Jesus for President

A friend just emailed me this great CNN article about how young evangelicals don’t fit the “evangelical” stereotype. Or a political party.

These two guys are out promoting a book Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals. But this is more than selling books. Here’s a quote from CNN:

Back on stage [Shane] Claiborne takes the crowd through a multimedia presentation.

“With the respectability and the power of the church comes the temptation to prostitute our identity for every political agenda.”

It’s nice to see evangelicals questioning the lock-stock-and-barrel acceptance of partisan politics.

Central Maine demographics

Just read these demographic numbers in today’s paper. Still not sure what to make of them.

The five highest employing occupations in Kennebec County, from highest to least high, he said, are: office and administrative support (average salary $26,541); sales ($22,734); food preparation and serving ($17,482); transportation and material moving ($24, 211) and health-care practitioners ($51,002).

Gen Xers aren’t going to church

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has an interesting article about the giving habits of Xers.

GenXers tend to give less money to religious causes than Boomers. Not a big suprise given that we’re not yet at our “maximum earning” age. But what’s chilling to fundraisers is that:

The difference in giving among the generations appears to be related to attendance at religious services, which has declined nationwide, said Bill Enright, one of the Center on Philanthropy researchers.

A generation ago, more than 40 percent of Americans attended weekly religious services, but that figure has shrunk to about 25 percent, he said.

I know for a fact that those of us under 45 are very open to spirituality and to Jesus. More so than many of our older relations. But evidently we’re not that big on gathering.

That’s scary. I love being part of such an independent cohort. But it makes isolation that much easier. And when we isolate, even Jesus followers, we’re sitting targets for the enemy.

Anyone who’s watches the Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom knows that.

Oops, did I just date myself? ๐Ÿ™‚

Barna research

Thanks to Church Leader Insights for pointing me to this Barna Research posting relating to various groups, particularly the “unattached.”

1 in 4 adults fit the “unattached” label. These are what I’d call the “unchurched.” Interestingly, about 60% of them consider themselves Christians, many “born again” Chrisitians. But they revel in their independence and see little need for regular attendence in a community of faith.

Barna lists these characteristics:

Compared to regular churchgoers, the Unattached are:

  • more likely to feel stressed out
  • less likely to be concerned about the moral condition of the nation
  • much less likely to believe that they are making a positive difference in the world
  • less optimistic about the future
  • far less likely to believe that the Bible is totally accurate in its principles
  • substantially more likely to believe that Satan and the Holy Spirit are symbolic figures, but are not real
  • more likely to believe that Jesus Christ sinned while He was on earth
  • much more likely to believe that the holy literature of the major faiths all teach the same principles even though they use different stories
  • less likely to believe that a person can be under demonic influence
  • more likely to describe their sociopolitical views as “mostly liberal” than “mostly conservative”

This is the group I think the Vineyard Church of Waterville is here to reach. But these are the least likely to actually come to a church service! Ironic, don’tcha think? ๐Ÿ™‚

I will tell you, we’re a worshipping community that is passionate about Jesus but not hung up on things like politics or the moral condition of our nation.

Rather than nit-picking about the other points, we’re definitely committed to giving people an opportunity to experience God’s hope and his promise of “a future” for us.

One of the greatest parts of this type of church plant is that we can’t really take credit for any growth or success! It’s all from God!

Read the entire Barna article here.