CHANGE & Millennials Believe Secret to Success is the Ability to Change #PewResearch

America divided on the secret to its success

BY CAMILA REY AND SOFI SINOZICH, Pew Research, 7/4/15

Why Has U.S. Been Successful? Younger Adults Point to Its Ability to Change.Compared with those in many other countries, Americans stand out for their patriotism. But public opinion surveys show that Americans disagree over what’s behind their country’s success.

Pew Research Center’s political values survey has consistently found that overwhelming majorities agree with the statement “I am very patriotic.” In 2012, 89% of Americans agreed with this statement; the share agreeing has never fallen below 85% in the survey’s 25-year history.

But when asked whether the United States owed its success more to its “ability to change” or its “reliance on long-standing principles,” 51% of Americans attributed the country’s success to the former, while 44% pointed to the latter.

The question was one of many measures about the U.S., its future and its global standing we examined for our 2014 Political Typology.

Most Millennials and Generation Xers associated the country’s success with its ability to change: About six-in-ten Millennials (61%), who were ages 18-33 in 2014, and 54% of Gen Xers (ages 34-49 that year) said this was more what made the U.S. successful.

Wide Idealogical Gap Over Factors for U.S. SuccessBaby Boomers (ages 50-68) were more divided – 46% linked America’s success to its ability to change, while nearly the same share (48%) said it is due to its reliance on principles. The Silent generation (ages 69-86) was the only one in which a majority (54%) perceived America’s reliance on principles to be the reason for its success, with 39% attributing it to the ability to change.

There were substantial partisan and ideological differences in opinions about why the U.S. has been successful. By a 77% to 20% margin, liberal Democrats attributed the nation’s success to its ability to change. By almost the same margin (73% to 22%), conservative Republicans linked the success of the United States to its adherence to well-established principles.

There also were racial and ethnic differences in attitudes toward America’s success. Whites were divided, with 47% attributing America’s success to its ability to change and a nearly equal share attributing it to a reliance on principles. Minorities were more likely to credit the success to the ability to change, with 64% of blacks and 58% of Hispanics supporting this view.

Read more at …http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/07/03/america-divided-on-whats-the-secret-to-its-success/

Speaking Hashtags: #BreakForth16

ASSIMILATION & What Young People Are Saying About Its Negative Connotation

by Bob Whitesel, 5/21/15.

In a recent post I discussed how the word “assimilation” can mean something positive to older generations but also something negative to younger generations. This, it is often confusing when churches use it to denote their newcomer ministries.

To younger generation assimilation carries a negative connotation of giving up your personal cultural tastes and preferences. But to older generations it is a term which connotes positive characteristics of “blending in” with a dominant culture.

Subsequently, because assimilation can be misconstrued by people of different ages it is best not to use to describe our newcomer ministry.

In hopes of discovering an alternative term, I asked my students for suggestions. Here are two interesting postings from students about the term assimilation.

Student A: “Being 26 years old, I am kind of between generations. Plus I do youth ministry, so a lot of times I still get to feel like I’m a kid. When I hear assimilation, I feel that same uneasiness. From a church standpoint, when I think of assimilated drones, I think of legalism. I think of those in the church who have become cronies of the “rules and regulations” of the church, but have completely lost touch with the relationships. Much like the Pharisees, and much like the Borg, they all work with one mindset, and it just happens to be incorrect. I hate Star Trek, but I remember the episode where they tried to turn Patrick Steward into a Borg, and his struggle to escape. Having grown up in this culture, I am totally cool with being connected and in relationship, but pleeeaaasssee dont’ assimilate me!”

And then Student B said (Church name is a pseudonym) :

“Thank you, thank you!  I have been saying the same thing since the mid-90s.  In fact, I first heard the term ‘assimilation’ in this context while I was helping plant a church … while I was in my undergraduate program.  The executive pastor, Chuck, spent a great deal of time developing a program for assimilation, and it always had an ominous sound to me because of my fondness for Star Trek.

In fact, I took a downloaded portrait of a borg, cropped Chuck’s face onto the borg’s body (complete with facial hardware!) and put the following caption underneath it:  ‘We are Greenhill Church.  Resistance is futile.  You will be assimilated.’ Of course, I never showed that to anyone except another intern…’ 🙂 ”

Now, what comes to mind when you hear the term assimilation? And have you ever thought about how it is perceived by others? Now that you know about these dual and opposite meanings, what will you do?

ASSIMILATION & Maybe Christians Should Use an Alternative Term?

by Bob Whitesel, 5/21/15.

