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Posted by on Oct 29, 2019 in Culture, Theology, Work | 8 comments

What’s Really Happening to American Christianity?

What’s Really Happening to American Christianity?

The Pew Research Center recently published an alarming report: “In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace.” Since 2009, the religiously unaffiliated have risen from 17% of the population to 26% in 2018/19.  And today only 65% of Americans identify as Christians, down from 77% only a decade ago. The report points out that there’s a generational dynamic at work as well. A full 8 in 10 members of the Silent Generation are Christians, as are 3/4 baby boomers. Yet today, less than half of Millennials call themselves Christians, and 4/10 are religious “nones.”  That is, when asked about their religious affiliation, they respond “nothing in particular.” There are now 30 million more “nones” in America than there were just a decade ago. Sobering stuff. Whether it be church attendance or looking at the religious preferences of Whites, Blacks or Hispanics, the decline of Christian belief in the past generation of Americans seems to be picking up steam. Some push back on this thesis. Glenn Stanton, a conservative...

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Posted by on Oct 3, 2019 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Spiritual Disciplines for Your Work: A Reflection Guide

Spiritual Disciplines for Your Work: A Reflection Guide

Recently my colleague Brian Gray, COO and 5280 Fellowship Director, wrote a short reflection guide for our donors on living out the Christian life in our daily work. Here’s my introduction to the booklet. If you’d like to receive monthly updates or receive a booklet, visit here. Dear friends, When I was a new Christian, one of the first things I learned from my involvement in campus ministry was that Christians are supposed to have a daily “quiet time.” This usually involved structured Bible reading, perhaps a devotional book, and — if I was particularly motivated or had the time — a list of prayer requests.  Daily devotions worked for me for years, but eventually, I grew tired of them. I had read the stories, done the prayers, experimented with dozens of devotional books. Eventually, I fell away from morning devotionals. And for years, I felt a deep sense of shame. Was I failing? What was wrong with my spiritual life? Had God left me completely?  Strangely enough, in...

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Posted by on Sep 9, 2019 in retirement, Theology, Work | 0 comments

How will I spend my time in retirement?

How will I spend my time in retirement?

“The first thing you have to know about retirement,” says Allan Spies, a 68-year-old retired US West executive, “is that you could live another 40 years.” Spies recalled a conversation he had with his pastor when he was on the cusp of an early retirement in his 50s. The pastor reminded Spies of all the time he had ahead of him As Spies started to spend his newfound time, he was also jarred by how much his schedule changed. “The other thing you’ve got to know,” he says, “is that suddenly your clock changes.” Many enter retirement busied and harried from the last few months of work. Then, like jumping off a moving train, the forward momentum comes to an abrupt halt. Weekdays melt into weekends. Long breakfasts can become early lunches. The time that was lacking in the pressure of raising a family and pursuing a career now floods into a quiet home.   After an initial honeymoon period, many early retirees find themselves quickly looking for structure...

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Posted by on Jul 22, 2019 in business, Faith and Work Movement, Theology, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Lessons Learned from the Global Workplace Forum

Lessons Learned from the Global Workplace Forum

I recently returned from the Global Workplace Forum, a conference hosted in Manila by the Lausanne Movement. Started in 1974 by John Stott and Billy Graham, the Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization gathered people from around the world; last week, 850 leaders from 109 different countries met to discuss the next phase of the global missions movement: the activation of the workplace as the central arena of God’s mission in the world. The highlight was meeting the people* sitting at my table, a small group that discussed the larger live sessions. My table was gloriously diverse:  Jonathan is from India and works in a sports ministry. Because of increased persecution of Christians in India under a Hindu nationalist government, Jonathan shared about his worry for his family, but also said “We’re 100% committed to bringing the gospel to our country.” He plays cricket, hosts a youth group in his home, and humbly serves God in a 650 square-foot flat with his wife and three children, one of whom is an adopted 19-year-old.Solomon works...

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Posted by on Jun 25, 2019 in Faith and Work Movement, Theology, Work | 0 comments

The Global Workplace Forum: A New Era for Global Mission

The Global Workplace Forum: A New Era for Global Mission

Today I fly to Manila. I’m on my way to speak at the Global Workplace Forum, a gathering of 730 leaders from over 100 countries. Convened by the Lausanne Movement, which was started by Billy Graham and John Stott in the 1970s, today feels like a turning point for how the world’s Christians are understanding the word “mission.” As I prepare to sit on a panel with a man working with nomadic tribes in Kyrgyzstan, a clinical psychologist from Nairobi, a Filipino-American woman who now works in Silicon Valley expanding Apple stores across the world, and a man who’s worked in global business from the Middle East to Canada, I’m reminded of several truths. I’m reminded of the diverse and far reaching nature of the Church. I’m reminded that technology has created, in many ways, a single global culture. And I’m reminded of the truth that 99% of the world’s Christians have non-occupational ministry jobs, and the workplace is fast becoming the new frontier for global mission. Thinking back...

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Posted by on Apr 4, 2019 in business, Culture, Economy, Theology, Work, World | 0 comments

Dreading Monday (Comment Magazine)

Dreading Monday (Comment Magazine)

The spiritual crisis underneath our jobs. Reviewing:  Working The New Press, 2004. 640pp.  Bullshit Jobs: A Theory Simon & Schuster, 2018. 368pp. The Job: Work and Its Future in a Time of Radical Change Currency, 2018. 416pp. “I had no concept of the horrible dread I would feel getting up in the morning to spend all day sitting in an office trying to waste time.” Rachel grew up in a poor family yet graduated from a prestigious British university with a physics degree. Yet soon after graduation, student debt forced her to take a job as a “catastrophe risk analyst” at a big insurance company. Rachel recalls the day she hit an existential tipping point at her new job: The final straw came after months of complaining, when I met my friend Mindy for a drink after a week of peak bullshit. I had just been asked to color coordinate a mind map to show, “the nice-to-haves, must-haves, and would-like-to-have-in-the-futures.” (No, I have no ideas what that means, either.) She ranted at...

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