January 30, 2005

The Cosmic Misunderstanding

I just had the weirdest conversation. My friend (a girl) asked me about guys and why it is that they - guys - think that if a girl is even remotely attractive, the girl has led him on. Usually this involves talking between the two, but not necessarily.

I didn't know how to respond to that at first. But then it hit me - guys are simple. No really, we are. I mean, on some level we're way more complicated, but fundamental operations for guys are pretty easy - we look at the stuff we think is nice (women, guitars, and things with engines).

Now, when it comes to our interactions with women, there's this large - universal - idea that guys are arrogant. It's not that. Well, it is that, but not to the guys. What every girl calls arrogance is really a sort of cosmic misunderstanding on a hormonal level - guys think with their balls a lot, but this causes them to think that they're thinking with their heart or, God forbid, their head. Now, when they're genuinely thinking with their head or heart, they're pretty nice people. Some guys do this more than others.

The thing is, Christian guys are the worst culprits. Christian guys think that, "hey, we've got Jesus, we're saved, we can't possibly think with our balls because that would be un-Christian. Jesus didn't, why would He let us?" And so when a rather attractive girl comes along and talks to them, they begin to think "hey, she likes me, I want her, I must be in love." They think the girl is hitting on them, when maybe (usually) the girl just wants to talk. They get their "emotions" (hormones) involved and and then the girl discovers that they're no different from other guys. And so they feel led on, and the poor girl thinks she's done something terrible by talking to them.

So the answer is this - girls, I am so terribly sorry, but you'll just have to be patient. If a guy thinks he's been led on but you really didn't, don't think much of it, just ignore it and move on. I mean, if you are leading on guys, stop it, we've got it hard enough trying to really think with our heads (it's like being in the matrix, how can you really tell if you're thinking with your head or if your balls are telling you you're thinking with your head?).

But if you're just trying to be friends - just understand that we tend to think with other organs more than with our brains. I try not to anymore (outside of my marriage, where it's ok occasionally), but I'm married - I have an object of affection, and she's wonderful. But I used to, and I abused it. So take it from me - just be patient. The right guy will come along, and sooner or later you'll notice that he thinks with his head and maybe his heart more than other things. And all will be well, and there will be much rejoicing ...

January 27, 2005


I'm sitting here in shock. I just came from my Christian History class, and I couldn't believe the last half of class. Professor Cadorette spent the last half of class talking about the Lutheran reformation and what happened during that period of time. What shocked me was what happened between the various denominations of Christianity in Europe.

It's no wonder that the world has a bad taste in its mouth in regards to Christians. Medieval Chrsitianity (what some regard as Catholicism's simultaneous highest and lowest point in history) was brutal. You either conformed to their way of thinking or were burned at the stake as a heretic. Huss, Zwiegel, etc. were all tried and burned. Then Luther comes along, manages (through the hand of God or possibly pure luck) not to be caught (Fredrick the Wise was a nice guy, I guess; he didn't seem to have bought into the Catholic church's notion of heresy, despite that he was Catholic). So he publishes the 95 theses and lots of people agree with him.

And suddenly we have this revolution (I laugh at the term "revival") on our hands again. The worst part is that everyone thinks that they're right. Lutherans (or, in German, the Evangelical Church) think they're right, Catholics think they're right, Calvinists isolate themselves and think they're right, and they all fight amongst themselves. Catholics killing Calvinists killing Lutherans killing Catholics. But they ALL hate the Anabaptists, a group of pacifists, and from what I can tell, the only ones at that time who really seemed to get it. Yeah, they probably weren't completely right (I can't seem to figure out of they did any evangelism at all, but I can understand given the environment they lived in - sometimes your life is the best evangelism you need).

So that was my morning. And I understand now why it is that the world has a thing against Christians. It's not that the message of Jesus is bad. It's not - it's the best message a guy can home to get. It's that Christians, not Jesus, have killed the gospel. It's like our theological bickering and our little tracts and our focus on the "me" in Jesus (which there isn't, really) - did I mention our bickering? - and our failure to serve and instead our propegation of orthodoxy ... it all forces this vinegar into the sweet sugar that is Jesus. Instead of loving people like Jesus did, we tell them that they're supposed to do this THING ... we don't introduce them to this guy we know, we introduce them to a system.

