!!! (lol)
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My favorite era was the era of the Mario Kart! Good stuff!
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Gen Y and jobs

https://i2.wp.com/www.pmq.com/mag/2004july_august/hacker4.jpg
So if you have kept on on my blog, you have read that Gen Y is sometimes labeled the “entitlement generation.” I am glad to say that this is not always true and not everyone has labeled all Gen Y workers this way.

As part of being very entitled or at least being perceived as being that way, Gen Y has come across as dreamers when it come to the work place. Gen Y pictures working at a job that they love. They imagine the “perfect job” and desire it. They will go out of their way to have it.
They have seen their parents work way too many hours, not being home, and not being happy. they do not want that.

Gen Y is relational. They desire conversion and a comfortable workplace. Gen Y workers have come across as whiny, selfish, and lazy to older employers who did not have the same luxuriates that Gen Y has and demands. For example: flexible hours, more benefits, less time at work, more money, less rules in the office, more work at home/from computer opportunities , ease and convenience.

The reality is that us Gen Ys probably should not be asking of so much from our first or second employers. If we want dream jobs we need to realize that we have to work the grunt jobs first and work our way into better jobs via success and hard work. A lot of Gen Ys get out of college and have no work expireice yet they expect the world to evolve around them. That bothers, even me. They have a good record and they have done plenty of hours of service with college organizations and maybe even had leadership expiriences, but they still have no idea how the real world works. And one behalf of other Gen Yers I asay that I am sorry.

entitlement generation

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“You think you’re entitled to everything.”

Employers are getting very frustrated at my generation…

It is not because we are slackers like some of our Generation X older relatives, but because they think that we think that we want it all. (And there is some truth to that.)

To attract younger workers companies offer work-life balance, flexible schedule that includes meaningful work, with a structured feedback loop and opportunities to be creative.

My generation, the “entitlement generation” they say, has shockingly high expectations for salary, job flexibility and duties but little willingness to take on grunt work or remain loyal to a company.

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I have seen this to be true looking at some of my friends. Today’s younger culture in general, does not want to evolve their life around work. They want to have time for family, especially if their own parents did not make time for them. They do not want to be like that.

But, I will say that NOT ALL of us feel this entitlement. i have worked a steady “grunt job’ for many consecutive years. I had to quit only because I moved away from college and have started my “real life.” I’ve worked other grunt jobs since then. Ones that required me to show up, work my 40+ hours, no flexibility at all. I was okay with that.

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But this leaves me with another reflection that is huge for my generation…we want and love the idea of a “dream job.” We imagine working at a place we love. Doing things that we want to do everyday. A job where we can work our own hours and for reasonable pay. My Generation has taken this idea to the extreme. We have rejected the idea of “paying our time”… We have exaggerated the “dream job” concept. Some of my generation actually thinks that it is a realistic picture.

I am not one of these people, I understand that it is a competitive world and I need to work my way to a better job and I can’t expect employers to evolve work around me.

Some people are taking the concept of entitlement for my generation and applying it to all aspects of our lifestyle…they are saying that my generation grew up as the center of attention. We got everything we wanted, we were rewarded for things we did not do, we were over-protected, and over-spoiled by our parents. We are given all kinds of toys, cars, even an education. ..is there some truth to this too? Maybe in some cases.

But there is still a lot of reflection and study that needs to be done. I do think that my generation needs to wake up a little bit and take on more responsibility as young christian leaders in the church and not depend on older parents or pastors to spoon feed us everything….but that is just me .

Core Training 3 – Passions, Holy Discontent

At the Core Training (by Youth Specialties), we learned about Bite Back, which is an operation put together by Compassion International. I posted about this recently.

Today’s post, I wanted to share a few other topics that we learned about at Core. The reason I bring up BITE BACK Campaign again, is because it is built on some great truths.

Today’s youth, Gen Y, are very passionate. They are not too concerned with what older generations have said about “the way it is supposed to be” or “how it always has been, always will be.” It is a generation ready for change. And they want to bring this change.

In the past (for about 100 years or so), Christian camps have divided on theology. Conservative theology v. liberal theology. Conservative theology was founded around saving lost souls. While liberal theology was based on “helping people, showing God’s love.”

The beauty of Gen Y, is that they are not concerned with in-church fighting/debating. they see that both “saving souls” and “showing God’s love to everyone worldwide” as both being equally important. For the most part, Gen Y, does not take a side or fight about it. These young, Christians want it all. They want both. They are passionate enough to take it on and do the work too! There are countless stories across the country of young Christians taking on large -scale projects in to fight for their “holy discontents.”

They stand up for the things that really get them frustrated, fired up, and ready to take action for CHANGE. They feel discontentment about certain issues. And this discontentment is a holy one, because it is frustration and love for teenagers who are worlds away, in unfortunate situations. Bite Back is just one campaign where we are looking not only to save souls, but help defeat Malaria.

We met a young girl who puts on “fashion shows” to fight cancer. All of the models were cancer patients. 🙂 Her passion was administrating this event. Her heart was for the cancer patients. her love was Jesus Christ.

My youth group is working a few strategies to fight Malaria.
First we are going to put on a worship event. At this event, there will be a cover donation. We will explain the Bite Back campaign. We will rock out for God in worship, it’s our passion. The attendees will donate for the Bite Back campaign.

Second we are going to run a fund raiser in the school system. Yes, even people in the secular school will be on board to give money to fight these social issues. And by offering the community an opportunity to fight for this we will have a chance to seek local relationships and see people come to Christ!

Anyways the idea is that our generation is ready for CHANGE. We have Passions and talents. We want to use them not only to save souls (which is of the utmost importance) but also to help the change the world, fighting our holy discontents, and social issues that are not fair.