Sometimes a Question is Better than an Answer-Stonestreet

Sometimes a Question is Better than an Answer

Winsome Conversations About Tough Topics

by: John Stonestreet
Category: , Christian Worldview

July 14, 2016

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Ever left speechless on these tough conversations about social issues? Ever think afterwards, why didn’t I say that? Well, here are six questions for your conversational toolkit.

Last week, at a gathering of strategists on some tough cultural issues, a very good point was made: Sometimes the right question at the right time is the best way to have a conversation with someone with whom you fundamentally disagree.

I couldn’t agree more, especially when the topic is something like same-sex marriage, religious freedom, or bathrooms at Target—when you know that to have an opinion counter to the new cultural orthodoxy is to be thought of as hateful or intolerant.

Our temptation is to think, “Oh, they won’t listen.” Maybe they won’t, but I think more times than we think, we can have conversations that are actual conversations. Sometimes we’re afraid we won’t know enough. Maybe that’s true, but in addition to basic knowledge, there are also skills for having these conversations that we can all acquire.

And one of these skills is being a good question asker. The power of asking questions is seen clearly in the two greatest educators of all time: Socrates and Jesus. Both men were master teachers. Both men knew most (and in the case of Jesus, all) the answers. Both men had a unique ability to lead others to those answers. And both men were great questioners.

Here are six questions I’ve found extremely helpful to create the sort of dialogue we should desire about issues of faith and culture.

First, What do you mean by that? The battle of ideas is always the battle over the definition of words. Thus, it’s vital in any conversation to clarify the terms being used. For example, the most important thing to clarify about whether same-sex marriage should be legal is the definition of marriage. So when the topic comes up, ask, “Hold on, before we go too far into what kind of unions should be considered marriage, what do you mean by marriage?” Often, when it comes to these crucial issues, we’re using the same vocabulary as those with whom we disagree, but not the same dictionary.

Here’s a second question: How do you know that is true? Too often, assertions are mistaken for arguments. There’s a vast difference between the two. An assertion is a definitive statement made about the nature of reality. An argument is presented to back up an assertion. By asking “how do you know that’s true?” you’ll move the conversation beyond two people merely asserting what they believe to why those assertions should be taken seriously.

For example, it’s still repeated that ten percent of any population is gay or lesbian, and that there’s a gay teen suicide epidemic. The first stat is based on the flawed research of Alfred Kinsey, and the second has been deeply challenged by a pro-gay researcher.

Here’s a third question is Where did you get this information? Once arguments are offered, it’s important to ensure the arguments are valid. For example, news reports love to shout that same-sex parents are better parents than straight couples—a talking point that’s based on very limited studies, while other studies suggest the exact opposite.

The fourth question: How did you come to this conclusion? Behind the person you are talking with and his/her convictions, is a story, a personal story. If you know that story, it may make more sense why they don’t find your views plausible. Plus, it’ll help you remember the person you’re talking with is a real, image-of-God bearing person.

The final two questions: What if you’re wrong? and What if you’re right? Ideas have consequences that are always worth considering. For example, with so little evidence, what if it’s wrong that kids just need loving parents, not a mom and a dad? That’s a big risk to play with the next generation.

Of course, if we’re asking for reasons, so will our conversation partners. And at, we’ve got a list of resources on these topics to help.

(This commentary originally aired on May 17, 2016.)


Sometimes A Question is Better than an Answer: Winsome Conversations about Tough Topics

Why not start a conversation–with your co-worker, neighbor, friend or family member–and use the six questions John suggests? The resources linked below offer direction and encouragement as you engage in dialog with others on real-life issues.


Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions
Greg Koukl | Zondervan | 2009

Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage
Sean McDowell, John Stonestreet | Baker Books | July 2014

What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense
Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, Robert P. George | Encounter Books | December 2012

Responding to the LGBT Movement’s Southern Strategy: Truth with Grace
John Stonestreet | | December 17, 2014

Sex and the iWorld: Rethinking Relationship Beyond an Age of Individualism
Dale Kuehne, Jean-Bethke Elshtain | Baker Academic | July 2009

Loving My (LGBT) Neighbor: Being Friends in Grace and Truth
Glenn Stanton | Moody Publishers | October 2014

The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Fully Updated to Answer the Questions Challenging Christians Today
Josh McDowell | Thomas Nelson Publishers | October 1999

Real Answers for Tough Questions with John Stonestreet, CD
John Stonestreet | The Colson Center

Tough Questions about God, Faith, and Life
Chuck Colson | Tyndale Publishers

Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens
Tom Gilson | Kregel Publications | February 2016

Tags: Apologetics

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Top of Form

Reasons Our Kids LEAVE Church

Reasons Our Kids LEAVE Church


2018–  10 reasons

10. The church is “relevant.”

9. They never attended church to begin with

8. They get smart.

7. You sent them out unarmed

6. You gave them hand-me-downs.

5. Community.

4. They found better feelings

3. They got tired of pretending.

2. They know the truth.

1. They don’t need it

2019—Why are the leaving—Cold Case

-Our Christian Teenagers are Inarticulate and Uninformed

-University Campuses are Generally Hostile to Christianity
– Young Men and Women Are Eager to Chase Their Desires with Liberty

2017—why are they leaving

Issue 1 – Foundations

Issue 2 – Hypocrisy

Issue 3 – Creeping Compromise

Issue 4 – Trusting the Word of God

Issue 5 – Relationships

Issue 6 – Prayer


2016– Pew Research

A Mass Exodus

I Just Don’t Believe



Church leaders

I Just Don’t Like Church

I’m Spiritual, But Not Religious

I’m Simply Too Busy

2011– 6 reasons

Reason #1 – Churches seem overprotective

Reason #2 – Teens’ and twentysomethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow.

Reason #3 – Churches come across as antagonistic to science.

Reason #4 – Young Christians’ church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic, judgmental.

Reason #5 – They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity.

Reason #6 – The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt.

2011– 5 myths

Myth 1: Most people lose their faith when they leave high school.

Myth 2: Dropping out of church is just a natural part of young adults’ maturation.

Myth 3: College experiences are the key factor that cause people to drop out.

Myth 4: This generation of young Christians is increasingly “biblically illiterate.”

Myth 5: Young people will come back to church like they always do


By Marc Yoder – April 19, 2018

Editor’s Note: We encourage you to share this article on Facebook to create a conversation within your personal network of ministry friends on this important issue.

We all know them, the kids who were raised in church.

They were stars of the youth group. They maybe even sang in the praise band or led worship.

And then… they graduate from high school and they leave church. What happened?

It seems to happen so often that I wanted to do some digging; to talk to these kids and get some honest answers. I work in a major college town with a large number of 20-somethings. Nearly all of them were raised in very typical evangelical churches. Nearly all of them have left the church with no intention of returning.

I spend a lot of time with them and it takes very little to get them to vent, and I’m happy to listen. So, after lots of hours spent in coffee shops and after buying a few lunches, here are the most common thoughts taken from dozens of conversations.

I hope some of them make you angry. Not at the message, but at the failure of our pragmatic replacement of the gospel of the cross with an Americanized gospel of glory.

This isn’t a negative “beat up on the church” post. I love the church, and I want to see American evangelicalism return to the gospel of repentance and faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins; not just as something on our “what we believe” page on our website, but as the core of what we preach from our pulpits to our children, our youth and our adults.

The facts:

The statistics are jaw-droppingly horrific: 70 percent of youth stop attending church when they graduate from high school. Nearly a decade later, about half return to church.


Let that sink in.

There’s no easy way to say this: The American evangelical church has lost, is losing and will almost certainly continue to lose OUR YOUTH.

For all the talk of “our greatest resource,” “our treasure,” and the multi-million dollar Dave and Buster’s/Starbucks knockoffs we build and fill with black walls and wailing rock bands…the church has failed them.


The Top 10 Reasons We’re Losing Our Youth:

  1. The church is “relevant.” You didn’t misread that, I didn’t say irrelevant, I said RELEVANT.

We’ve taken a historic, 2,000-year-old faith, dressed it in plaid and skinny jeans and tried to sell it as “cool” to our kids. It’s not cool. It’s not modern. What we’re packaging is a cheap knockoff of the world we’re called to evangelize to.

