Reflecting on EDC Dave Kinnaman's Presentation – Notes and Thoughts – Post 4

Last week I had posted a little from the Eastern District Conference.  Here are some of my notes from Dave’s presentation.  I encourage to get a copy.  Admittedly the research gets kinda heavy.  Dave apparently knew that and perhaps this is the reason he concludes each chapter with a vignette that illustrates the point.  But this is content that we as church leaders, vocational and lay, should not only have accessible but be working on understanding.  As in, answering how did we get here?

Impressions non-Christians between the ages of 16-29 have of Christians:

  • Judgmental – 87%
  • anti-homosexual – 91% 
  • hypocritical – 80%
  • too political 75%
  • sheltered – 78%
  • proselytizers – 70%

– This is our brand image in the market place

– What I am not suggesting is that we take a poll and roll out a religion that people want.  

– we know that we will be persecuted for our faith.

– Indeed we need to address sin.

  •  What young Christians and non-Christians said

– present day Christianity is no longer like Jesus intended

– it’s a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy (loved that part)

– This is the primary conception that people have. 

  • Some see the Church as “ASSAULT” and “LITE” as opposed to “Salt” and “Light” 
  • America may be a missions field but it’s actually a field of different missions
  • Opportunities in the Post Christian Culture

– opportunity to change the culture war backlash (and the political backlash often associated)

– we can say this is what true discipleship looks like.

– social justice opportunities.  Many younger generations are  

   very interested in serving.  

  • A Healthier global awareness of leadership
  • Confront our Hyper Individualism
  • Pluralistic Culture 

 work alongside people of other faiths to help our cities

     – Desire for transparency 

– project-focused churches

– our agenda becomes (not to get you on our campus) but how can we benefit/serve the community.

     – Search for Purpose

– empowering students to pursue their vocations

Spiritual entrepreneurs

   – Chuck Colson – agent of God’s common grace …

   – Mike Foster – porn talk

   – Junky Car Club – living with less so others can have more

   – Catherine Rohr – coaches prisoners to develop business plans

   – Most prisoners are the best entrepreneurs just bad guidance

   – Jamie Twarkowski – to write love on her arms

   – Tim McMahaon – started a Mormon blog

   – to talk about Mormonism, beliefs, non-beliefs, etc.

   – Common Good – Rescuers – Conversational –  Imago Dei

– It’s as much a problem to confront our self-righteousness as it is to confront unrighteous.  

– Perhaps our greatest problem is due to how our superficiality has shaped us as the Church.

* I take my share of responsibility in all of this.  My heart is grieved by some of my words, actions, attitudes, etc.  And these are just the things that I know about.  Indeed I have repented (and still in the process of in certain aspects) of these moments but I regret the damage I’ve caused to the Church/Body/Christ’s followers.  

I know many were touched by the scene in Blue Like Jazz when Don and his friends set up a reverse confession booth.  When someone entered, they as Christians apologized for, in short, not living up to the calling the Church has received.  There have been many moments prior to and since that have had a similar spirit.  I mention this, not because I think this is reverse confession booth idea is a strategy that needs to be immediately employed, but rather to give an easy example of Christians taking responsibility.  

It’s sentences like you just read that get me in trouble.  But I cannot delete it or edit further but here is a disclaimer.  I am not stating that all the world’s problems are exclusively due to the Church’s failure(s).  That would be among our most arrogant assumptions.  We simply do not have the power to do that.  Again, where we are failing is in not living up to our calling and failing to live the Gospel and being faithful disciples making the most of the opportunities given before us.

Certainly, the Church has taken the initiative on many great things and God has used us in many beautiful ways and at times, in spite of ourselves.  We have the potential to do so much more, if we would allow the Lord to be at work in us.  Unfortunately, it will be difficult and it will hurt.  But thankfully, it will glorify the Lord and build the Kingdom.


  1. […] on Others | Tags: black coffee reflections, Dave Kinnaman, Tim Ghali, unChristian I recently read a post by my friend Tim Ghali about a seminar he attended with guest speaker David Kinnaman, author of […]

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