So it begs the question - how much do we (supposed-Jesus followers) love our neighbors? How much do we care about people and not our comfortable way of doing things? How much are we willing to give up our selfish ways, our comfort, our system, our pride at being "right", and our ideas of ministry, and instead focus on the real reason Jesus came - humanity. Jesus came to set us ALL free, not to start a new religion or to set us to arguing over who gets to go to heaven and all that, but to tell us He loves us and to live with us and to teach us by showing us who He is.

So that's my rant for the day. I felt really awful after class and I had to get it out of my system. I have one thing left to say:

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry that for so long, we've - I've - corrupted Jesus for the rest of the world, I'm sorry that I didn't get it through my thick skull, I'm sorry to all of you that I've hurt because of my stubbornness and pride. If I can make it up to you, let me know, and I'll do my best. But please know that Jesus loves you, even if I haven't. And know that He wants to meet you and talk with you face to face. This is my wish for you, because it's more wonderful than you can possibly imagine.

January 25, 2005

The All-New iChicken

I was looking through my bookmarks in explorer to get rid of the excess and rediscovered this website. I think these were my favorite two answers to the question, "why did the chicken cross the road?"

Steve Jobs: "Because of the brand-new iChicken- a portable device that crosses roads, lays eggs, gives wakeup calls and provides dinner, automatically. This amazing device can simply plug in to the $4000 iCoop to produce additional iChickens and recharge existing iChickens, or plug it into the $9000 iChop to convert iChicken files into iFood. iFood-to-Regular Food converters sell for an additional $50/month fee, however the optional iFood-to-FoodXP converter is still in development. iChickens are only available from authorized iDealers, which can be found in nearly every US state. If your iChicken develops a disease or stops working, you must send it by FedEx Overnight to Littleton, Montana and our iTechnicians will send you a replacement within 3 months. The iChicken. Wow."

Bill Gates: "I have just released eChicken 2003, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook - and Internet Explorer is an inextricable part of eChicken."

January 23, 2005

Holy Holism

For a few months now, I've been searching for the root of emergent philosophy, for some common thread between the prolific writing of the various authors and pastors; I've been baffled the whole time.

I first thought it might just be a disdain for the modern church, but that's not entirely true, because many (not all) of them seem fairly supportive of the modern church's efforts at reaching a certain kind of person. Then I thought that maybe it was that they liked to talk about culture, because that kept popping up in their discussions on relevance, on connecting. That didn't seem to be the whole story, so I kept searching. Then I came upon what I knew must be the answer: relationships. They all talked about people having relationships, being in community and groups together, that sort of thing. But the modernists talk about similar subjects in a slightly different light. So that wasn't it.

But then it hit me. I was reading a book by Erwin McManus this afternoon and it dawned on me that every single one of the postmodern emergent writers I've read are holists. I couldn't believe it, because it's been sitting under my nose since last semester's project on David Wilson's book Darwin's Cathedral, and I ignored it. But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.

For those of you who don't know, holism is a philosophy that's recently emerged from ... well, just about everywhere. People are starting to think that maybe it's time to stop micromanaging and look at the big picture. This has a lot of applications. For one, it means combining a million and one various Christian traditions (both past and present) into one coherent faith, keeping the good parts (the ones that reflect scripture) and dropping the bad parts (the culturally-indoctrinated, non-Biblical parts), while also integrating new, culturally-relevant but Biblically-sound ideas.

Second, it means that one must look over the whole Bible when discussing a part of it. Holism, for one, states that "the whole is more than the sum of its parts." Christian Holists, for lack of a better name for these guys (no girls yet, but I heard about somebody named Sally Morgenthaler who sounded interesting), look at the Bible as a large, interconnected story, and not just as a collection of individual bullet points. In other words, every part of the Bible is relevant to every other part. This means that yes, Malachi is part of the greater work and just as important as, say, the gospel of John, just like Genesis, just like Revelation, and just like ... oh, pick any book you haven't read yet - it'll fit. Jesus is central to the story, but He's just as much the author as a participant and character. The Grand Story (or as C.S. Lewis put it, the Great Dance) is of ultimate importance to these guys; past, present, and future fit together like an ornate jigsaw puzzle (smacking of predestination theology), and yet freedom of choice is an integral part (free-will theology). As my friend Mike says, "you can't be a Christian and not accept paradoxes."

He's an emergent Christian.

I know, I know, I promised I'd never use the word "Christian" anymore, but it's getting harder and harder to avoid it; it takes more time to type out "Jesus-Follower" (involving more keys and key combinations). Yes, I'm a slacker. Stink.