As the quote says, “When the ship is in the ocean, everything’s fine. When the ocean gets into the ship, you’re in trouble.”

I’m not ranting about “worldliness” as some pietistic bogeyman, I’m talking about the fact that we yawn at a five-minute biblical text, but almost trip over ourselves fawning over a minor celebrity or athlete who makes any vague reference to being a Christian.

We’re like a fawning wanna-be just hoping the world will think we’re cool too, you know, just like you guys!

Our kids meet the real world and our “look, we’re cool like you” posing is mocked. In our effort to be “like them” we’ve become less of who we actually are. The middle-aged pastor trying to look like his 20-something audience isn’t relevant, and the minute you aim to be “authentic,” you’re no longer authentic!

  1. They never attended church to begin with. From a Noah’s Ark themed nursery, to jumbotron summer-campish kids church, to pizza parties and rock concerts, many evangelical youth have been coddled in a not-quite-church, but not-quite-world hothouse. They’ve never sat on a pew between a set of new parents with a fussy baby and a senior citizen on an oxygen tank.

They don’t see the full timeline of the gospel for every season of life. Instead, we’ve dumbed down the message, pumped up the volume and act surprised when…

  1. They get smart. It’s not that our students “got smarter” when they left home, rather someone actually treated them as intelligent. Rather than dumbing down the message, the agnostics and atheists treat our youth as intelligent and challenge their intellect with “deep thoughts” of question and doubt.

Many of these “doubts” have been answered, in great depth, over the centuries of our faith. However…

  1. You sent them out unarmed. Let’s just be honest, most of our churches are sending youth into the world embarrassingly ignorant of our faith. How could we not?

We’ve jettisoned catechesis, sold them on “deeds not creeds” and encouraged them to start the quest to find “God’s plan for their life.”

Yes, I know your church has a “What We Believe” page, but is that actually being taught and reinforced from the pulpit? I’ve met evangelical church leaders (“pastors”) who didn’t know the difference between justification and sanctification. I’ve met large church board members who didn’t understand the atonement.

When we choose leaders based upon their ability to draw and lead rather than to accurately teach the faith, well, they don’t teach the faith.

Surprised? And instead of the orthodox, historic faith…

  1. You gave them hand-me-downs. You’ve tried your best to pass along the internal/subjective faith that you “feel.” You really, really, really want them to “feel” it too.

But we’ve never been called to evangelize our feelings. You can’t hand down this type of subjective faith.

With nothing solid to hang their faith upon, with no historic creed to tie them to centuries of history, without the physical elements of bread, wine and water, their faith is in their subjective feelings, and when faced with other ways to “feel” uplifted at college, the church loses out to things with much greater appeal to our human nature.

And they find it in…

  1. Community. Have you noticed this word is everywhere in the church since the seeker sensitive and church growth movements came onto the scene? (There’s a reason and a driving philosophy behind it which is outside of the scope of this blog.)

When our kids leave home, they leave the manufactured community they’ve lived in for nearly their entire lives. With their faith as something they “do” in community, they soon find that they can experience this “life change” and “life improvement” in “community” in many different contexts.

So, they left the church and…

  1. They found better feelings. Rather than an external, objective, historical faith, we’ve given our youth an internal, subjective faith.

The evangelical church isn’t catechizing or teaching our kids the fundamentals of the faith, we’re simply encouraging them to “be nice” and “love Jesus.” When they leave home, they realize that they can be “spiritually fulfilled” and get the same subjective self-improvement principles (and warm fuzzies) from the latest life-coach or from spending time with friends or volunteering at a shelter.

And they can be truly authentic, and they jump at the chance because…

  1. They got tired of pretending. In the “best life now,” “every day a Friday” world of evangelicals, there’s little room for depression, struggle or doubt. Turn that frown upside down, or move along.

Kids who are fed a steady diet of sermons aimed at removing anything (or anyone) who doesn’t serve “God’s great plan for your life” has forced them to smile and, as the old song encouraged them, be “hap-hap-happy all the time.” Our kids are smart, often much smarter than we give them credit for. So they trumpet the message I hear a lot from these kids: “The church is full of hypocrites.” Why?

Even though they have never been given the categories of law and gospel…

  1. They know the truth. They can’t do it. They know it. All that “be nice” moralism they’ve been taught? The Bible has a word for it: law. And that’s what we’ve fed them, undiluted, since we dropped them off at the Noah’s Ark playland: Do/Don’t Do.

As they get older, it becomes “good kids do/don’t” and as adults, “Do this for a better life.” The gospel appears briefly as another “do” to “get saved.”

But their diet is law, and scripture tells us that the law condemns us. So that smiling, upbeat “Love God and Love People” vision statement? Yeah, you’ve just condemned the youth with it. Nice, huh?

They either think that they’re “good people” since they don’t “do” any of the stuff their denomination teaches against (drink, smoke, dance, watch R-rated movies), or they realize that they don’t meet Jesus’ own words of what is required. There’s no rest in this law, only a treadmill of works they know they aren’t able to meet.

So, either way, they walk away from the church because…

  1. They don’t need it. Our kids are smart. They picked up on the message we unwittingly taught. If church is simply a place to learn life application principles to achieve a better life in community…you don’t need a crucified Jesus for that.

Why would they get up early on a Sunday and watch a cheap knockoff of the entertainment venue they went to the night before? The middle-aged pastor trying desperately to be “relevant” to them would be a comical cliché if the effect weren’t so devastating.

As we jettisoned the gospel, our students were never hit with the full impact of the law, their sin before God and their desperate need for the atoning work of Christ. Now THAT is relevant, THAT is authentic and THAT is something the world cannot offer.

We’ve traded a historic, objective, faithful gospel based on God’s graciousness toward us for a modern, subjective, pragmatic gospel based upon achieving our goal by following life strategies. Rather than being faithful to the foolish simplicity of the gospel of the cross, we’ve set our goal on being “successful” in growing crowds with this gospel of glory.

Our kids leave because we have failed to deliver to them the faith “delivered once for all” to the church.

I’m not against entertaining our youth, or even jumbotrons or pizza parties (though I probably am against middle-aged guys trying to wear skinny jeans)…it’s just that the one thing, the MAIN thing we’ve been tasked with? We’re failing.

We’ve failed God and we’ve failed our kids. Don’t let another kid walk out the door without being confronted with the full weight of the law, and the full freedom in the gospel.


Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church   Research Releases in Millennials & Generations • September 27, 2011

Many parents and church leaders wonder how to most effectively cultivate durable faith in the lives of young people. A five-year project headed by Barna Group president David Kinnaman explores the opportunities and challenges of faith development among teens and young adults within a rapidly shifting culture. The findings of the research are included in a new book by Kinnaman titled You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Church.

The research project was comprised of eight national studies, including interviews with teenagers, young adults, parents, youth pastors, and senior pastors. The study of young adults focused on those who were regular churchgoers Christian church during their teen years and explored their reasons for disconnection from church life after age 15.

No single reason dominated the break-up between church and young adults. Instead, a variety of reasons emerged. Overall, the research uncovered six significant themes why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15.

Reason #1 – Churches seem overprotective. A few of the defining characteristics of today’s teens and young adults are their unprecedented access to ideas and worldviews as well as their prodigious consumption of popular culture. As Christians, they express the desire for their faith in Christ to connect to the world they live in. However, much of their experience of Christianity feels stifling, fear-based and risk-averse. One-quarter of 18- to 29-year-olds said “Christians demonize everything outside of the church” (23% indicated this “completely” or “mostly” describes their experience). Other perceptions in this category include “church ignoring the problems of the real world” (22%) and “my church is too concerned that movies, music, and video games are harmful” (18%).

Reason #2 – Teens’ and twentysomethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow. A second reason that young people depart church as young adults is that something is lacking in their experience of church. One-third said “church is boring” (31%). One-quarter of these young adults said that “faith is not relevant to my career or interests” (24%) or that “the Bible is not taught clearly or often enough” (23%). Sadly, one-fifth of these young adults who attended a church as a teenager said that “God seems missing from my experience of church” (20%).

