beyond bells, whistles, & walls

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Beyond Bells, whistles, & walls. Christian Formation Across the Lifespan. STATS, STATS, & MORE STATS …. American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) 2008 Identified as Christian: 1990 – 86% 2008 – 76% Nones : 1990 – 8.2% 2008 – 15% - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Beyond Bells, whistles, & wallsChristian Formation Across the LifespanIts quite simple I am passionate about the opportunity we have as the Episcopal Church to do things differently to claim our theological identity as followers of the Way of Jesus Christ through intentional Christian formation formal and informal, in church, home, and local community. Its time to act and in our polity you, as clergy, have starring roles .1STATS, STATS, & MORE STATS American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) 2008Identified as Christian:1990 86% 2008 76%Nones:1990 8.2%2008 15%Challenge to Christianity not from other religions, but from rejection of all organized religion2Sign of lack of attachment to religion27% do not expect a religious funeral at their death

STATS, STATS, & MORE STATS U.S. Religious Landscape Survey (2008)Most Americans:Non-dogmatic approach to faith Do not believe their religion is only way to salvationReligion is very important, attend services regularly, pray daily Close link between religious affiliation, beliefs and practices & social and political attitudesSignificant minority:41% unaffiliated say religion is somewhat importantacross most religious traditions see conflict between being devout person and living in modern societyMany religions can lead to eternal lifeProtestant Churches: 66% Evangelical 57 Mainline 83 Historically black 59 Catholic 79

READ GREAT COMMISSION5STATS, STATS, & MORE STATS Belief in God92% believe in existence of God or universal spirit70% absolutely certain God existsMainline churches: 97% (net) believe in God62% God is personal 26% God is impersonal force8% Dont knowBelief in the Bible63% it is the word of God Belief in life after death 74%STATS, STATS, & MORE STATS Diversity of religious practices54% attend services regularly (1-2/mo)39% attend services weeklyEvangelical 58%Roman Catholic 42%Protestant 34%63% parents religious activities with children at home60% parents send children to religious educationSharing faith with others36% - At least once/month47% - Seldom/never

READ DEUT 6:4-97 AND MORE!Religion, Moral Values, & Modern Society78% believe there are absolute standards of right and wrong52% rely primarily on practical experience & common sense for guidance re: right & wrong62% reject idea religion causes more problems in society than it solvesPersonal Satisfaction59% very satisfied with lifeWeekly worship attenders 65% very satisfiedStephen Prothero (2002)Today religious illiteracy is at least as pervasive as cultural illiteracy, and certainly more dangerous 10% teens can name all 5 major world religions15% cannot name any 60% believe Bible holds all/most answersOnly 50% adults can name one Gospel

Religious LITERACY the ability to understand and use the religious vocabulary, symbols, images, beliefs, practices, scriptures, heroes, themes, and stories that are used in American public life.


makes it difficult for Americans to make sense of a world in which people kill and make peace in the name of Christ or Allah.

CHRISTIAN SMITH (NSYR 2005)AMERICAN ADOLESCENTS:Do not rebel vs. parents faithLikely engage in congregation w/ quality programs Moralistic Therapeutic DeismGod created & orders the worldGod wants people to be good, nice & fair but not involved in world except when problems ariseCentral goal of life: be happy & feel good about selfGood people go to heaven when they die

129/17/11 FACT STUDY REPORTCongregations less healthy than 10 years agoDrops in financial health & attendanceContinuing high level of conflict (2 out of 3)Aging membershipDecreasing spiritual vitality Pockets of innovation and vitalityInterfaith involvementWorshipUse of electronic technology Programming & mission opportunitiesMAINLINE to OLDLINE 75 % Oldline congregations < 10% young adultAging congregations have reduced capacity for changeMedian weekend worship attendance 130 to 108One in four congregations < 50 in worshipSpiritual vitality down from 42.8% to 28.4%Rises higher in theologically liberal congregationsW. Edwards DemingYour system is perfectly designed to give you the results youre getting.

WHAT IF Christianitys primary delivery system, the local church, is perfectly designed to give us the results were getting?

READ PHIL4:8-917CONGREGATIONSAre competing in a spiritual marketplace for individuals who define their relationship to the church in terms of their own issues and needs.(Osmer, 2008)CREATIVE INNOVATION

THERE IS HOPE Same business air travel; Same rules FAA; same planes A320 NEW DELIVERY SYSTEMGlimpses of tradition: cart CREATIVE INNOVATION: leather, lighting, monitors, self-service food & beverage ordering19CHARTER FOR LIFELONG FORMATION

Lifelong Christian faith formation in The Episcopal Churchis lifelong growth in the knowledge, service and love of God as followers of Christ and is informed by scripture, tradition and reason.


Urie Bronfenbrenner, 1917-2005, Russian American developmental psychologist, founder of Head Start, known for his ecological systems theory of development22

Original Sources: Kimball, D. (1987). Power & Presence: A theology of relationships and Westerhoff, J. (1976). Will Our Children Have Faith?23C.S. LEWIS

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.THROUGH THE EPISCOPAL CHURCHGODINSPIRES


Four Attributes of a Disciple?

Goal of Christian Formation?

How will we know it works?


DEUTERONOMY 6:4-9Hear, OIsrael: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. SEE THROUGH THE EYES OF GOD?


Live in a culture FULL of walks on the yellow brick road the Emerald City - METAPOHOR for the vast intrigue and color and vague other-worldy promises of the Internet. We set out from somewhere and welcome fellow travelers. There is evil but friendship prevails. In fact the promises of the City are never the hero as much as the friendships & the emergent truth GOOD MODEL OF ACCOMPANIMENT33OR THIS?

Accompanying/Mentoring in a way that puts Luke in the place of formation world of Star Wars says that the purpose of life is to know the promises and be formed by them.and yes, the bonds with others will follow.34What really makes a disciple?

FACEBOOKFORMATIONMYTHS OF SOCIAL MEDIASocial media gives power to the peopleGovernments easily monitor & censor social mediaFacebook and Twitter enabled the Arab SpringOnly young people use social mediaSocial media creates a global village

MATTHEW 28:16-20Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

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