Feb 26 2007

The US – A Religious Melting Pot?

A recent survey conducted by the Institute for Humanistic studies claims that “aethism” is increasing in the United States:

A new survey in the U.S. shows that the number of 18-25 year olds who are atheist, agnostic or nonreligious has increased from 11 percent in 1986 to 20 percent today. Meanwhile a survey of the United States and the five largest countries in Western Europe reveals that religious belief continues to plummet in Europe, with Italy being the only country with a majority believing in any form of God or supreme being. And even in these overwhelmingly godless countries, the young are still significantly less religious than their elders.

While I have not seen the statistics from the actual survey itself (or how they conducted it), I would agree that America is showing signs of becoming a religious “melting pot.” The article continues:

Overall, the US looks a lot like Western Europe 30 or 40 years ago. At that time most Europeans still believed in a god, but younger generations were more atheist and agnostic than their elders. That trend has continued with religion steadily declining, generation by generation.

I have to say that I too am against “religion.” You read that correctly. But I am for a relationship with Jesus. When we try to cram religious principles down the throats of the younger generation, their immediate reaction will be one of contempt. Religion didn’t work 2000 years ago either. But when you build into a relationship while discovering what it means to follow Jesus, everything changes.

The Church (Big C) needs a wake up call. Fortunately, I firmly believe that many churches have already answered the phone. They are finding creative ways to impact their communities; discussions have been generated and technology has been leveraged. I don’t know what “religion” will look like in a 100 years, but I do know that Jesus will never change…and that gives us all hope. Let the battle begin…

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Feb 24 2007

Beatboxing flute inspector gadget remix

For my buddy Jeremy, who loves the flute! Thanks to Greg at Church Video Ideas for the link.

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Feb 24 2007

Blogging In the Forest

Seth Godin poses an interesting question on his blog – “If no one reads your post, does it exist?” This is similar to the old adage, “If a tree falls in the forest…” Why do we write? There are very few blogs that have an active readership, so Seth’s question is a valid one.

Here are my reasons for writing “Bucketology”:

  • It’s an outlet for me to describe how God is affecting my daily life – as I mention in the description, they are snippets from my life experiences.
  • I have never enjoyed “hand writing” in a journal, log, or other paper method. I enjoy leveraging technology in an effective way.
  • I enjoy sharing what other’s have written. What a great way to give props to the creative thoughts and ideas of others! Blogs are an incredibly effective way to learn a lot of information in a short period of time (unfortunately, because of Seth’s insight, a lot of great information is buried in “cyberspace.”)
  • It’s a way for me to leave a legacy for my family and future generations. Granted, it might not be much of a legacy, but it’s mine, and for some reason, my family enjoys getting to know me.

Even if no one reads my blog, or reads it once and doesn’t enjoy it, it’s still a great way for me to “empty my head” and process what’s going on in my life. A blog doesn’t replace personal relationships or communication, but sometimes it’s difficult to strike up a conversation at two in the morning!

So, is anybody out there reading this blog?

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Feb 24 2007

Volunteers – The Backbone of An Organization

Volunteers are a very important part of any organization. That’s why we take great care to honor our volunteers and to let them know they’re doing a great job. Of course we also hold them accountable when needed because we feel that God wants us to lead our volunteers and to help them discover their giftedness and unique contributions. Sometimes that means difficult conversations. Ultimately, we want to help our volunteers find their giftedness, in the area of their heart’s desire, using their abilities, accommodating their personality, while building experiences.

While we find ways to recognize our volunteers throughout the year, we also have a special celebration once a year to give public recognition to all of our volunteers. This has been a great event in the past, but we are trying to brainstorm some creative ideas on how to celebrate with our volunteers. Mark Batterson describes how they honor their volunteers in this post. Very cool.

How do you recognize your volunteers? What are some creative ideas that you would recommend?

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Feb 22 2007

C3 – Turning What If Into What Is

Tony Morgan has posted his thoughts about the opening day of the C3 Conference. Several of us will be attending the regional C3 site in St. Louis in a few months. Ed Jr. is the main speaker, with an afternoon of breakouts. It should be a great mini-conference!

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