Reason #3 – Churches come across as antagonistic to science. One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.” Furthermore, the research shows that many science-minded young Christians are struggling to find ways of staying faithful to their beliefs and to their professional calling in science-related industries.

Reason #4 – Young Christians’ church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic, judgmental. With unfettered access to digital pornography and immersed in a culture that values hyper-sexuality over wholeness, teen and twentysomething Christians are struggling with how to live meaningful lives in terms of sex and sexuality. One of the significant tensions for many young believers is how to live up to the church’s expectations of chastity and sexual purity in this culture, especially as the age of first marriage is now commonly delayed to the late twenties. Research indicates that most young Christians are as sexually active as their non-Christian peers, even though they are more conservative in their attitudes about sexuality. One-sixth of young Christians (17%) said they “have made mistakes and feel judged in church because of them.” The issue of sexuality is particularly salient among 18- to 29-year-old Catholics, among whom two out of five (40%) said the church’s “teachings on sexuality and birth control are out of date.”

Reason #5 – They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity. Younger Americans have been shaped by a culture that esteems open-mindedness, tolerance and acceptance. Today’s youth and young adults also are the most eclectic generation in American history in terms of race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, technological tools and sources of authority. Most young adults want to find areas of common ground with each other, sometimes even if that means glossing over real differences. Three out of ten young Christians (29%) said “churches are afraid of the beliefs of other faiths” and an identical proportion felt they are “forced to choose between my faith and my friends.” One-fifth of young adults with a Christian background said “church is like a country club, only for insiders” (22%).

Reason #6 – The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt. Young adults with Christian experience say the church is not a place that allows them to express doubts. They do not feel safe admitting that sometimes Christianity does not make sense. In addition, many feel that the church’s response to doubt is trivial. Some of the perceptions in this regard include not being able “to ask my most pressing life questions in church” (36%) and having “significant intellectual doubts about my faith” (23%). In a related theme of how churches struggle to help young adults who feel marginalized, about one out of every six young adults with a Christian background said their faith “does not help with depression or other emotional problems” they experience (18%).

Turning Toward Connection–David Kinnaman, who is the coauthor of the book unChristian, explained that “the problem of young adults dropping out of church life is particularly urgent because most churches work best for ‘traditional’ young adults – those whose life journeys and life questions are normal and conventional. But most young adults no longer follow the typical path of leaving home, getting an education, finding a job, getting married and having kids—all before the age of 30. These life events are being delayed, reordered, and sometimes pushed completely off the radar among today’s young adults.

“Consequently, churches are not prepared to handle the ‘new normal.’ Instead, church leaders are most comfortable working with young, married adults, especially those with children. However, the world for young adults is changing in significant ways, such as their remarkable access to the world and worldviews via technology, their alienation from various institutions, and their skepticism toward external sources of authority, including Christianity and the Bible.”

The research points to two opposite, but equally dangerous responses by faith leaders and parents: either catering to or minimizing the concerns of the next generation. The study suggests some leaders ignore the concerns and issues of teens and twentysomethings because they feel that the disconnection will end when young adults are older and have their own children. Yet, this response misses the dramatic technological, social and spiritual changes that have occurred over the last 25 years and ignores the significant present-day challenges these young adults are facing.

Other churches seem to be taking the opposite corrective action by using all means possible to make their congregation appeal to teens and young adults. However, putting the focus squarely on youth and young adults causes the church to exclude older believers and “builds the church on the preferences of young people and not on the pursuit of God,” Kinnaman said.

Between these extremes, the just-released book You Lost Me points to ways in which the various concerns being raised by young Christians (including church dropouts) could lead to revitalized ministry and deeper connections in families. Kinnaman observed that many churches approach generations in a hierarchical, top-down manner, rather than deploying a true team of believers of all ages. “Cultivating intergenerational relationships is one of the most important ways in which effective faith communities are developing flourishing faith in both young and old. In many churches, this means changing the metaphor from simply passing the baton to the next generation to a more functional, biblical picture of a body – that is, the entire community of faith, across the entire lifespan, working together to fulfill God’s purposes.”

About the Research–This Barna Update is based on research conducted for the Faith That Lasts Project, which took place between 2007 and 2011. The research included a series of national public opinion surveys conducted by Barna Group.

In addition to extensive quantitative interviewing with adults and faith leaders nationwide, the main research examination for the study was conducted with 18- to 29-year-olds who had been active in a Christian church at some point in their teen years. The quantitative study among 18- to 29-year-olds was conducted online with 1,296 current and former churchgoers. The Faith That Lasts research also included parallel testing on key measures using telephone surveys, including interviews conducted among respondents using cell phones, to help ensure the representativeness of the online sample. The sampling error associated with 1,296 interviews is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points, at the 95% confidence level.

The online study relied upon a research panel called KnowledgePanel®, created by Knowledge Networks. It is a probability-based online non-volunteer access panel. Panel members are recruited using a statistically valid sampling method with a published sample frame of residential addresses that covers approximately 97% of U.S. households. Sampled non-Internet households, when recruited, are provided a netbook computer and free Internet service so they may also participate as online panel members. KnowledgePanel consists of about 50,000 adult members (ages 18 and older) and includes persons living in cell phone only households.

About Barna Group–Barna Group (which includes its research division, the Barna Research Group) is a private, non-partisan, for-profit organization under the umbrella of the Issachar Companies. It conducts primary research, produces media resources pertaining to spiritual development, and facilitates the healthy spiritual growth of leaders, children, families and Christian ministries.

Located in Ventura, California, Barna Group has been conducting and analyzing primary research to understand cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984. If you would like to receive free e-mail notification of the release of each update on the latest research findings from Barna Group, you may subscribe to this free service at the Barna website ( Additional research-based resources are also available through this website.© Barna Group, 2011.


Five Myths about Young Adult Church Dropouts     Research Releases in Millennials & Generations • November 15, 2011

The Barna Group team spent much of the last five years exploring the lives of young people who drop out of church. The research provides many insights into the spiritual journeys of teens and young adults. The findings are revealed extensively in a new book called, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith.

The research uncovered five myths and realities about today’s young dropouts.

Myth 1: Most people lose their faith when they leave high school.

Reality: There has been considerable attention paid to the so-called loss of faith that happens between high school and early adulthood. Some have estimated this dropout in alarming terms, estimating that a large majority of young Christians will lose their faith. The reality is more nuanced. In general, there are three distinct patterns of loss: prodigals, nomads, and exiles.

One out of nine young people who grow up with a Christian background lose their faith in Christianity—a group described by the research team as prodigals. In essence, prodigals say they have lost their faith after being a Christian at some time in their past.

More commonly, young Christians wander away from the institutional church—a pattern the researchers labeled nomads. Roughly four out of ten young Christians fall into this category. They still call themselves Christians but they are far less active in church than they were during high school. Nomads have become ‘lost’ to church participation.

Another two out of ten young Christians were categorized as exiles, those who feel lost between the “church culture” and the society they feel called to influence. The sentiments of exiles include feeling that “I want to find a way to follow Jesus that connects with the world I live in,” “I want to be a Christian without separating myself from the world around me” and “I feel stuck between the comfortable faith of my parents and the life I believe God wants from me.”

Overall, about three out of ten young people who grow up with a Christian background stay faithful to church and to faith throughout their transitions from the teen years through their twenties.

David Kinnaman, who directed the research, concluded: “The reality of the dropout problem is not about a huge exodus of young people from the Christian faith. In fact, it is about the various ways that young people become disconnected in their spiritual journey. Church leaders and parents cannot effectively help the next generation in their spiritual development without understanding these three primary patterns. The conclusion from the research is that most young people with a Christian background are dropping out of conventional church involvement, not losing their faith.”

Myth 2: Dropping out of church is just a natural part of young adults’ maturation.

Reality: First, this line of reasoning ignores that tens of millions of young Christians never lose their faith or drop out of church. Thus, leaving church or losing faith should not be a foregone conclusion.

