The refreshing renewal of Spring is like an encounter with the Lord: It reminds us of how life used to be and how God has made it new.
Dear Church Family,
Reminiscing about my childhood is one of my favorite things. Remembering summer days spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s, every season celebrated through fun events at school, and my parents always making each holiday special for my sister and I. One memory I hold dear is the time my dad and I spent turning an old cardboard shoebox into a beautiful valentine mailbox. Each year we would try to be more creative than the last. One year we made a ladybug (which was my favorite).
Another year we spent hours tirelessly hot-gluing sequins on my mailbox’s mermaid tail. What I remember most, though, is the time we spent together.
Now as an adult I look around my classroom and walk through the halls of Hickory Hills and see the walls flooded with red and pink sparkly hearts and cute Cupid babies. Yes, it is that time of the year again folks...the month to celebrate love. Whether you have a valentine or not, the gift of love God sent us through His Son Jesus is worth celebrating. Valentine’s Day falls on Wednesday this year, and we will celebrate as a church family the love we have for Jesus and the love we have for one another.
Mark your calendar for Wednesday, February 14th, for our Church-Wide “Love One Another” Valentine’s Dinner. Dinner will begin at 5pm, so please mark your dinner option on the pink slips available at the Information Station or on the tables in the fellowship hall this Wednesday night. We will have a photo booth, Valentine Bingo, and a time to create Valentine’s cards for Harmony House, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence.
Let’s look to 1 John 4:19 as we live life together and celebrate the love we have in Jesus: “We love because He first loved us.” Let’s spend time loving one another as we fellowship together on Wednesday, February 14th, at 5pm.
See you on Valentine’s Day,
The Sunday before Missouri State University resumes classes in the fall, the MSU Pride Band has a busy day. They've just moved in, wrapped up their weeklong band camp, play the New Student Convocation, and perform their annual Concert-on-the-Green. They also are getting ready for classes to start the next day; for many of them, these will be their first classes as a Bear.
Even though they are exhausted and have a lot on their plates, they take the time to come to University Heights Baptist Church that Sunday morning to play in our service and experience a time of worship with us. After the service, we make sure to feed them well.
It has been my privilege to plan Feed the Band for the past five years. I've enjoyed watching the students get to know each other better as they sit around tables and eat the last big meal they'll have before the semester starts. I love seeing our church family pour drinks, hand out cookies, and make the students feel at home.
I'm glad our church family rallies around college students. When students come to our church and are looking for ways to connect, people within our church adopt them as long-lost grandchildren. Our people take students out to dinner and provide home cooked meals; they open their homes up for a free place to do laundry and a quiet place to study; when a student misses church, they check on them to make sure they're okay. Our church loves college students.
This semester we are changing the way we do college Bible study. Instead of the normal 9:15am start time on Sunday mornings, we are going to meet in the Heights after the worship service and provide lunch, then dive into a study of the major themes of the Bible. Andrew Hickman, who runs our tech booth and is a graduate student at Evangel, is excited to lead the study.
Be in prayer for the students. Pray that they will find a place to belong and that they will realize God's calling on their life.
Dr. Chisholm shared this during the Wednesday night Bible study on August 2, 2017. Below is compiled from his PowerPoint presentation.
The Mindset List: Class of 2017 | Created by Beloit College as a reminder to faculty to avoid dated references when teaching the students. It has become an internationally monitored catalog of the changing worldview of each generation. Most of the students graduating this year were born in 1995.
A look back . . .
1950—the credit card
1955—TV remote control, microwave oven, polio vaccine
1959—1st copy machine
1960—1st heart pacemaker
1962—communications satellite, video games
1967—1st coronary bypass surgery
1969—ATMs “"On Sept. 2, our bank will open at 9:00 and never close again!" —Long Island branch of Chemical Bank, advertisement from 1969
1973—Magnetic Resonance Imaging
1982—1st laptop invented
1989—World Wide Web
More likely to have borrowed $ than their Boomer parents;
their parents foresee 4 years, students pretty sure it will take longer;
many students will take courses taught at a distant university by a professor they will never meet.
The use of smart phones in class may indicate they are reading the assignment they should have read, or they are recording every minute of the lecture. . . Or they are texting the person next to them.
If they admire Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, they may question the value of a college degree in the first place.
Though they’ve never had chicken pox, they are glad to have access to health insurance for a few more years.