I believe it is critically and spiritually important to connect newcomers with our congregations. When discussing this topic with students the word “assimilation” sometimes comes up. This is, in fact, a word I have used for years to refer to the process of helping newcomers fit into our life of a fellowship and to embark upon their discipleship journey.

However a recent student noted that to young people today “assimilation” has a negative connotation. Here is her quote: “I’m a Star Trek fan and all I can think of when I hear that is the Borg insisting that every other life form they meet be forcefully altered into another drone for their collective, not even able to think on their own anymore but forced to do whatever the Borg wanted.”

That is almost exactly what a interviewee in a Phoenix focus group of young Gen-Xers said to me. Thus, I have been utilizing the word “connection” or “connecting.” It has a techie feel to it, and may be the Millennial generation equivalent of the Boomer “networking.”

The student who was the Star Trek fan even attached a picture of the Borg with her posting (I guess to scare Boomers). I downloaded the picture and tried to post it, but it assimilated, I mean connected, to my PC … but my Macintosh is doing fine :-)>

Here is what the student was talking about 😉
Click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyenRCJ_4Ww

EDUCATION & Is going to college worth it? #PewResearch says Yes!

by ANDREA CAUMONT, Pew Research, 5/19/15.

A new Pew Research Center report on higher education contains a number of findings about the rising value of a college degree (as well as the rising cost of not going to college). College-educated millennials are outperforming their less-educated peers on virtually every economic measure, and the gap between the two groups has only grown over time. Here are six key findings that provide a compelling answer to the question: Is going to college worth it?

1A college education is worth more today. There’s a wider earnings gap between college-educated and less-educated Millennials compared with previous generations.

ST_14.02.11_231_HigherEd_Earnings

2College benefits go beyond earnings: In addition to earning more, college-educated Millennials also have lower unemployment and poverty rates than their less-educated peers. They’re also more likely to be married and less likely to be living in their parent’s home.

ST_14.02.11_232_HigherEd_Benefits

3College grads are more satisfied with their jobs: College-educated Millennials are more likely to see themselves on a career path, rather than just working at a job to get them by.

ST_14.02.11_233_HigherEd_Satisfying-Jobs

4The cost of not going to college has risen. Millennials with just a high school diploma are faring worse today than their counterparts in earlier generations by almost every economic measure examined.

ST_14.02.11_234_HigherEd_Cost-of-Not-Going

5College grads say college is worth it: About nine-in-ten college grads in every generation say college has been, or will be, worth the investment. Despite a steep rise in college tuitions, Millennials agree.

ST_14.02.11_235_HigherEd_College-Worth-It

6College majors matter. Among all grads, science or engineering majors are the most likely to say their current job is very closely related to their field of study and the least likely to say that a different major would have better prepared them for the job they really wanted.

ST_14.02.11_236_HigherEd_Majors-MatterRead more at … http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/11/6-key-findings-about-going-to-college/

DENOMINATIONS & Mainline Protestants make up shrinking number of U.S. adults #PewResearch

by MICHAEL LIPKA, Pew Research, 5/18/15.

Most of the Founding Fathers of the United States – not to mention a majority of U.S. presidents – were members of Christian denominations that fall into the mainline Protestant tradition. But in recent years, the share of Americans who identify with mainline Protestantism has been shrinking significantly, a trend driven partly by generational change.

5 Million Fewer Mainline Protestant Adults Than in 2007Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study finds that 14.7% of U.S. adults are affiliated with the mainline Protestant tradition – a sharp decline from 18.1% when our last Religious Landscape Study was conducted in 2007. Mainline Protestants have declined at a faster rate than any other major Christian group, including Catholics and evangelical Protestants, and as a result also are shrinking as a share of all Protestants and Christians.

Indeed, despite overall U.S. population growth between 2007 and 2014, the total number of mainline Protestant adults has decreased by roughly 5 million during that time (from about 41 million in 2007 to 36 million in 2014).

Generational replacement appears to be playing a significant role. Older generations have larger shares of mainline Protestants, including 26% of members of the Greatest generation (those born before 1928) and 22% of members of the Silent generation (those born 1928-1945). Mainline Protestant adults in the U.S. have a median age of 52, higher than the group’s median age in 2007 (50) and older than any other major religious tradition.

While older generations die out, the young Americans rising into adulthood are significantly less likely to identify with mainline denominations. Among Millennial adults (born since 1981), 11% are mainline Protestants. By contrast, 16% of Millennials are Catholics, 21% are evangelical Protestants and 35% are religiously unaffiliated.