Second, leaving church has not always been normative. Evidence exists that during the first half of the 1900s, young adults were not less churched than were older adults. In fact, Boomers appear to be the first American generation that dropped out of church participation in significant numbers when they became young adults. So, in one sense, the Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) were part of the evolution of the church dropout phenomenon during the rise of youth culture of the 1960s.

In addition to continuing the dropout pattern of previous generations, today’s teens and young adults (identified by Barna Group as Mosaics) are spiritually the most eclectic generation the nation has seen. They are also much less likely than prior generations to begin their religious explorations with Christianity. Moreover, their pervasive technology use is deepening the generation gap, allowing Mosaics (often called Millennials of Gen Y) to embrace new ways of learning about and connecting to the world.

Kinnaman commented on this myth: “The significant spiritual and technological changes over the last 50 years make the dropout problem more urgent. Young people are dropping out earlier, staying away longer, and if they come back are less likely to see the church as a long-term part of their life. Today’s young adults who drop out of faith are continuing something the Boomers began as a generation of spiritual free agents. Yet, today’s dropout phenomenon is a more intractable, complex problem.” [Note: See Myth 5 for more about how the dropout problem has changed.]

Myth 3: College experiences are the key factor that cause people to drop out.

Reality: College certainly plays a role in young Christians’ spiritual journeys, but it is not necessarily the ‘faith killer’ many assume. College experiences, particularly in public universities, can be neutral or even adversarial to faith. However, it is too simplistic to blame college for today’s young church dropouts. As evidence, many young Christians dissociate from their church upbringing well before they reach a college environment; in fact, many are emotionally disconnected from church before their 16th birthday.

“The problem arises from the inadequacy of preparing young Christians for life beyond youth group.” Kinnaman pointed to research findings showing that “only a small minority of young Christians has been taught to think about matters of faith, calling, and culture. Fewer than one out of five have any idea how the Bible ought to inform their scholastic and professional interests. And most lack adult mentors or meaningful friendships with older Christians who can guide them through the inevitable questions that arise during the course of their studies. In other words, the university setting does not usually cause the disconnect; it exposes the shallow-faith problem of many young disciples.”

Myth 4: This generation of young Christians is increasingly “biblically illiterate.”

Reality: The study examined beliefs across the firm’s 28-year history, looking for generational gaps in spiritual beliefs and knowledge. When comparing the faith of young practicing faith Christians (ages 18 to 29) to those of older practicing Christians (ages 30-plus), surprisingly few differences emerged between what the two groups believe. This means that within the Christian community, the theological differences between generations are not as pronounced as might be expected. Young Christians lack biblical knowledge on some matters, but not significantly more so than older Christians.

Instead, the research showed substantial differences among those outside of Christianity. That is, older non-Christians were more familiar than younger non-Christians with Bible stories and Christian theology, even if they did not personally embrace those beliefs.

The Barna president described this as “unexpected, because one often hears how theologically illiterate young Christians are these days. Instead, when it comes to questions of biblical literacy, the broader culture seems to be losing its collective understanding of Christian teachings. In other words, Christianity is no longer ‘autopilot’ for the nation’s youngest citizens.


“Many younger Christians are cognizant that their peers are increasingly unfriendly or indifferent toward Christian beliefs and commitment. As a consequence, young Christians recognize that the nature of sharing one’s faith is changing. For example, many young Christians believe they have to be more culturally engaged in order to communicate Christianity to their peers. For younger Christians, matters of orthodoxy are deeply interconnected with questions of how and why the Gospel advances among a post-Christian generation.”

Myth 5: Young people will come back to church like they always do.

Reality: Some faith leaders minimize the church dropout problem by assuming that young adults will come back to the church when they get older, especially when they have children. However, previous research conducted by Barna Group raises doubts about this conclusion.

Furthermore, the social changes since 1960 make this generation much less likely to follow the conventional path to having children: Mosaics (often called Millennials or Gen Y) are getting married roughly six years later than did the Boomers; they are having their first child much later in life; and they are eight times more likely than were the youth of the 1960s to come from homes where their own biological parents were never married.

The author of the new Barna book, You Lost Me, Kinnaman asked several questions in response to conventional wisdom: “If this generation is having children later in life, are church leaders simply content to wait longer? And if Mosaics return, will they do so with extra burdens—emotional, financial, spiritual, and relational—from their years apart from Christian community? More to the point, what if Mosaics turn out to be a generation in which most do not return?

“Churches, organizations and families owe this generation more. They should be treated as the intelligent, capable individuals they are—a generation with a God-given destiny. Renewed commitment is required to rethink and realign disciple-making in this new context. Mosaic believers need better, deeper relationships with other adult Christians. They require a more holistic understanding of their vocation and calling in life—how their faith influences what they do with their lives, from Monday through Saturday. And they also need help discerning Jesus’ leading in their life, including greater commitment to knowing and living the truth of Scripture.”

This Barna Update is based on research conducted for the Faith That Lasts Project, which took place between 2007 and 2011. The research included a series of national public opinion surveys conducted by Barna Group.

In addition to extensive quantitative interviewing with adults and faith leaders nationwide, the main research examination for the study was conducted with 18- to 29-year-olds who had been active in a Christian church at some point in their teen years. The quantitative study among 18- to 29-year-olds was conducted online with 1,296 current and former churchgoers. The Faith That Lasts research also included parallel testing on key measures using telephone surveys, including interviews conducted among respondents using cell phones, to help ensure the representativeness of the online sample. The sampling error associated with 1,296 interviews is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points, at the 95% confidence level.

Practicing faith was defined as self-identified Christians who attend a worship service at least monthly and who strongly agree that their religious faith is very important in their life.

The online study relied upon a research panel called KnowledgePanel®, created by Knowledge Networks. It is a probability-based online non-volunteer access panel. Panel members are recruited using a statistically valid sampling method with a published sample frame of residential addresses that covers approximately 97% of U.S. households. Sampled non-Internet households, when recruited, are provided a netbook computer and free Internet service so they may also participate as online panel members. KnowledgePanel consists of about 50,000 adult members (ages 18 and older) and includes persons living in cell phone only households.


Disenfranchised Youth   Millennials & Generations

In our research on younger generations, particularly Millennials, we continue to see a theme of disconnection that is worth paying attention to. Young adults are waiting longer to get married, delaying children, switching jobs more often (and, with that, often where they live). They are often less trusting of government, of church and even of colleges and universities than their older counterparts. In other words, there are very few institutions—either social or economic—binding Millennials.

This disenfranchisement also holds true in their relative reluctance to claim any external factors as part of their identity. When it comes to identifying as an American, for example, there is nearly a 50-point drop between the oldest generation—Elders—and the youngest. Four out of five Elders say that being an American makes up a lot of their personal identity, but only one-third of Millennials say the same (34%). But Millennials aren’t only distancing themselves from country, they are less likely than older generations to claim any of the surveyed factors make up a lot of their personal identity. From family to faith to ethnicity, Millennials see themselves as separated. The one exception is career, which Elders are less likely to identify with, undoubtedly a result of being primarily retired from the workforce.

In a similar survey in 2012, the only factor a majority of Millennials claimed to be central to their identity was family (62%). Less than half of Millennials pointed to any other factor as a central part of who they are: career (31%), friends (37%), faith (37%), personal interests (48%). It is perhaps significant that such a high number did indicate personal interests as a defining part of their identity—again, revealing a stronger draw toward individual pursuits than institutional ones.

Younger generations historically have a tendency to want to break away from traditional cultural narratives and to resist being “boxed in” by what they perceive as limiting expectations. It will be interesting to see if, as they age, Millennials like generations before them begin to gravitate toward their own institutions and grounding narratives.

The present opportunity, then, for those who hope to reach these younger generations, is to ask where these groups are finding their sense of identity. If these traditional institutions and relationships are not as defining for them, what most impacts their identity? Their friendships? Their lifestyle? Technology or entertainment? The media they consume? While Gen-Xers and Millennials might resist being defined by anything, their identities are certainly impacted and shaped by external forces. Recognizing those forces and the impact they have—for better and worse—on their identity will help young adults make decisions about what and where they want to give allegiance.   n=1,000 | February 2015


What Teens Aspire to Do in Life, How Churches Can Help

Research Releases in Millennials & Generations • June 14, 2011

During graduation season, conversations about college and career come to the forefront for many students and their families. A new Barna Group study explores the vocational aspirations of U.S. teenagers and examines the role of faith communities in influencing churchgoing teens’ college and career decisions.