Anyway, third, Christian Holists are concerned globally, for the world at large. They are just as interested in community growth as in individual spiritual growth. There's a tennet in holism called "organismic integration" which seems to apply here - holist philosophers look at every group as organisms. Wilson called it "mulitilevel selection theory" when he talked about natural selection, but this seems to be a concept that overflows into every field of study. A church is an organism the same way a person made of lots of cells is an organism the same way that humanity is an orgnaism made up of lots of other organisms. The same way the world is an organism made up of humans and animals and plants and dirt and rocks and insects.

And fishes. I like the fishes.

The last thing that these philosophers are very concerned with is balance. Most of them acknowledge that all of the concepts they talk about aren't that new - they're all in scripture, after all - but that they are merely pointing out concepts to which many in the older churches have blinded themselves, mostly out of a fear of change. Balance seems to be important to them for so many reasons: it's healthy, it's necessary for life to continue, it's built into creation, and the list goes on. From this comes a concern for many things, from the environment to personal health, from spiritual vitality to worship: every piece has its place, in such and such a proportion. Holists speak of the dangers of over-dependence upon technology, of being overly busy, of doing too much of one thing or another. Instead, they advocate moderation and balance, allowing the natural mechanisms that God built into creation to work. They don't claim that this is easy, only that it is necessary.

My apologies for such a long post, but I'm getting to the point where every new book I read confirms this view, and there's a LOT of information to talk about. I'm not quite to the point where I know where music fits into the grand scheme of things, but I'm getting there. Gotta balance my work load with my social life, I guess.

January 18, 2005

A Poem

Have you ever taken a class that was supposed to inspire you and somehow you found yourself bored to tears? Have you ever hoped to be enthralled by something that's supposed to be entertaining and wonderful, but had the rug of hope pulled from under your proverbial feet?

I experienced this in my archeology class today. I'm only auditing it, so I don't have to do the reading, but I was interested. Like, I really wanted to learn about archeology. What I realize now is that I wanted to hear stories. I wanted to have somebody tell me all about the world of the ancients, to learn from the past so I can look to the future.

But the prof killed it. Seriously killed it, like, he didn't tell any stories without spelling out the names of the people in them, and despite his attempts to tell stories, he rambled on so many tangents that the class lost its appeal.

So I decided to be productive. I drew two pen-drawings (a sword and a picture of some ruins), and wrote this poem. Enjoy.

Hear, all, and remember the Kings of old
Lament, o humanity, and remember
Those kingdoms have passed on
The nobility of the ancients is but a whisper from the ages
Heroic deeds of men are but a memory

Bur rejoice, all the earth
For greater deeds are yet to come
Heros will rise again
Honor is not lost, wisdom will endure
The warrior king will come
And peace shall reign forever

January 17, 2005

The Problem of Sin

So you all know I've been doing a lot of reading lately. Here's the reason: I have to write a senior thesis. The topic I've chosen is the postmodern world (and the transition from the modern world), the Christian response called the "emergent church," and how music fits in there. Why I did this, I'm not quite sure, because the more I read, the more confused I get. It's like the postmoderns haven't quite figured out what to do with themselves, but they do know that the moderns haven't gotten it quite right.

I've been pondering the topic quite a bit, because of (and sometimes, in spite of) my reading. The latest project is called "Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel". Good thing they talk about humility in the book. While I realize that it's a "wake-up call" for the church, I was a little worried about the title, and yet strangely excited as well. It got me thinking.

What's the point? I think that I've spent the last however many months/years trying to figure out what the point of all this is. Ministry, I mean. According to the postmoderns, the modernist church says it's about "winning" converts (like it's a game), "taking the city (or wherever) for Jesus" (like it's a conquest or burglary), and the like. They talk a lot about sin management, for starters, and about separating yourself from people so you don't get "contaminated" by the Godless infidel culture of modern/postmodern America. At least, this is what all the authors I've read have been saying. I more or less agree with them, although I'm not sure I'd put it quite as harshly.

But here's my latest revelation: sin isn't the problem. I mean, it's a problem, but it's not THE problem; it's a symptom of a larger problem. The problem seems to be something a little harder to deal with - evil. Sin is sort of an expression of evil, something that happens as a result of evil. I mean, actions aren't really evil in and of themselves - they're not evil a priori. Some actions are described as evil, like killing your mother because she didn't let you have your favorite ice cream for breakfast. That'd be pretty evil of someone to do. But there inlays the irony: it's the motivation behind it that's evil. Evil is a force, it's a current in affairs, it's a set of motivations, as much as it is a rather disgruntled former-arch angel trying to pit the world against the kingdom of heaven. When Lucifer decided to go against the will of God, he became evil in his intent.

