Did you know that the rise of “the nones” is the fastest growing community in the U.S.? That is, the religiously unaffiliated group. One out of every five people is considered to be a none. In 2014, 39% of those under 30 were classified as nones.
What is the Church & Culture Conference?
The Church & Culture Conference is an annual event held in four places across the globe. One in the USA (Charlotte, NC) and three in the United Kingdom (Bracknell, Cambridge, & London.) The conference focuses on the mission of the church: evangelism and transformation of culture. Just knowing what the trends are, isn’t enough. They want to know how to reach the unchurched and those who have walked away from the church.
“It isn’t simply about the latest cultural insights, it’s about the practice of ministry in light of those insights.”
The conference is led by Mecklenburg Community Church’s Lead Pastor, Dr. James White. He is also the main author of the curriculum. Much of the first session was sharing statistics of the different generations from the Baby Boomers to Generation Z, with the latter being 25.9% of the nation’s population. These would be kids born from 1995-2010, which includes four of my grandchildren and one stepdaughter.
The characteristics of Generation Z include recession marked, wi-fi enabled, multiracial, sexually fluid, and post Christian. Apparently these kids aren’t even on Facebook, they spend their time on snapchat, whisper, and house party.
What Made Me Attend This Conference?
My main reason for attending wasn’t to find out the latest cultural trend or how to reach the unchurched. I chose to attend this so I could spend time with my daughter, without the kids. Even when I lived in the same house, we didn’t hang out together, and since they’re moving soon, I thought this would be a good opportunity to do that.
Of course, I was slightly hesitant to accept because I knew the topic of homosexuality would most likely be on the agenda. It was mentioned a few times, but never in a condemning way. All in all, I was glad that I went because it also gave us the chance to talk about some of these things as well.
When we learn something new, we need to be willing to share it with others.
Let me share with you some of the apologetics for your faith in a post-truth world. You must assume that no one knows anything about the Gospel. Ask yourself, “Do you remember what it’s like to be without Christ?” Also, when you’re telling someone, make sure your communication is visual – use videos.
Here are the five specific approaches to the post-truth generation.
- You need to be able to answer the “so what” questions. You need to know how to respond when someone says: So what Jesus died and rose again? or So what Jesus walked on water?
- You need to be able to answer the question: “What the “%*&#” is up with that?” Be able to defend what you know, with truth and grace.
- You need to defend God’s character. They are asking “what kind of God is the God of the Bible?” They want to see Him working in your life, instead of you just telling about Him.
- You need to get spiritual. 50% of the generation Z’s believe in ghosts, whereas only 28% believe in God. More of them are turning to other spiritual things like horoscopes, tarot cards, witchcraft, and more. You need to know about these things so you can meet them where they are.
- You need to understand the cosmic world, and the draw that pulls these kids in. Show them why God is at the center of the Universe.
The third session described what the next ten cultural news and trends might be in the upcoming years. You can find them on this site.
We have a lot of work to do. Not only do we need to be disciples and bring others to Christ, but we need to keep people active in the church. Look around you – go where the people are. Don’t be preachy, but build relationships with truth and grace.
Be a mentor. Share what you know with others. Make a difference.
What are some cultural trends that you see happening in your community? How can you get involved to make a difference? Share in the comments below.