From: Rich Carlson
Date: September 30, 2019
Subject: It's September 30; Good Morning Union

“I wish that you were either hot or cold; just not lukewarm!”          Revelation 3:15

I really enjoy looking at the research that the Barna Institute produces, especially recently as they are looking at the current young-adult generations. Some of their latest research is categorizing young adults who come from Christian backgrounds, to see what effect their Christian upbringing has had on them. His four definitions of sub-groups are:

Prodigals, or ex-Christians, do not identify themselves as Christian despite having attended a Protestant or Catholic church as a child or teen, or having considered themselves to be Christian at some time.

Nomads, or lapsed Christians, identify themselves as Christian but have not attended church during the past month. The vast majority of nomads haven’t been involved with a faith community for six months or more.

Habitual churchgoers describe themselves as Christian and have attended church at least once in the past month, yet do not have foundational core beliefs or behaviors associated with being an intentional, engaged disciple.

Resilient disciples are Christians who (1) attend church at least monthly and engage with their church more than just attending worship services; (2) trust firmly in the authority of the Bible; (3) are committed to Jesus personally and affirm he was crucified and raised from the dead to conquer sin and death; and (4) express desire to transform the broader society as an outcome of their faith.

I’m especially captured by the “resilient disciple” description because that’s what I want for myself and for all my school family. Resiliency implies that I am able to bounce back from a disappointment, able to get back up if I have been knocked down, and able to trust even when all the evidence is not there. Or as I referenced in a song a week or so ago—“I have decided to follow Jesus” – all the way—“No turning back, no turning back.”

I’m going to unpack the four characteristics of a Resilient Disciple a bit this week and challenge myself with their potential application in my life. Hope it’s helpful for you too. But for now I’ll just ask, which category would I place myself in, and if it’s not the fourth one, what do I need to change in my life to move to that place? Let’s see what happens this week.

Have a great day becoming a resilient disciple of Jesus,

Pastor Rich

Quote for the day:      “Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredible healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’”

PS        Today you will be receiving a spiritual life survey called, “Reveal.” It is a standardized instrument to help us measure the spiritual vitality of our campus and is a crucial part of the assessment process of the school. Thanks for taking the time to fill it out when it comes.

PPS      Amber, our liaison to the Human Development Division, has a fun scavenger event for all HD students. It all starts on today at noon in the ad building lobby.