The Work Teens Aspire to Do–The vast majority of young people have firm ideas about their professional futures. Of course, teenagers’ career goals often change as they mature, develop new interests, or discover other avenues to pursue. Still, the study shows that most young people rarely lack ideas of what they would like to do, even at a relatively early age.

Today’s teens reflect a mixture of professional aspirations, but they are dominated by two broad interests: science and creativity.

In terms of science-connected careers, the most common goal is to work in medicine or the health care field (mentioned by 23% of teenagers). Other occupations desired by teenagers include engineering (13%), science (8%), veterinary care (5%), and technology (5%). Overall, more than half of the students express interest in some type of scientific or applied science career.

One-fifth of the students are attracted to creative vocations, including arts or music (10%), graphic arts (4%), culinary arts (3%), and fashion or interior design (3%).

Other common categories mentioned by teens include law (8%), education (7%), law enforcement or firefighting (6%), government and political science (4%), journalism (4%), the military (4%), social services (4%), business (4%), construction or industrial manufacturing (3%), automotive services (2%), agriculture (2%), athletics (2%), ministry (1%), accounting (1%), and aviation (1%).

The Role of Faith–Churchgoing teenagers mirror the broad interests of their non-churched peers; half are interested in a science-related profession and roughly one-fifth want a career in a creative field.

Still, there are some differences when it gets down to specific career objectives. Students with an active faith (defined as reading the Bible, attending church and praying in a typical week) are more likely than average to be interested in arts and music, ministry, journalism and law. Also, young Protestants are comparatively more interested in physically demanding careers such as construction, agriculture and the military, while young Catholics express above-average interest in journalism and education.

One of the strongest faith-related patterns is that teenagers with a literalist view of Scripture are among the least likely to want to pursue careers in “science” or “technology.” This pattern does not extend to other careers that are science-oriented, such as medicine or engineering, where literalist-minded teens express average interest.

Another interesting differentiation is between public-schooled and privately educated teens, many of whom attend Christian or Catholic schools. Private school students are more interested than average in arts and music, ministry, government and political science, and graphic arts. Public school teens are relatively more interested in accounting and financial careers, social work, law and business.

The Blurring of the Gender Gap–The research provides clear evidence that teen-aged girls feel fully empowered to pursue almost any career they like. As expected, young women exhibit traditional preferences for teaching, fashion, interior design, and nursing. But teen females are more likely than teen males to aspire to work in journalism (7% versus less than 1%), business (6% versus 1%), and law (11% versus 5%). And teen girls are equally likely to be interested in the military (3% among females versus 5% among males), arts and music (10% versus 10%), public safety including law enforcement and firefighting (6% versus 7%), and government (4% versus 5%).

Another telling fact about the changing views of young women is that only 1% explicitly identify “domestic work” or “homemaking” as their future career choice.

David Kinnaman, the Barna researcher who directed the study, commented on this finding. “Today’s teen girls—even if they aspire to be married and have children at some point—want or feel they ought to have some career plans in place. The vast majority of today’s young women are thinking education first, then career, then perhaps family someday.”

The Role of Faith Leaders–The Barna study also probed the views of Protestant clergy, including youth leaders and senior pastors. Only 38% of youth pastors and 36% of senior pastors say they frequently discuss college plans with their students. The research among youth workers showed that conversations with students about college occur most frequently in churches with an ample number of adult assistants in the youth ministry, where there is a clear strategy for student ministry in the church, and in those churches that work effectively with teen leaders.

Still, there is a gap between church experiences and career aspirations. Only 1% of youth workers say they had addressed issues related to science in the last year and a similarly small percentage had taught about creativity or the arts. These facts illustrate the disconnect between where teens’ future professional interests lie, and the encouragement and instruction they receive in their church or faith community.

With the vast majority of teenagers hoping to experience and graduate from college someday (see previous Barna study on this subject), Kinnaman suggested that college and career decisions represent an important opportunity for faith leaders to influence students. “Today’s teens have huge aspirations in life and a great deal of self-confidence that is sometimes out of proportion with their abilities. Taught to believe they can accomplish anything at anytime, many young people figure if they see a problem or a need, they can just start a new company or nonprofit to address it. And armed with technology, some of them are actually doing that.

“Still, many young people do not seem to understand how a rich, historic understanding of the Christian faith and the gospel ought to inform their career aspirations,” Kinnaman continued. “And faith leaders are not as intentional as they could be with instruction and coaching on these types of decisions. Understanding how teenagers hope to spend their professional lives can help faith communities and institutions better support these students as they discern God’s calling in their lives.”

About the Research–This report is based upon a nationwide survey, conducted by Barna Group with a random sample of teenagers, ages 13 to 17. The study, known as YouthPoll(SM), is an annual tracking study, conducted online, using one of the nation’s only nationally representative online panels. The survey included interviews with 602 teens. The sample has a maximum margin of sampling error of ±4.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Minimal statistical weighting was used to calibrate the sample to known population percentages in relation to demographic variables.

The teen survey was conducted using the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®. Created by Knowledge Networks, the panel is a probability-based online non-volunteer access panel. Panel members are recruited using a statistically valid sampling method with a published sample frame of residential addresses that covers approximately 97% of U.S. households. Sampled non-Internet households, when recruited, are provided a netbook computer and free Internet service so they may also participate as online panel members. KnowledgePanel includes persons living in cell phone only households.

The YouthLeaderPoll(SM) was conducted among 508 full-time or part-time youth pastors and youthworkers in the U.S. The study was completed online, but relied upon a random, representative list of churches from which eligible participants were recruited by telephone and sent email and conventional mail invitations to participate. The sample has a maximum margin of sampling error of ±4.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Minimal statistical weighting was used to calibrate the sample to known population percentages.

The PastorPoll(SM) included 614 telephone interviews, conducted with a random, representative sample of clergy. The maximum margin of sampling error associated with the aggregate sample is ±4.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Minimal statistical weighting was used to calibrate the aggregate samples to known population percentages in relation to regional and denominational variables.

chnology is Changing Millennial FaitResearch Rels in Millennials & Generations • October 15, 2013

The Church has always used regular habits and practices designed to help people worship. These habitual practices—such as prayer, Scripture reading, Sabbath observance, gathering every Sunday and more—have been part of the Church throughout the centuries.

Today there’s a new dimension that is reshaping personal spirituality, particularly among younger generations. The advent of the Internet and, more recently, social media have shaped personal habits significantly. The first and last thing most people do every day is check their phones. When they want to know an answer to a question, they “Google it.” Scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds has become a fixture of leisurely activity.

This digital world is the playground of Millennials, or those ages 18 to 29 in this current Barna study. Millennials certainly stand apart in their unsurpassed digital savvy. They’re also in a class of their own when it comes to faith experience and practice.

Yet what happens when the unique spiritual characteristics and technological trends among Millennials collide? The latest study from Barna Group explores just that.

Faith in Real-Time  They’ve been called the digital natives for a reason. Technology has infiltrated every area of Millennial life, and the realm of faith is no exception.

According to Barna research, the most common way Millennials are blending their faith and technology is through digital reading of Scripture. It’s an escalating trend, considering there are just as many YouVersion (the free Bible phone app) downloads as there are Instagram downloads. And has become one of the top Christian websites today.

Seven out of 10 of practicing Christian Millennials (70%) read Scripture on a screen. One-third of all Millennials says they read sacred Scripture on a phone or online, demonstrating how broadly the digital trends are shaping this generation.

Millennials are also heavy users of online videos pertaining to faith—54% of practicing Christian Millennials and 31% of all Millennials engage in this activity.

About one-third of Millennials are using online search to scope out a church, temple or synagogue online. This increases to over half (56%) of practicing Christian Millennials who do the same. It may be that for Millennials, checking out a faith community online, from a safe distance, is a prerequisite for the commitment of showing up in person.