Read more at … http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/18/mainline-protestants-make-up-shrinking-number-of-u-s-adults/

MILLENNIALS & Most Millennials Don’t Live Downtown

Read more at … http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/05/most-millennials-dont-live-downtown/393269/

MILLENNIALS & Why they have taken over the American workforce

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel; “The Millennials have just become the largest segment of the American workforce. You can’t ignore them anymore.”

Read more at … http://fortune.com/2015/05/11/millennials-have-taken-over-the-american-workforce/

TELECOMMUTING & Millennials Say They’ll Relocate for Work-Life Flexibility

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “For your company to improve morale, innovation and impact you must embrace employee flexibility. Read this Harvard Business Review article for more research that shows employee flexibility is especially critical to keep talented Millennials in your work force.”

Read more at … http://s.hbr.org/1cq0da6

GENERATIONS & How Millennial Are You? Take the Quiz by #PewResearch

By Pew Research, 2/24/15.
millennials-quiz-logo-medium.gif

Take our 14 item quiz and we’ll tell you how “Millennial” you are, on a scale from 0 to 100, by comparing your answers with those of respondents to a scientific nationwide survey. You can also find out how you stack up against others your age…

Take the quiz at … http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/how-millennial-are-you/

MILLENNIALS & What Millennials Want from Work, Charted Across the World #HarvardBusinessReview

by Henrik Bresman, Harvard Business Review, 2/23/15.

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/02/what-millennials-want-from-work-charted-across-the-world

MILLENNIALS & Detached from Institutions, Networked with Friends

by Pew Research, 3/15/14.

Graphic shows that among Millennials, Gen Xers, Boomers, and Silents, Millennials are more politically independent and more religiously unaffiliated.The Millennial generation is forging a distinctive path into adulthood. Now ranging in age from 18 to 331, they are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future.

They are also America’s most racially diverse generation. In all of these dimensions, they are different from today’s older generations. And in many, they are also different from older adults back when they were the age Millennials are now…

Read more at … http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/

MILLENNIALS & Why They Want To Work At Organizations That Focus On Purpose, Not Just Profit #ORGANIXbook

Read more at … http://www.fastcoexist.com/3041738/change-generation/millennials-want-to-work-at-organizations-that-focus-on-purpose-not-just-p?partner=rss

GENERATIONS & Young People Moving Away From Religion? Not really. Meet the Post-Seculars.

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, Religious News Service, 1/28/15.

(RNS) Meet the “Post-Seculars” — the one in five Americans who seem to have gone unnoticed before in endless rounds of debates pitting science vs. religion.

They’re more strongly religious than most “Traditionals” (43 percent of Americans), and more scientifically knowledgeable than “Moderns” (36 percent) who stand on science alone, according to two sociologists’ findings in a new study.

“We were surprised to find this pretty big group (21 percent) who are pretty knowledgeable and appreciative about science and technology but who are also very religious and who reject certain scientific theories,” said Timothy O’Brien, co-author of the research study, released Thursday (Jan. 29) in the American Sociological Review…

Many findings fit the usual way the science-religion divide is viewed:

— Moderns, who stand on reason, scored high on scientific knowledge and scored lowest on religion questions regarding biblical authority and the strength of their religious ties.

— Traditionals, who lean toward religion, scored lower on science facts and were least likely to agree that “the benefits of scientific research outweigh the harmful results.”

However, the data turned up a third perspective – people who defied the familiar breakdown. The authors dubbed them “Post-Secular” to jump past a popular theory that Americans are moving way from religion to become more secular, O’Brien said.

Post-Seculars — about half of whom identify as conservative Protestants — know facts such as how lasers work, what antibiotics do and the way genetics affects inherited illnesses.

But when it comes to three main areas where science and Christian-centric religious views conflict — on human evolution, the Big Bang origin of the universe and the age of the Earth — Post-Seculars break away from the pack with significantly different views from Traditionals and Moderns.

Areas where the factions are clear:

RNS science graphic by Tiffany McCallen; click to view full size

Read more at … http://www.religionnews.com/2015/01/29/science-religion-evolution-big-bang/

GENERATIONS & Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

From National Public Radio, Fresh Air, 1/28/15.

Read more at … http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/01/28/381622350/why-teens-are-impulsive-addiction-prone-and-should-protect-their-brains

TRENDS & Thom Rainer’s 15 Church Trends for 2015 #ThomRainer #LifeWay

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Thom Ranier is a first-rate researcher as well as a friend. We both have received the Donald A. McGavran award for leadership in church growth. So when Thom comes out with his annual ‘trends for the year’ – everybody should take notice. Listen to this podcast for the details, but here are the major points.”

