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THE CHURCH

THE CHURCH FROM BELOW


The Church is a natural community It fulfills many socialization needs
There is recognizable fellowship in the Church There is a sense of community which is foundational (not a luxury, but a necessity)
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THE CHURCH FROM BELOW


The Church is a political community
There are socially ordered relationships and patterns of authority and decision-making It is not a question of whether politics will exist in the Church; rather, it is only a question of the quality of the politics Ol Boy networks often are alive and well. This is not entirely negative, but can have some negative considerations There are positive considerations as well
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SENIORS
Birth Years: before 1926 Formative Factors
World War I Great Depression

Serious about faith, close relationship with God Appreciate stability


Close family ties Rooted in community

Generation least affected by stress Actively engaged in church, volunteer activities Part of the Greatest Generation
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BUILDERS
Birth Years: 1927-1945 Formative Factors
Great Depression World War II Cold War

Appreciate stability
Family, Community, Friends, Employment Not open to change- prefer predictability

Emphasis on Duty, Obligation Part of the Greatest Generation Satisfaction found in simple things
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BOOMERS
Birth Years: 1946-1964
Formative Factors
Cold War 60s: Counter-Cultural Movement Vietnam

Question authority (the establishment) Uncertain of the relevance of the church Curious mixture of laissez faire and utilitarianism Search for Excellence in all of life
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BUSTERS
Birth Years: 1965-1983
Formative Factors:
Watergate Vietnam Syndrome Inflation, Unemployment Age of limitations

Question authority (Boomers are Establishment now!) First generation not to have it better Interested in process of growth, embrace change Disenchanted with superficial stuff- even in church!
Interested in relationships, involvement Want options, not directions Feel abandoned, are disillusioned

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MOSAICS/MILLENNIALS
Birth Years: 1984-2002
Formative Factors
End of Cold War MTV Age/Clinton Presidency Desert Storm


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The Digital Generation (non-linear thinking) High Levels of Stress/Anxiety Self-Reliant- and Skeptical! Interest in spirituality Believe in the Bible- but not in absolute truth! Brighter than previous generations (IQ) Relationships more important than achievement
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GENERATIONAL VALUE SYSTEMS


Key Factors in Generational Identity, per Strauss and Howe, The Fourth

Turning, An American Prophecy

A Common Location in History Common Beliefs Perceived Membership in a common generation


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GENERATIONAL VALUE SYSTEMS


The major generational watershed, as far as religious beliefs and practices are concerned, is between those who in our research we call Pre-boomers (born prior to 1946) and those who have come after. Although Boomers (born 1946-1964) and Xers (born 1965-1979) differ in some respects, they are much more like each other than like Pre-boomers. Jackson Caroll, Circuit Rider, 22:5

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GENERATIONAL VALUE SYSTEMS


G.I. Generation Value Cohort (pre-1946) Consumer Generation Value Cohort (post 1946)
Deferred Pleasure vs. Instant Gratification Group vs. Individual Orientation Assumptions of Sameness vs. Difference Spirituality of Place vs. Spirituality of Pilgrimage

Results: Bimodal Congregations, Gil Rendle,

The Multigenerational Congregation


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CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS
Currently, 75% of Americans are Caucasian By 2050, only 50% of Americans will be Caucasian The Hispanic population has overtaken AfricanAmericans as the largest minority population In some areas of the country (e.g., parts of California), there is no longer a majority population Racial and Ethnic diversity- a fact of life 15-20% of population moves every year
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CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS
Behavior Watch MTV Registered to vote Have been divorced Take anti-depressants Watched X-rated movie (last 3 months) Received prof counseling Filed lawsuit this year
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Christian 19% 83% 27% 7% 76%

NonChristian 24% 79% 23% 8% 87%

15% 3%

15% 4%
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CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS
Contemporary American Beliefs:
God helps those who help themselves, 81% All religions teach equally valid truths, 40% All people pray to the same G/god, 53% If you do enough good, you will go to heaven, 55% Jesus was not resurrected physically, 40% The Bible is not completely true in all it teaches, 34% The primary purpose of life is enjoyment, 58% Satan is not real, only a symbol of evil, 60% Whatever works is the only truth you can know, 32%>
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THE CHURCH FROM BELOW


A community of common language: meanings, priorities, and values. This becomes conventional for the In-Group A community of Interpretation:
Common meanings The difficulty of translation

A community of memory and understanding:


Characterized by an inner continuity and empathy among persons who have understood and relived the same events. It has a shared story.
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THE CHURCH FROM BELOW


The Church is a community of action and belief: it espouses a mission or a purpose which can be expressed in many forms of action
Evangelism Education Edification Worship
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THE CHURCH FROM BELOW


A sociological description of church: the church is a body of persons who share some measure of common life, values, meaning, and loyalty. It has an historical continuity, identifiable by certain beliefs, ways of work, rites, outlooks, and feelings. It may be more; But it is at least the above.
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THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD


The First Church: Orthodox Churches, the Roman Catholic Church; Protestant churches in Eastern Europe, Greece, Middle East, Ethiopia, South India
The culture tolerates Christianity at best; in some instances, governments are openly antagonistic There is a certain reliance on the spiritual legacy of what has gone before. In some instances, this substitutes for vital Christianity There are examples (e.g., Poland, Russia) of a renewal of traditional Christian churches.
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THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD


The Second Church: Western Europe, USA, Canada, Australia
The second church is undergoing a time of serious crisis
Malaise and apathy Ground for renewal (Pentecostalism, evangelical churches)

The effect of materialism Breakdown in commitment Yet, a renewed interest in spirituality among young people
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THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD


The Third Church: Central and South America, Africa, Asia

A developing church, characterized by youth and activity In the stage of early commitment Many forms of lay leadership prominent New relationships with the second church Legacy of Liberation Theology remains Pentecostalism is quite prominent
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A simplicity and integrity to it A church of the poor

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THE CHURCH & CULTURE


Christ Against Culture
The Christ of Culture
Christ Above Culture
Christ opposed to culture, either-or (Tertullian) Agreement, guiding civilization (Lib. Protestants)

Christ and Culture in Paradox

Synthetic (Aquinas)- affirming, transcending


Duality, both obeyed (Luther)

Christ Transforming Culture


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Antithesis, yes, but Christ converts men and cultures (Calvin)


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THE CHURCH