OUTREACH & Need-meeting: A poignant fable by a Millennial

“I’m not particularly attracted to a religion where someone approaches me in the parking lot of a grocery store with a tract in hand, telling me I’m going to hell, without ever once considering the possibility that I might need help carrying my groceries.”

Commentary by Professor B: This was a short fable shared with me by a former student. It illustrates succinctly why we should utilize a need-based approach to outreach. Larry wrote:

Prof. Whitesel, I’m doing a response for Bible as Christian Scripture and recalled a quote from a friend of my son’s some years that reminded me of your book, Cure for the Common Church, and in particular, your prescription for growing O.U.T.

The response touched on how we want to world to see us, as a source of judgement or a source of the Good News. The quote I recalled from my son’s friend: “I’m not particularly attracted to a religion where someone approaches me in the parking lot of a grocery store with a tract in hand, telling me I’m going to hell, without ever once considering the possibility that I might need help carrying my groceries.”

Thought you might enjoy that. Larry

SKEPTICISM & Millennials Increasingly View the Church Negatively

by Aaron Earls, LifeWay, 2/26/16.

Not only are they not showing up for services, a growing number of millennials believe churches are bad for society.

Since 2010, millennials’ view of churches and other religious organizations as having a positive effect on the country has fallen 18 percentage points, according to Pew Research.

In 2015, 55 percent of young adults believed churches have a positive impact on the country compared with 73 percent five years ago.

The drop among millennials comes when other generations view churches more positively. In 2010, millennials had the highest view of churches. Today, it’s the lowest of any generation.

Churches weren’t the only institution about which millennials grew more cynical. Five years ago, 40 percent of young adults thought the national news media had a positive impact. That portion is only 27 percent today, largely in line with other generations’ view of the national media.

By and large, however, millennials didn’t fit with the perception they are anti-institutional. Among every institution, except the church, young adults were the most likely to say it was having a positive effect on the way things are going in the country today. Generally speaking, the younger you are the more likely you are to see non-religious institutions as having a positive impact on society.

Overall, among the 10 institutions Pew asked about, churches and religious organizations fell in the middle. Millennials view small businesses (86 percent), technology companies (77 percent), colleges and universities (73 percent), and labor unions (57 percent) more positively than churches.

Despite the decline, young adults still see churches as more positive contributors to society than the energy industry (54 percent), banks and other financial institutions (45 percent), entertainment industry (39 percent), large corporations (38 percent), and the national news media (27 percent).

Read more at … http://factsandtrends.net/2016/02/26/millennials-increasingly-view-the-church-negatively/#.V7Ltt8T3aJJ

FAITH SHARING & Research suggests younger evangelicals are slightly more likely to share their faith

by Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 5/13/16.

About a quarter of U.S. religiously affiliated adults share their faith at least once a week, according to Pew’s study of American religious beliefs and activities.

The practice of sharing one’s faith is up slightly since 2007.

While older Americans are more engaged in other religious practices (attending church, prayer, Scripture reading), Pew found younger adults are slightly more likely than those 65 and older to share their faith.

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Read more at … http://factsandtrends.net/2016/05/13/whos-sharing-their-faith/#.V7LtBMT3aJI

JOB TENURE & When Should You Switch Jobs? 4 Career Lessons in 3 Graphs #ForbesMagazine

by Stephanie Denning, Forbes Magazine, 4/25/16.

Job-hopping is commonplace these days among millennials. I’ve often wondered how much time one should really stay put in a job? And if you leave, what are you really at risk of missing? Can you leave a job too soon? Can you stay too long?

In my experience there are two important variables. The first is your learning curve. Every job has one. Surprisingly, I’ve found the learning curve to be pretty universal across jobs. From what I’ve seen, it takes about 1.5 to two years to really surpass the steep part of the learning curve. It looks something like this:

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After 1.5 to two years, you start to experience diminishing returns to learning. So if you’re concerned about leaving a job too soon, and foregoing some of that learning, let your concern be assuaged by the fact that after two years, your opportunity cost of learning isn’t as high as it once was.

Only after you’ve past this learning curve can you really start to experience productivity gains, the second variable. After surpassing the steep part of the learning curve, it will take you a lot less time to complete a task than it did six months ago. But productivity gains only matter if you’re trying to make a career for yourself in that job. If you’re trying to rise the ranks, this can be helpful because you can spend more time on other tasks and less time on the old ones…

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2016/04/24/three-career-lessons-in-three-graphs/#7fdd2cf727d1

 

RELIGIOSITY & Americans Skeptical Of God But Think Heaven Is Real, Somehow

By Joshua A. Krisch, Vocativ News, Mar 21, 2016.