Certainly the Internet has made finding answers to questions—any questions—easier than ever. Whether it’s curiosity about a new restaurant or matters of faith, Millennials are taking their inquiries to the search bar. Nearly six out of 10 practicing Christians (59%) say they search for spiritual content online, but it’s not only Christians doing this kind of surfing. Three out of 10 of all Millennials are too, which may open up a new field of opportunity for churches hoping to understand and connect with these souls in cyberspace.

Fact-Checking Sermons–The one-way communication from pulpit to pew is not how Millennials experience faith. By nature of digital connectedness, Millennial life is interactive. For many of them, faith is interactive as well—whether their churches are ready for it or not. It’s an ongoing conversation, and it’s all happening on their computers, tablets and smart phones. What’s more, many of them bring their devices with them to church. Now with the ability to fact-check at their fingertips, Millennials aren’t taking the teaching of faith leaders for granted. In fact, 14% of Millennials say they search to verify something a faith leader has said. A striking 38% of practicing Christian Millennials say the same.

Beyond the congregation, technology is also changing how Millennials learn about and discuss their faith. This generation is accustomed to foraging in multiple digital places at any given time—from texting to Twitter to Instagram, from news feeds to blogs and more. This digital deluge naturally includes matters of faith and spirituality. For example, more than four out of 10 practicing Christian Millennials say they participate in online conversations about faith, and the same number say they blog or post comments on blogs about spiritual matters.

Digital Donations–When it comes to Millennials and their money, many church leaders start to get nervous. How will we get this next generation to give to the church? What can we do to get them to commit to tithing? And what will happen to our organization if they won’t? These are common questions among those leading faith communities and non-profits.

But are these perceptions based on fact or myth? The latest Barna research shows that Millennials are giving, yet technology is significantly changing how they give. In fact, Millennial generosity, for the most part, has gone paperless.

Perhaps opting for the quick, easy and trackable, just more than one in 10 Millennials say they donate to a church or faith organization online at least once a month. The rate is four times higher among practicing Christian Millennials (39%). These levels are lower than average donors of other generations, but nevertheless demonstrate millions of Millennials are active givers. And technology is powering much of their charitable engagement.

Another way to spark Millennial giving is to reach them where they are, which in many cases, is on their mobile phones. Nearly one out of every 10 of all Millennials say they text to donate at least once a month, which doubles among practicing Christian Millennials to two out of 10.

The traditional tithing envelope or donation request mailings that have worked for their parents and grandparents don’t seem to work for a generation as mobile as Millennials. Yet as the data show, this doesn’t mean Millennials never give financially. But it may mean for this generation on the go, moving from job to job and city to city, digital donations are a preferred method.

What the Research Means–David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group and author of two books on Millennials, points out the implications of this research: “Millennials live in an era of radical transparency, powered by social and digital tools. Any leader or organization who wants to engage Millennials must learn this—whether from the pulpit or the front of the classroom, whether fundraising or marketing. If Millennials are doing their own research on what happens from the stage, leaders need to take care not to make false promises or exaggerations in their messages. Millennials, who already exhibit institutional distrust, have heightened sensitivity for artificiality and false promotion.

“Instead, Millennials desire relevant, two-way conversations on a wide-range of topics. In many ways, these conversations are already happening online. The digital world simply makes this kind of interaction and transparency a non-negotiable among the youngest generations.

“For church leaders, the data point to lots of opportunities to engage Millennials spiritually online. This stems from the convergence of two trends: Millennials leaving the Church, and Millennials taking their faith discussions and explorations online. One of the most positive trends among Millennials is that they want faith that is holistically integrated into all areas of life—including their technology. How the Church acknowledges and engages the digital domain—and teaches faithfulness in real-life to young adults as well—will determine much about its long-term effectiveness among Millennials.”

Comment on this research and follow our work:

Twitter: @davidkinnaman | @barnagroup   Facebook: Barna Group

About the Research  This article is based on research conducted from January 17-23, 2013, in which 1,078 adults 18 or older were interviewed using an online probability-based panel. The sampling error is plus or minus 2.8% at the 95% confidence level.


Pew Research: Why Young People Are Leaving Christianity   by Ken Ham and Avery Foley  on September 8, 2016

Get hope and encouragement as you learn the answers to the common questions asked by atheists and other skeptics.

It comes as no surprise to anyone keeping a finger on the pulse of our culture that a dramatically high number of young people are leaving the church. Many of these formerly churched individuals are now identifying as “nones” (religiously unaffiliated). Many are going as far as to declare themselves atheists or agnostics, while others say they’re “spiritual” but not religious (although everyone has a religion because all people have beliefs about how the universe and life did or did not arise). Why are so many young people abandoning traditional church?

Why Are They Leaving?  In 2009, I co-authored a book entitled Already Gone. This book was based on research that we commissioned from America’s Research Group. Through this research we were attempting to answer the question of why two thirds of young people are leaving the church when they go to college. What’s happening?


Well, our research revealed that, as early as even elementary and middle school, young people have doubts and questions about the Bible that are going unanswered. Research shows that many of these questions are related to Genesis and scientific issues such as evolution, long ages (millions of years), dinosaurs, and Noah’s Ark. These young people are not getting solid answers from church leaders and parents but, sadly, are often told they can believe in the big bang, millions of years, and evolution; they’re then admonished to reinterpret or ignore Genesis while being told to “trust in Jesus!” These young people recognize the inconsistency of reinterpreting the first book of the Bible and yet being expected to trust the other books that talk about Christ. If we can doubt and reinterpret Genesis, where do we stop doubting and reinterpreting?

A Mass Exodus–We at Answers in Genesis are certainly not the only ones noticing and expressing concern about this mass exodus of young people from the church. Other groups have also conducted research to try and determine why these young people are leaving in such large numbers. New research from the Pew Research Center asked those who are no longer affiliated with a church or religious group to explain in their own words why they left. They divided these results by the respondents’ answers as well as by whether they defined their beliefs as “atheist,” “agnostic,” or “nothing in particular.” The results are certainly worth pondering.

I Just Don’t Believe–The first answer young people gave for leaving the church was that they just don’t believe. Startlingly, 49% of those who call themselves religiously raised said a “lack of belief” led them to move away from religion. This response was echoed by 82% of atheists, 63% of agnostics, and 37% of those who believe “nothing in particular.” (By the way, they do believe—they believe there’s no God, and they believe life and the universe came about by natural processes. Atheism is their religion.)

What was the word that many of the respondents used to explain their lack of belief? Science! Others used phrases like “common sense,” “logic,” or a “lack of evidence.”

Here are some of the specific responses from young people who participated in the study in regards to why they have changed their beliefs in the Bible and church:

“Learning about evolution when I went away to college.”

“Rational thought makes religion go out the window.”

“Lack of any sort of scientific or specific evidence of a creator.”

“I just realized somewhere along the line that I didn’t really believe it.”

“I’m doing a lot more learning, studying, and kind of making decisions myself rather than listening to someone else.”

Basically, Pew Research found the same thing that we found. A large percent of young people are leaving the church because of questions about science that lead to doubts about God’s Word. If we can’t trust the historical portions of the Bible that deal with our origins, why should we trust the message of Jesus Christ? We’ve been saying this for years now—it’s nothing new! Many in the church have taken heed of the research we’ve done and introduced apologetics teaching; they say it’s revolutionizing their church and greatly stemming the loss of the coming generations.


Sadly, it’s unlikely that the large majority of these young people who were raised in a Christian church (even a theologically conservative church) and then left ever got solid answers to their doubts and questions. Research from the Barna Group last year revealed that “a vast majority of theologically conservative pastors believe the Bible speaks to societal issues, but fewer than 10 percent of these pastors are teaching people what the Bible says on these topics.” Young people are not getting solid, Bible-based answers to the skeptical questions of this day; and many are leaving the church and turning to atheism or some vague idea of “spirituality” as a result.