By the time they hit their 30s, 4/10 voters will be their generation.
Whatever employers think of them, politicians will pay them close attention
For this generation of entering college students, born in 1995, Dean Martin, Mickey Mantle, and Jerry Garcia have always been dead
Their TV screens get smaller while their parents’ screens grow larger;
they are the sharing generation, having tendencies to share everything, including possessions, no matter how personal;
rights of passage are more to do with having their own cell phone than a driver’s license and car
GM means food that is Genetically Modified
As they started to crawl, so did the news across the bottom of the screen
As their parents held them as infants, they wondered whether it was the baby or Windows 95 that had them more excited
Having a chat seldom involved talking
Gaga has never been baby talk
They could always get rid of their outdated toys on Ebay
They have only known 2 presidents
A tablet is no longer something you take in the morning
Captain Janeway has always taken the USS Voyager where no woman or man has gone before
Spray paint has never been sold legally in Chicago
Courts always been ordering computer network wiretaps
Thanks to Amber alerts, parents have always had community support in keeping children safe
With GPS, they’ve never needed directions
Java has never been just a cup of coffee
Americans and Russians have always cooperated better in orbit than on earth
Their parents have always grieved the passing of Calvin and Hobbes
In their 1st 18 years, they have witnessed the rise and fall of Tiger Woods
The U.S. has always had sanctions against Iran
They have never attended a concert in a smoke-filled arena
As they slept in their cribs, the OKC bomber and Unibomber were doing their deadly work
Don Shula has always been a fine steak house
They’ve never really needed to go to a friend’s house to study together
They’ve always been able to plug into USB ports
Washington DC tour buses have never been able to drive in front of the White House
Their parent’s CD player is so ancient and embarrassing
A Wiki has always been a cooperative web application rather than a shuttle bus in Hawaii
Millennials are looking for people to be real and honest about struggles and temptations
Millennials are seeking authenticity—they have been marketed their whole life and sense when something is fake
“We can find God elsewhere.” (39%)
“It’s not personally relevant.” (35%)
“Church is boring.” (31%)
“It feels like God is missing from church.” (20%)
“The church is out of date.” (8%)
•Attend church to be closer to God (44%)
•Go to learn more about God (37)
Getting outside the humdrum of their every day lives to experience transcendence—worship, prayer, teaching—is a strong desire.
A church is “a place to find answers to live meaningful life.” (65)
"Church is relevant for my life." (54)
"I can be myself at church." (49)
•Millennials are skeptical about the role churches play in society, but their hope is what role the church could play.
Information willing to share
First name only (82%) Last name also (53)
Phone number (12) Email address (33) Physical address (19)
Millennials are the least likely generation to say the church has their best interests at heart (1/3); this is one reason they want to stay ‘off the radar’ until they are comfortable at church
The worship experience begins at the door. Millennials want to know where things are without asking—especially if its their first time at church
Millennials are leaving church in large numbers: 70% raised in church leave in their 20s; 1/3 of those under 30 in US have “no religion”.
Deeper Complaints about the church
More than 1/3 say negative perceptions are a result of moral failures in the church leadership. And substantial majorities of millennials who don’t go to church say they see Christians as judgmental (87), hypocritical (85), anti-homosexual (91) and insensitive to others
The church doesn’t care about the environment, justice issues, or service to the community (church is just ‘going to a building for an hour)
Christianity is aggressive and critical
A Few Final Thoughts
•One on one relationships (not just a number); relationships are more important than programs or style
•Church should model community: love God and love others
•Intergenerational relationships (those who have an older mentor from faith community 59% more likely to stay in church than those who don’t)
•Millennials want a ‘seat at the table’ involved in ministry
“How do we get them to come?” Is the wrong question.
Modern Era Questions (1517-200)
What does regular and consistent church attendance look like?
How can we reach the younger people in our community?
What worship style do we need in order to grow as a church?
Why won’t more people give to the operating budget?
How can we get more people to volunteer?
Post Modern Questions (2000--)
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus now?
How seriously are we willing to engage in Jesus’ teaching?
When Jesus-followers come together, what do they do?
What kind of sacred partnerships do we need in this faith community to support and challenge us to live as disciples?
They want life to have meaning with Christ-centered community.
They can be encouraged to return to church as we understand generational differences and what is meaningful to this demographic—not as a group of people but as individuals; not as a person who warms a pew, but a person who warms a heart through real relationship.