Actions are like the people who commit them - they are capable of great evil, but also of great good. Some actions can be both, depending on what motivation was behind them. I'm not as sure I can support this last one, but if I think of a good example, I'll post it. Any input is, as always, welcome.

January 11, 2005


Have you noticed that we have this obsession with labeling everything?

I have. I've been puzzling over this recently, as I've continued my investigation into the modern church and how the modern approach must be altered (or destroyed and created anew) to serve the postmodern generation. It would appear that modernist churches have begun to reflect the culture in which they evolved, labeling everything and everyone. For example, the churches all have a corporation-like leadership structure, complete with executive senior pastor, assistant senior pastor, secretaries, worship pastors, etc.


I'm thinkin, yeah. And I can't quite figure out why this bothers me so much. I mean, it makes sense to have everything organized. It makes sense to make sure everybody knows who's who and who does what jobs and that sort of thing. But then again, nobody in the first church was really labeled, except for function. They did the stuff they were good at, and the older ones who knew more were "elders" so they could help people. Not really labels, but more like descriptions. Or let's take it back further, to Jesus. His followers weren't labeled by rank either, they were just called "disciples" because they happened to be following Jesus around. Same deal, they were described, not labeled.

Which was cool, because nobody could get a big head and be like "I'm the one in charge here, don't mess with me." This isn't a statement about my church, mind you, our senior pastor is an awesome guy who loves his congregation very much, and so do a lot of other pastors. But for some reason, the church decided it should label everyone and put them in a heirarchy.

I don't get that.

It seems to make sense from a business standpoint, but the church isn't a business - it's a group of people serving God. We're not "for-profit," we're prophets. We're on a mission to bring the world to experience God, to know Jesus, not on a mission to build bigger buildings and raise our salaries.

Maybe in the next generation of churches we should settle for team leadership, for the minimum of titles necessary so that nobody thinks they're better than anyone else. Maybe the teams should be an example of how the church should be as a whole - a dynamic community.

Please leave me your thoughts on this one, I'm not really sure what to do with it.

January 10, 2005

Lessons from Canada

My wife and I were given a wonderful wedding gift that we were finally able to, ah, cash-in on this weekend. Our friend gave us a one-night stay at this really ritzy hotel in Toronto. Very shiny, with everything except the Jacuzzi we had hoped for. We had a pretty good time, but I also learned a whole lot. I'd like to share some of the wisdom I gained this weekend, in hopes that when you go to Toronto (or Canada in general), you are better prepared to face what you find there.

1. Canadians Mark the Wrong Things
As it turns out, Canadians must have some kind of impeccable sense of direction. Or they never know where they're going. Because there were lots of signs everywhere, but very few of them made reference to a street. In fact, most of the signs we saw were of the "drive careful" variety (these were everywhere). We discovered later that the Canadians DO actually mark their streets, but they hide the signs behind other signs, lamp posts, and other colorful decorations. Why? I don't know, but it was very frustrating. We spent the entire vacation looking for this one street called "Lower Simco St." and found it as we were leaving. It was a tiny little street under construction, which brings me to my next insight:

2. Don't Trust Mapquest. Ever.
I learned this the hard way. The street we tried so hard to find - Lower Simco - was a street referenced by the mapquest directions that I downloaded to get to our hotel. When we eventually found it, we discovered that it was a one-lane road under construction hidden in a dark alley without a streetlight.

The directions also told us to take the Gardener Expressway East, and then to "take the exit". Yes, that's right - take THE exit. As if there's only one. I must confess, this was my mistake because I missed that in the directions when I downloaded them. This got us lost in ghetto Toronto. As it turns out, the ghetto-slums are out sort of next to the city and look like suburbs, except for the trolley tracks going everywhere.

3. Make sure you know what ARE and what are NOT streets.
trolley tracks. I hate them now. I'm Swiss, which means I'm very used to trains, train-tracks, and trolley-tracks everywhere you look. But this was just rediculous. There were trolly tracks up most of the streets, especially in the ghetto-suburbs and even in downtown. And as it turns out, sometimes, the middle is reserved for just trolleys ... but they didn't mark it. And so here I come, a dumb American who has been pampered by well-marked streets (even in Rochester), and I turn left into what I think is a street, running parallel to a very large sidewalk.