Parents —you need to be providing young people with a solid foundation in God’s Word. Don’t assume the church is teaching your children how to think biblically and is answering their questions. Your job as a parent is to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6) and to “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Don’t leave this to the church—it’s your job! Equip your young person with answers to questions about the age of the earth, dinosaurs, and Noah’s Flood. And when you answer their questions, always point them back to God’s Word. They need to be shown how to start their thinking with God’s Word, boldly and firmly standing on the rock solid foundation of God’s Word. Of course, you don’t have to do this alone. We have a bevy of resources on our website and in our online store to help you do just that. There’s no guarantee in regards to what will happen, because each person has to answer for his or her own choices; but it has made a difference in thousands of lives.

Church leaders —the secular world is growing increasingly aggressive in trying to capture the hearts and minds of the next generation. One of the tools they are using is their interpretation of “science.” They are trying to convince young people that man’s naturalistic ideas about the past and their interpretation of the evidence disproves the Bible. Sadly, instead of combatting this lie with answers from God’s Word, many pastors and Christian leaders have compromised God’s Word with these secular ideas. By saying God could’ve used the big bang or evolution, or that the Flood of Noah’s day was just a local flood, these church leaders are undermining the authority of God’s Word and all the doctrines that are based in that history—including the gospel. Young people can see the inconsistency of believing and trusting the Bible in some places while rejecting it and reinterpreting it in other places. Instead of trying to add man’s secular ideas into Scripture, we need to believe and boldly teach what the Bible says.

I Just Don’t Like Church–The next most popular answer for why these young people are leaving the church was that they simply don’t like church or organized religion. They said things like this:

“I see organized religious groups as more divisive than uniting.”

“I think that more harm has been done in the name of religion than any other area.”

“I think religion is not a religion anymore. It’s a business . . . it’s all about money.”

Now, sadly, what these young people are doing is focusing on the mistakes of a minority of Christians or the hypocrisy of false converts and false teachers. They ignore, or are ignorant of, the millions of Christians who genuinely love the Lord and show the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. They forget that Christians and the church have been behind building hospitals; caring for the orphans, widows, abused, and needy; and providing for other physical and spiritual needs for centuries. It’s ironic that they reject Christianity based on the actions of a few, but they don’t reject atheism because of the horrendous and murderous acts of people like Joseph Stalin or Mao Tse Tung. This is very inconsistent.

I’m Spiritual, But Not Religious–But many young people, nearly 1 in 5, who’ve left organized religion haven’t given up on “spirituality.” Here are some of their responses:

“I don’t have a particular religion because I am open-minded, and I don’t think there is one particular religion that is right or wrong.”

“I feel that there is something out there, but I can’t nail down a religion.”

“Right now I’m kind of leaning toward spirituality, but I’m not too sure. I know I can pray to my God anywhere. I do believe in a higher power, but I don’t need a church to do that.”

Not surprisingly, the percentage of young people who claim spirituality but not religion was highest among those who describe their religion as “nothing in particular” (22%). These young people have created a god in their own image. They’ve made God and religion into what they want it to be. It’s really no different from the pagan people of the New Testament church days. They believed in many different gods and were fine with pretty much any god or belief—except Jesus Christ.

Why the opposition to Christ? Well, for the same reason people oppose Him and create their own alternate god today—because they hate the exclusive claims of Christianity. In our “tolerant” day and age, the idea of an “intolerant,” exclusive gospel where Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life, the only way to Heaven (John 14:6), and the only means of salvation (Acts 4:12) is abhorrent to them. So they reject the Jesus of Scripture and create something that agrees with their preconceived ideas.


Ironically, Christianity is really the most inclusive religion. The gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone—Jesus doesn’t discriminate against those from the slums of India, the mansions of Beverly Hills, or an average household in a crowded city in China. Salvation is for male and female, atheist or Muslim, slave or free (Galatians 3:28). If you are a human being, the gospel is for you (John 3:16). You don’t even have to “clean up your act” before receiving the gospel. You must simply believe in Jesus Christ and what He has done for us on the Cross and by His resurrection (Romans 10:9), repent of your sins (Acts 3:19), and you will be saved!

I’m Simply Too Busy–The final group claims they are just too busy to go to church. They haven’t necessarily rejected their upbringing, but they are “inactive.” Religion is simply not a priority for them. This group said things like:

“I just basically stopped going to church when I went to college and never picked it back up. I was never super religious.”

“I don’t practice any religion and I don’t go to church or participate in any of the rituals of the church.”

“I don’t have time to go to church.”

This group is reminiscent of Jesus’ parable about the soils. He describes a farmer sowing seed, which falls on different kinds of soils. Some of this seed “fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them” (Matthew 13:7). He explains, “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22). These young people may have heard the truth, but the cares of this world, the busyness of their lives, have choked it. It’s simply a matter of priorities—they don’t see religion as important enough to cut out something to make room for it; therefore, God is simply ignored as they pursue the things of this world.

How Do We Reach Them?

How do we spread the good news of the gospel to these young people who’ve left the church and turned to atheism, agnosticism, and spirituality? First, we need to provide solid answers to their skeptical questions. We need to show them that God’s Word can be trusted from the very beginning and that science, when properly interpreted through a biblical worldview, always confirms the Bible. We can expose the shaky foundations of their own worldview by asking good questions and pointing out the flaws in evolutionary and atheistic thinking.

We also need to show them an example of authentic Christian love. When we share the good news of the gospel and defend the Christian faith, we need to do so in love and grace. First Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” A harsh, condemning attitude does not exemplify Christ and will drive people away from Him, rather than toward Him. Many of these young people simply do not like church because they’ve had bad experiences. We need to show them what true Christian love and unity is like through our attitude as we engage with them.


It may be discouraging to hear the numbers of those who are leaving the church, but instead of being discouraged, we need to get on our knees and pray for this generation. Pray that God will give you opportunities to share the gospel with co-workers, neighbors, family members, and classmates and be vigilant to watch for these opportunities. Jesus promised, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18)—and, by His mercy, we get to be part of this! We also need to make sure we are doing our best to get our local churches to be teaching apologetics and raising up generations who will stand uncompromisingly on the Word of God, know what they believe and why, and will boldly proclaim the gospel.


Why Are Youth Leaving The Church

2 years ago (2017)  Add Comment by IvanS 123 Views   bible study  Written by IvanS

Why do young people leave the church?

Recently I have been involved in several conversations where those involved are worried or frustrated about the declining attendance of youth in their church.  In fact, there is something to this. In 2007, LifeWay Research conducted a poll of over 1000 young people that was later reported on in USAToday.

I have put together my thoughts on why young people are leaving the church.  Some of it is based on the outcomes on the survey and others based on observation and my own discussion with young people about church.

Issue 1 – Foundations–Although 30 percent of respondents cite the irrelevance of church as the reason for leaving, I believe that when you drill down in the other reasons, this reason will impact a greater percentage.  “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear,” 1 Peter 3:15.  Kids are very curious and want the truth.  They are quick to discern when things do not make sense.  If God is God, then we need to understand the foundations of our world.  A few such major issues are that of dinosaurs, the ice age, Noah’s flood, age of the earth.

Kids hear one thing from church about our origins and another thing in school.  Because schools today have an atheistic world view, their interpretation of the facts (fossils, global warming, etc) are inconsistent with the truths outlined in Genesis.

I spoke with a lady this morning that said concerning dinosaurs, “We were taught that dinosaurs were a clever deception of the devil, and so that is what I taught my kids.”  So I asked, what do you do when you take your kids to the museum and the large T-Rex id displayed in the lobby?  Do you grab your kids by the hand and drag them past it telling them not to look?

As parents, we are the spiritual guide in the home with the Bible as our authority.  When we do not have an answer, or when the answer ignores the facts and our children become confused when they here atheistic interpretations of the facts in school.  When the secular world view gladly answers the questions about any or all of these issues, it undermines your parental guidance and replaces the authority of God with the authority of the secular and atheistic world view.

I asked her, “do you know what the Bible says about the dinosaurs?”  She said no.

The Bible does not use the term “dinosaur”;  but neither did anyone on the planet before 1842.  The term coined  by Richard Owen in 1842 to mean “fearfully-great lizard”.  So when someone says the Bible doesn’t mention dinosaurs, this is not true at all, the Bible just didn’t use the term “dinosaur.”

church and evolution

Job 40:15-19 –  “Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; He eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, And his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, His ribs like bars of iron.  He is the first of the ways of God.”

