session 3: mark matlock and david kinneman

Mark Matlock David Kinnaman

session 3 at shift was by far my favorite session today! i’m grateful for the perspective both speakers brought to this topic – and desire more conversations in which we look at the facts and agree together to offer fresh faith experiences to our children and students.

i love the work of the barna group – they are the leading company in terms of looking at different kinds of spiritually and various faith audiences.   kinneman was able to articulately communicate the research they are discovering.

in reference to the newsweek cover story, “the rise and fall of christian america.” is this true? the barna group found that 50% of americans think we are living in a christian nation – 50% think christian america has passed. only 1 in 10 live with a biblical worldview while 75% believe the story of Jesus death and resurrection is true.

what the research does show is that the world is shifting.  the barna group’s research shows that 2/3 of graduating students are leaving the church – not leaving their faith, an important distinction. matlock asked kinneman to set the record straight about the barna group’s research to which kinneman replied, “our data has been abused.” young people are leaving the organized church because christianity doesn’t make sense to them – it doesn’t help them with real life. students don’t feel like the organized church is the vehicle for following christ.

matlock and kinneman together discussed the future of christianity which they see involving more students taking oversee trips to serve because the gospel is literally busting out of the current borders – and the next generation will be the ones to lead this new global movement.  the church has become like an older brother – we don’t realize that we’ve missed the actual ways in which God is working thru the next generation. the next generation will lead us out of this current environment – the idea of reverse mentoring (younger generation help the older generation navigate change, the economy, etc.)

they also talked, for just a minute about this generation being a fatherless generation. their research shows that in 1960 5% were born fatherless, Today 40% born fatherless. the church will have to learn how to reach out to fatherless students.

follow up resources: i love the barna blog,  i’m excited about the work of donald miller and larry shallenberger to impact the fatherless generation thru the mentoring project, and of course – phil vischer, always a great resource as we seek to understand media and children.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Larry Shallenberger on May 12, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    It’s Don’s vision. I’m a team member. One of many.


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