I was wrong.

I actually turned onto a Trolley track. I discovered this when I ended up driving behind the trolley. Oops. Liz starts yelling at me, I look up, and there it is. It's a good thing that I have an SUV because it gives me the added advantage of being able to drive up and over large curbs. Which I did quickly.

4. Snowplowing
No, Canadians do not know how to snowplow. At all. Well, that's not true. Sometimes they do, but it's only after the snow has stopped and they have about ten hours to clear the roads. We drove through Buffalo to get to the border. Buffalo had nice roads, like they're used to snow, and expect it to visit them regularly. We crossed the border without incident. The minute we hit Canadian soil ... it was covered with snow. And not just a little slush. I'm talking like, a good six inches of packed snow, and much more on the areas that weren't being driven on. And the Canadians just sort of ignored it, driving along on their merry way. I thought we were done for right then, but then again, I love my new car. Funny how our car accident was a blessing in disguise.

5. Driving
This is the only compliment I will pay to Canadians in this blog, and figured I should do it last because we actually enjoyed our little sojurn, despite the difficulties. Canadians are some of the best drivers I've ever met. They were really nice on the road, letting you merge if you had to (assuming you signaled, which they all did), and they obeyed traffic rules. I never once saw a single accident, and I never saw a single car run a red-light. When the light turned yellow, they all slowed down and stopped. Americans cannot claim this. I don't go a day here without seeing somebody run a stop-sign or run a red light. But not in Canada. It's not even like they have enough police to enforce anything. Traffic flow was never really a problem either, except maybe once in ghetto-ville. Maybe it's because they make their traffic system so daunting that nobody wants to drive, in fear of getting lost.

So that was our stay in Canada, a brief overnight in Toronto. We got to go to the Medieval Times place for dinner and a show, which was way fun (once I found it, again, thanks to mapquest). I highly recommend you go sometime.

Just make sure you take a map.

January 6, 2005

Healthy Fear

I read a rather interesting description of the gospel of Jesus today. Well, actually yesterday, but I re-read it today. And it was very compelling. Again. Like, it's a true statement but it goes against every version I've ever heard presented, very un-PC, very counter-intuitive, very mysterious. I liked it. And here it is, in all of its copied-from-the-book glory, from Donald Miller's Searching for God Knows What. Enjoy.

"You are the bride to the Bridegroom, and the Bridegroom is Jesus Christ. You must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood to know Him, and your union with Him will make you one, and your oneness with Him will allow you to be identified with Him, His purity wallowing God to interact with you, and because of this you will be with Him in eternity, sitting at His side and enjoying His companionship, which will be more fulfilling than an earthly husband or earthly bride. All you must do to engage God is be willing to leave everything behind, be willing to walk away from your identity, and embrace joyfully the trials and tribulations, the torture and perhaps martyrdom that will come upon you for being a child of God in a broken world working out its own redemption in empty pursuits."

And then Miller says "though it sounds absurd, this is a much more accurate summation of the gospel of Jesus than the bullet points we like to consider when we think about Christ's message to humanity." Interesting? I think so. Compelling? Definitely. Creepy?


I had to think hard about it before I decided I kinda liked it, because it's so ... it sounds so rediculous. It definitely uses language that we tend to try and avoid, because we think it might scare somebody, or make them feel inadequate, or make them feel bad. Which is really kinda funny, because I also heard a guy on the radio today where he - the guy - talked about how a healthy sense of fear - of God, of a parent, of authority - is a good thing. Not an unhealthy amount (like too much or too little), but just the right size, like a medium drink or something. That made sense too. And I thought hey, that's pretty cool - just enough fear of God to try not to screw up our lives, and a whole lot of love for Him tends to make a really great relationship. Like, you might do whatever you wanted if you weren't afraid of the consequences. That's what I think he means by a "healthy amount" of fear - just afraid enough of the consequences to think before you act. Like driving a car.

I know about driving. I've driven a lot. I like driving, it's pretty fun, especially when you have a new car and stuff. Like my new car. It's not really new, but it's new to me, and that makes it seem very special. But I have my new car because I ran the last one into a guardrail. And it's not like I wanted to, and it's not like I liked that it happened. But I was driving in really crappy weather, and I wasn't afraid enough of the road conditions to take it a lot slower than I was. I mean, I was afraid a little, and I was definitely 15 under the speed limit already. But come on, nature is way harder than that, and the next thing I know, I'm in the guardrail going "hey, what just happened?"