The United States formally separates Church and State, but it’s hard to deny that America is inundated with religious innuendo, from its controversial pledge of allegiance all the way down to its Judeo-Christian courthouse displays and faith-espousing legal tender. Yet fewer Americans pray or believe in God than ever before, according to a new study in the journal Sage Open.

Researchers found that the percentage of Americans who claim they never pray reached an all-time high in 2014, up five-fold since the 1980s. Over the same time period, belief in God and interest in spirituality appears to have similarly declined, especially among young adults.

The findings suggest that, “millennials are the least religious generation in memory, and possibly in American history,” says Jean M. Twenge, psychology professor at San Diego State University and coauthor on the study, in a press statement. “Most previous studies concluded that fewer Americans were publicly affiliating with a religion, but that Americans were just as religious in private ways. That’s no longer the case, especially in the last few years…”

The notion that the U.S. is inching away from organized religion is nothing new. Throughout the 2000s, studies repeatedly found that many Americans had lost faith in religious institutions. But scientists suspected the shift was from organized religion, rather than spirituality—that Americans had stopped attending formal services, but that they still prayed and believed in private…

But this new study suggests that Americans have a problem with God—and that our spiritual issues run deeper than paltry mistrust of religious institutions.

For the study, researchers pulled 58,893 entries from the GSS, a nationally representative survey of U.S. adults. The results suggest a steep decline in the number of Americans who pray, believe in God, take the Bible literally, attend religious services or identified as religious—all factors that should have relatively little to do with America’s skepticism of large institutions.

Read more at … http://www.vocativ.com/news/299168/americans-pray-think-heaven-is-real/

MILLENNIALS & Though less religious than older Americans, they are just as spiritual #PewResearch #ORGANIXbook

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: A cultural predilection of older generations is to judge younger generations as less religiously interested. Yet if you look at the research, Millennials are just as spiritual as older Americans, though they are less attracted to our churches. This reminds us that most churches’ attractional strategies (see chpt. 2, ORGANIX) are culturally limited. So before you write off Millennials or choose not to reach out to them, read this Pew Research article which points out that most Millennials are on a spiritual quest.

by BECKA A. ALPER, Pew Research, 11/23/15.

By many measures, Millennials are much less likely than their elders to be religious.

For instance, only about half of Millennials (adults who were born between 1981 and 1996) say they believe in God with absolute certainty, and only about four-in-ten Millennials say religion is very important in their lives. By contrast, older generations are much more likely to believe in God and say religion is important to them.

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And this lower level of religiosity among Millennials manifests itself not just in what they think, but in what they do. Just 27% of Millennials say they attend religious services on a weekly basis, a substantially lower share than Baby Boomers (38%) and members of the Silent and Greatest generations (51% each). Similarly, a smaller share of Millennials say they pray every day compared with those in older generations.

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But while Millennials are not as religious as older Americans by some measures of religious observance, they are as likely to engage in many spiritual practices. For instance, like older Americans, more than four-in-ten of these younger adults (46%) say they feel a deep sense of wonder about the universe at least once a week. Likewise, most also say they think about the meaning and purpose of life on a weekly basis (55%), again, similar to older generations.

Roughly three-quarters of Millennials feel a strong sense of gratitude or thankfulness at least weekly (76%). And 51% say they feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least once a week.

By comparison, older Americans are only slightly more likely than Millennials to say they feel a strong sense of gratitude. Only when it comes to feeling spiritual peace and well-being are members of these four older generations more likely than Millennials to answer in the affirmative.

Read more at … http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/23/millennials-are-less-religious-than-older-americans-but-just-as-spiritual/

GENERATIONS & Nonprofits learn to appeal to Xers & Millennials #AmyLynch

 “Growing, but Gray” by Amy Lynch, Generational Speaker, Generational Edge, 10/14/15, (click here to watch the 1971 video).

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… Until recently, people supported nonprofits and associations because it was the “right thing to do.” Nothing wrong with that. It just doesn’t work with Gen X and Millennials. The first question younger gens ask is “Will this work?” Associations and nonprofits have to have ready answers.

IDEALISTIC BOOMERS WANTED TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING. YOUNGER GENERATIONS WANT TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING, TOO, BUT WITH A QUANTIFIABLE ROI ON THE SONGFEST.

Meanwhile, Millennials expect companies to be good for society, and the nonprofits garnering respect these days are well managed and (yep!) profitable. It’s an odd crossover, and here’s the upshot. As a nonprofit or an association, you absolutely have to be crystal clear about who you are, what your do for whom and how your results are measured.

Here’s a tip for that process. Put numbers on it. If you are an association, survey your members to get percentages of members who got new business, new skills or new management tools. If you are a nonprofit, put hard numbers on your results. Then you can win over prove-it-to-me Gen Xers and mission-based Millennials.

Read more at … http://www.generationaledge.com/blog/growing-but-gray