Some highlights from the episode include (taken from the website):

  • The Millennial generation is almost insisting on smaller worship gatherings.
  • A larger percentage of church attendees are attending larger churches.
  • The multi-teaching pastor trend we are seeing in churches is a healthy trend for pastors and churches.
  • In 2015, less than 5% of churches in America will continue to hold a separate Sunday evening service.
  • The majority of churches in America have been isolated from their community in recent years. But that is changing.
  • Denominations are becoming more streamlined with more money going to the mission field.
  • A church that does not put an emphasis on small groups is likely not a healthy church.

The 15 trends to look for in 2015 are:

  1. More partnerships between denominations and churches.
  2. Continued increased in the number of multi-site churches.
  3. Smaller worship gatherings.
  4. Continued flow of people from smaller churches to larger churches.
  5. The tipping point for a plurality of teaching pastors.
  6. The tipping point of churches eliminating Sunday evening worship services.
  7. Congregations growing in favor in their respective communities.
  8. The beginnings of prayer movement in our churches.
  9. More emphasis on congregational singing.
  10. More focus on theological education in local churches.
  11. The waning and reconfiguration of denominational structures.
  12. A rapid increase in bivocational church staff.
  13. Increased difficulty in matching prospective pastors with churches with pastoral vacancies.
  14. Growth of verbal incarnational evangelism.
  15. The tipping point for small groups.

Listen to more at … http://thomrainer.com/2015/01/23/15-church-trends-2015-rainer-leadership-092/

MILLENNIALS & Real Reasons Young Adults Drop Out of Church

by Ed Stetzer, The Exchange, Christianity Today, 12/1/14

…The reality is there are dropout challenges, but it’s not 94 percent or even 86 percent of evangelicals. Real research shows that faith is rather resilient from one generation to the next—but that does not sell the books, I know!

A few years ago, LifeWay Research examined the issue, looking at some of the things that help young adults stick, stay, and have a robust faith. We wanted to know what it takes for a student to continue his or her faith through high school, college, the career years and beyond. (It’s discussed in Essential Faithby Sam and Thom Rainer.)

We looked at the faith of students who attended a Protestant church (mainline or evangelical) twice a month or more for at least one year in high school. Here’s what we found: About 70 percent of young adults ages 18 to 22 stopped attending church regularly for at least one year. Is that a 70 percent dropout rate? With all the nuances and with all the caveats, we’d say so. That’s a dropout rate, a much too high dropout rate. Other research and studies among evangelical youth, however, indicate that number is almost certainly much lower (see the study mentioned earlier). And it should be noted that we found almost two-thirds of those who left in our Protestant study were back in church by the end of the study…

What Can We Do?

The reason that many church-attending young adults stopped going to church upon graduating from high school? Their faith just wasn’t personally meaningful to them. They did not have a first-hand faith. The church had not become a valued and valuable expression in their life—one that impacts how they live and how they relate and how they grow. Church was perhaps something their parents wanted them do. They may have grown up in church, and perhaps they faced pressure from parents and even peers to be involved in church. But it wasn’t a first-hand faith.

We cannot posture our student ministries to think like and act like a four-year holding tank with pizza. Instead, we need to prepare young adults for the spiritual challenges that will come and the faith questions they will face. Firsthand faith leads to life change and life-long commitment…

Read more at … http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/december/real-reasons-young-adults-drop-out-of-church.html?paging=off

FACILITIES & Building a New Church Auditorium, Research Suggests Millennials Prefer This Size

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Ever since Robin Dunbar’s research suggested that the optimum auditorium size for community events is around 150, there has been a push to establish church sanctuaries is in the 150 size range for optimum fellowship. Here is more research that suggests that Robin Dunbar is right. In this Barna survey different generations were asked which church sanctuary they preferred. The more intimate space of under 200 was preferred by the Millennials.”

Taking a friend to church? Keep this in mind …

by Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com) Monday, December 01, 2014

Even though megachurches have been receiving all the attention over the past couple of decades, many of the preferences 18- to 29-year-olds have when conceptualizing the ideal church will come as a surprise to many pastors, current churchgoers and armchair Christians alike.

After taking a handful of Americans of various faiths from major U.S. cities on tours to suburban megachurches, urban cathedrals, coffee shops and city parks, researchers from the Barna Group and Cornerstone Knowledge Network were asked about their likes and dislikes regarding different facets of worship areas.

After showing the Millennial participants four different sanctuaries, one of the selections was the hands-down favorite, drawing more than twice as many votes of the entire group of 18- to 29-year-olds as any of the other three worship spaces.