I drive a lot more carefully now.

But I think that we only get one shot at life. Unlike my car, I can't go to the nearest dealer and be like "dude, can you reincarnate me as somebody who's more careful?" They'd laugh at me if I did that. And they'd be right, because you can't do that. You can only be careful with the life you have, and God, among other things, says "you should probably be a little afraid of NOT knowing me, because if you don't know me, you won't like what comes next."

We've ignored this part of the gospel because it's not very PC - nobody likes to do something because they're afraid of what might happen. I know we've done this out of good intentions. It's because we want people to like God, and to like the idea of being happy with knowing God. But it's not the whole picture, because if people think that God's grace is just a get-out-of-jail-free card, they're not afraid enough of the consequences of their actions. God doesn't seem to like the consequences much either, but those are the rules He wrote, and that's just kinda that.

So yeah - love God, but don't get too comfortable, because He's likely to ask you to do stuff you might not like. And you really should listen, it's definitely best for everybody.

January 4, 2005

God Outside the Box

I ran across this in my reading and realized that this is the very issue I've been trying to put to words with a particular aspect of many of the Christian groups I've been involved with. What if our little formulas and tracts and little bridge diagrams and special evangelism classes that teach us to go and give people the tracts and bridge diagrams ... what if they're all, as my wife says, a "bunch of hooey?" What if we should just get rid of them and start focusing on something a little deeper and yet a little simpler? What if we need to just stop taking God apart and putting Him in little jars of formeldehyde on the shelves and instead just talk with Him and read about Him and get to know Him, and maybe tell people about HIM instead of parts of Him? Anyway, here's the section, may you be inspired:

"Jesus was always, and I mean always, talking about love, about people, about relationship, and He never once broke anything into steps or formulas. What if, because we were constantly trying to dissect His message, we were missing a blatant invitation? I began to wonder if becoming a Christian did not work more like falling in love than agreeing with a list of true principles. I had met a lot of people who agreed with all those true principles, and they were jerks, and a lot of other people who believed in those principles, but who also claimed to love Jesus, who were not jerks. It seems like something else has to take place in the heart for somebody to become a believer, for somebody to understand the gospel of Jesus. It begain to seem like more than just a cerebral exercise. What if the gospel of Jesus was an invitation to know God?" ~Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What

January 3, 2005

A Hunch

I have a hunch. I was thinking about the postmodern generation and a new ministry team I'm on at my church. We're supposed to make some kind of recommendation to the church about what to do about the new emerging generations.

Perhaps what we've been looking for is so simple we missed it. Simplicity. Honesty. Mystery. A way to slow down and experience God amidst the craziness and chaos of the postmodern world.

I have noticed this in the evoluation of the young-adult ministry at my church. Yes, sorry to you ultra-conservatives, I used the "e-word." Anyway. Access started out as a ministry designed for young adults, a "community" with a worship service and time to hang out and eat. We started with 60 people at the first one. And then it failed; attendence fell immediately and we never had the same people at a service, save the team. Then we tried simpler services that took less time to plan (three hours of planning meetings every week were killing us, especially since we only had one service a month). That failed, in much the same way, but we started having a few of the same people coming. So we tried again; take-three. This time we just threw our ministry models out the window and said "what do these people need?" So we just started saying "hey, you should come to this place at this time and we'll hang out." And suddenly we started growing. We doubled in two months, and we're having our third this coming sunday. We're even moving to a less-formal location.

The point is that suddenly, when we made everything simple, honest, and found out what the needs of these people really was, we started to grow. This generation's needs are not answers, but rather, they desire communication. Honest, open communication. They want, dare I say it, a family to ask the hard questions with, to laugh and cry with, to walk the road of life with. They don't want someone to give them all the anwers in a box with a nice ribbon and a scripture tract with an invitation to the next church service which will answer all their questions. They want to find out the answers with other people, to explore, to be creative, to think. It's not even a "young adult" mentality. It's an open-minded open-hearted mentality, a "young-minded" mentality. Yes, there were people older than 29 there at our last meeting, and I hope they come again and invite their friends.

How should a service reflect this mentality? I don't know, but I'm willing to bet that it's going to mean a lot less meetings, and that makes me really happy.