Changes in Attitude, Changes in Latitude, Changes in Gay Marriage

There is a interesting set up graphs from the Pew Research group on the peoples perception/view of gay marriage categorized by groupings.

Some quick thoughts:

  • Not surprising that an overall divide of opinion is about half & half (graph 1)
  • Not surprised to see that the youngest generations are more in favor of a gay marriage (graph 2). Percentages have exceeded a majority which is interesting and also lends to a huge divide in values between a church’s viewpoint (graph 3).
  • Not surprising is the breakdown of the Christian faith categories. Though I might say that such a high differential between the Catholic and Mainline Protestant views & the Religiously Unaffiliated. Again, a huge values divide there (graph 3)
  • Was kinda surprised a more moderate voice in the Republican party didn’t bring the political viewpoint a little bit closer to the Democratic / Independent view (which are almost identical). Though a difference is expected, it was a huge divide there and is probably that hill many republican conservatives are willing to die, or live/campaign on (graph 4).
  • Graph 5 is probably right where I’d expect our culture. Conservatives & Liberals are riding their lines and are quite set in those. The Moderates might be like me, you’d favor it, but you are not sure that it is in the whole country’s interest to force it so you’d opt for a conservative/cautious approach. Some then are probably just good either way.

One thing was plugging at my thoughts reading this. An institution, like my church tribe, cannot survive with one or two generations of people apathy towards it. There needs to be some reconciliation that would bring some relational & passionate connection towards the Gen X’ers & Millennials, not to mention the generation after Millennials who are probably going to be more affirming, within the church so that it can survive a values divide. Tough call there as a theology could be debated on either side and the long tradition of the church leans against. Changing just because culture is shifting isn’t the most divine way to change, but it has done so for less than divine reasons before.. Tough call, but a call that needs to be made sometime soon or continue a slow death

Kenda Creasy Dean | State of Youth Ministry interview part 2

We were blessed with a moment to sit down with Kenda Creasy Dean, who is one of the foremost researchers, authors and challengers of how our youth ministry is and needs to be. You can get more involved with Kenda’s work through the ministry of the Institute of Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Kenda Creasy Dean | State of Youth Ministry interview part 1

We were blessed with a moment to sit down with Kenda Creasy Dean, who is one of the foremost researchers, authors and challengers of how our youth ministry is and needs to be. You can get more involved with Kenda’s work through the ministry of the Institute of Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Freaks Geeks Cool Kids & American Consumption

This post originally written on YouthWorker Movement

I will never forget this one day at youth, I pulled out my reasonably new cell phone that was all cool with a horizontal flip technology and enhanced screen, and one of the teens spouted out “Oh My Gosh! How old is that?” Now truth be told it wasn’t more than 6 months old, but it seemed that the day after I bought it the new improved version (way slicker than mine) went onto the market with a ton of advertising. So before I put in my wife’s phone number it seems my phone was outdated.

Up to that point & certainly since I’ve been fascinated with what I call the “ill” of our nation. Consumption.. and specifically how it affects our youth & young adults. Was totally into thinking like Branded & Story of Stuff, so it was not a real stretch to draw towards a title of “Freaks, Geeks, and Cool Kids: American Teenagers, Schools, and the Culture of Consumption.”

This is not a ministry book in intent, but the lessons drawn from its research are totally applicable into today’s youth ministries. Teenagers behaviors exhibited in how they treat others and place themselves into levels is totally ingrained in them & plays out in our youth communities (not to mention likely in our ‘big’ church environments).

As a sociology research piece it has a lot of dry reading, footnotes & research references are not my favorites to continually read through. The nature of the reading is not captivating as one might find some fictional writings. But, in between these pieces there is a ton of great insight into teens motivations to their behaviors. If you are wanting a break & challenge from the normal ministry book, this is a good choice to make.

If you do think of purchasing, go for a used version, or do like I did, get the Kindle or other electronic format. The price is always the big pain in purchasing research based writings.