Barna survey Sanctuary

“Sanctuary 2 was the ‘Goldilocks’ space for many respondents — not too big, not too small — just right,” Barna researches disclosed. “It’s big enough to retain some anonymity as a visitor — the marginally churched (63 percent) and those who are not practicing Christians (50 percent) preferred it more strongly than the average — but small enough to feel part of a community. Parents with children under 18 (50 percent) also preferred Sanctuary 2 more than average.”

The megachurch worship area (Sanctuary 1) received the lowest — just 18 percent of the overall vote — while Sanctuary 3, which is devoid of religious symbols or screens but smaller than the previous two, received 20 percent of the vote from the overall group (32 percent of those in the group coming from faiths other than Christianity chose this option). Sanctuary 4 is also a smaller, cozy space with religious imagery and a large screen. This setting only received 18 percent of the overall vote.

Read more at … http://www.onenewsnow.com/church/2014/12/01/taking-a-friend-to-church-keep-this-in-mind

ART & An Example of How to Do Outreach & Discipleship With Emerging Artists

by Pastor Paul Tillman, Lead Pastor, Oakdale Wesleyan Church, 12/1/14

In partnership with Indiana Wesleyan University, Oakdale Wesleyan Church has sponsored an art contest. Student artists prepared works depicting Philip the Evangelist and the Ethiopian Official from Acts 8:26-40. Artwork entries hang at the Beard Arts Center at IWU from December 1, 2014 to January 9, 2015, and, in addition to the artist receiving a cash or scholarship prize from the memorial gifts of Don and Trudy Emory, the winning piece will be brought to to hang permanently at Oakdale Wesleyan Church as a reminder and symbol of our mission, given to us by Jesus, to make disciples from all peoples by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The contest guidelines were: “Students should create 2D work on canvas or board that is no smaller than 24″ x 36″ and no larger than 36″ x 46″. Work can be orientated in either portrait or landscape. The style of the work may be: classical/traditional, realistic, or impressionistic, based upon any part of all of the story of Philip and the Ethiopian from Acts 8:26-40. The winning entry will be a symbol for the call to multi-ethnic ministry, making disciples and missions.” We are now pleased to show the entries and announce the winner.

The Installation Ceremony of the winning pieces will be on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at Oakdale Wesleyan Church. The following day, Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 10 am, we will hold a Celebration Service. Greater details on the installation and celebration will be forthcoming. Both events are open to the public.

First Place – ICHTHUS by Nate Hillyer

ICHTHUS by Nate Hillyer

ICHTHUS by Nate Hillyer http://www.natehillyer.com/

In addition to his wonderful style, the artist brought in great symbolism to the piece: light and darkness, the presence of Christ and the Holy Spirit, reconciliation, and the making of disciples, all from the perspective of God Above. This piece captured all the contest elements, and will hang in the lobby of Oakdale Wesleyan Church. Nate Hillyer received $300 for his winning entry.

Honorable Mention – Immersion by Gayle Cobb

Immersion by Gayle Cobb

Immersion by Gayle Cobb http://www.gcillustration.com/

With its bold colors and zoomed in perspective, this piece forces the viewer to engage and figure it out. The artist chose only show the hands of Philip (a choice that really works for the piece), making is so those hands could be anyone’s hands, or even the hands of God. This piece will have a place of honor, and will be featured during baptisms. Gayle Cobb received $100 for her entry…

Read more at … http://oakdalechurch.org/art-content-winner/

PRIVACY & All Generations Increasingly Worried About Privacy & Security

Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era,

by , Pew Research, 11/13/14

Privacy evokes a constellation of concepts for Americans—some of them tied to traditional notions of civil liberties and some of them driven by concerns about the surveillance of digital communications and the coming era of “big data.” While Americans’ associations with the topic of privacy are varied, the majority of adults in a new survey by the Pew Research Center feel that their privacy is being challenged along such core dimensions as the security of their personal information and their ability to retain confidentiality.

Perhaps most striking is Americans’ lack of confidence that they have control over their personal information. That pervasive concern applies to everyday communications channels and to the collectors of their information—both in the government and in corporations. For example:

Read more at … http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/11/12/public-privacy-perceptions/

MILLENNIALS & What Millennial Are Looking For In Life and Work #InfoGraphic

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Bentley University, the Waltham, Massachusetts school known for the rigor of its management programs, has produced an engaging free slideshow of infographics about the Millennial generation. The information is presented in a way that makes for easy utilization in presentations. Some of the more interesting findings are that two significant factors for Millennial job satisfaction is advancement opportunity and organizational ethics. To quote the author, ‘they want to do well, while doing good’.”

Watch a slide show InfoGraphic at … http://www.bentley.edu/newsroom/latest-headlines/mind-of-millennial