Job goes on to describe other animals that God made that clearly are not with us anymore.   But the point is that God created everything including animals that were extinct before the flood, and those that are recently extinct like the Quagga or the Thylacine.

Issue 2 – Hypocrisy–There may be in some churches a lack of communication when it come to the great controversy.  The enemy will use those around you and where you are at a particular moment to cause you to want to leave the church or to be aggravated at something happening among church-folk. Hypocrites in the church is a good thing, praise God.  Just like liars and cheaters and other sinners.  I prefer every hypocrite to be in the church where there is hope, and forgiveness and life-changing Spirit of God.

When there is a lack of understanding about the battle that is raging, we criticize others.  “.. we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.  We need to consider the catalyst that brought that sinner from outside the church.  Yes, something made that sinner recognize their need for an about-face in their lives through the life-changing power of God. Then that sinner actually chose to enter into a church of other sinners.  They could have been repulsed by us, but through it all, they came and they stayed in the church.  This requires our contemplation and prayer.

Discussing the battle, the great controversy with our children helps them to recognize people struggling with consistency in their lives as they move from one way of living to the radically different way.  Inevitably they may fall or fail, but because of their budding or growing relationship with God, they get back up, they come back out to church.  We should not be a stumbling block to these people.  When you recognize a hypocrite in the church, you must also identify your own sin of judgement.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2.

Issue 3 – Creeping Compromise  I had a discussion with a friend years ago about leaving the church we attended and going to a different church further our of town.  He was emphatic that it was critical for him to switch churches because of his daughter and that if he didn’t make the move, he would loose his daughter spiritually.

Entire churches make decisions to add small entertainment components to church service to attract and keep young people.  When this compromise in introduced, it is hard to reverse.  In some cases, church service is indistinguishable from going to an intimate concert.  Music, a powerful influencer, starts to sound more secular and the difference between what should be holy and what is secular is small.

I saw their daughter today at an church event, adorned with all manner of jewelry and makeup.  Is it possible that our young people are already gone because some churches have become the gateway drug to secularism?  2 Corinthians 6:14 …’what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?’

Issue 4 – Trusting the Word of God There is often a disconnect between hearing the Word, attending church and singing hymns,  as opposed to loving the Word, seeking God, living Godly, working out our salvation with fear and trembling, and trusting God’s promises.  In fact, most Christians can point to several things this past week that God has done for them that is undeniable.  However, in our day-to-day decision making, Seeking God is not first on our minds and often He is not second or third.  We tend sometimes to rely on our own understanding and means.   God is often the tool that we use when all else fails and we are desperate.

There is nothing more powerful for a child or young adult to see God work in someones life and to see the recognition in that person that God is faithful.  Jesus, when about to raise Lazarus from the dead demonstrated this best:  “Father,I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” John 11:41-43.

It is not enough to be Christian or believe in God, but to have faith in God’s unshakable promises and stand on them before others.  Believe that God’s guidance, even His reproof are for you to have life, and have it more abundantly, and living this faith in the home with love and patience and meekness,is a powerful witness to all who observe.

Trust God in your home.   Not in words only but in everything you do and every decision you make.   Trust God, He is faithful.   Trust God in your home and in every aspect of your life believing that all things work together for good to those that Love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.  Children witnessing the relationship between you and your creator will want to also continue in faith throughout their lives.  They will know that unplugging from God, being detached from the Vine is isolating and is destruction.

Issue 5 – Relationships The Poll indicated that Fifty-eight percent of church dropouts selected at least one church or pastor-related reason for leaving church. Most common was, “church members seemed judgmental or hypocritical” (26 percent). Another 20 percent “didn’t feel connected to the people in my church.” (LifeWay

We are called to be like Jesus and to be His disciples.  However the very people we are meant to witness to are the very people we despise.  We are sinners, saved by grace, yet we hate sinners.  We criticize people base on their sin, yet we ourselves are sinners.   In fact, Jesus had a problem.  He saw people yearning for a Savoir and he was compassionate toward them all.  Yet He was criticized for spending time with sinners.  In many cases He physically touched them to heal them.  If we were alive when Jesus lived, would we be a disciple or a Pharisee?

In correction, Jesus rarely spelled out someones sin.  With the woman caught in adultery, He never called her an adulterer, but said go your way and sin no more.  The rich young ruler, Jesus never called out his sin and never said directly what he lacked, but told him to sell all he had and follow Him.  Yet often in our churches, we are eager to call out someones sin and in most cases interrupt the work that God is trying to do in their lives.

When this is experienced or witnessed in the church, it may make the sinner feel that the church is too good for them and they fade back into darkness.

If all of heaven rejoices when one sinner repents, then how much should we rejoice when one sinner comes through our church doors?  Notice, Luke 15:7 didn’t say that there is rejoicing in heaven when a sinner completely stops sinning.  Repentance is step one.  So when the repentant sinner walks through the door, they may not look, speak or act like career Christians but we should rejoice all the same and welcome them.

This not only the way we are to treat people when they walk through the church doors, but how we are to treat people at work, in the mall, on the crowded subway.  Where every you encounter another person, let your light shine.  Be a Christ follower.  Demonstrate love and a sincere yearning for everyone to know the God we serve and a loving God who changes lives.  And this life changing ability is so demonstrated in your life.

Lastly, we are Christians together.  We may see a day when we will suffer persecution together.  Let’s not be isolated at church, sticking to our comfortable groups.  Be a blessing to someone at church the next time you go.

Issue 6 – Prayer  A pastor I enjoy listening to, Henry Wright, once said that the amount of Holy Spirit that we currently have in our lives is not sufficient to take us through the time of trouble.  Now I know he was speaking about the time of trouble that will come upon this earth, but I have seen in my own life that the amount of Holy Spirit that I currently have is not sufficient to take me through the times of trouble in my life.  Times of devastating change, lost job, major accident or other upheaval that might impact me.

Consider Job, how many of us would stay faithful like Job, and how many would after a while be like Job’s wife who suggested Job curse God and die.  Sometimes the stress of life can be too much and we find ourselves crying out “How long, Lord.  How long will you leave me in this pain and misery.  Do you not care that I perish?”

Pray.  “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”  Romans 8:26.  So Pray!  Speak with God and let your life by prayer filled.  Our communication with God should be never ending and for all things.  God promises that He already knows what you need and just wants you to ask in faith.


Youth that leave the church is not just a church issue.  It is indicative of how God is impacting our homes and our lives every day.  Our children may decide to leave church because of what transpires at home.  Over or under zealous parents, or those just indifferent to the Word of God tend to produce teenagers that want to run from the unattainable standards or become apathetic, seeing the church as out-of-touch with modern reality.

Love is proof that we are Christians.  Love in the way we treat others, our children, our partners, coworkers and strangers on the street.  Love tells a visitor the condition of the church.  Love.  “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35.  Love should be experienced and witnessed by our children so they can also share Godly love toward family, neighbor and stranger.

Be sure you have answers for your children to explain Biblically things they learn at school.  If the foundation of “In the beginning, God created…”  can be eroded in their minds, church will be irrelevant.  Make sure your children understand the great controversy because this explains why the world is the way it is and how God will bring an end to this madness.  Resist compromise and the slide to secularism.  Trust and teach trust in God’s word to your children and show them how God is working in their lives also.  Pray without ceasing and develop relationships between you and each of your children, and encourage friendships between your children and other youth in the church.


Why Are Young Christians Leaving the Church? It’s Simple Math   Posted: 06 Mar 2019 01:53 AM PST

Several years ago I had the opportunity to speak to an engaging group of Christians in Elgin, Iowa at the First Baptist Church of Elgin. The congregation was a wonderful combination of young families and older members who understand the challenges facing the younger Christians in their midst. I shared the overwhelming statistics chronicling the growing number of young Christians leaving the church during their college years, but many in the audience had already seen the departure firsthand. The dilemma was personal, and they were ready (and eager) to examine the causes (and the possible solutions). Before I shared my T.R.A.I.N. paradigm, I took a minute to describe the causal factors leading to the departure of so many young Christians. This isn’t rocket science; three simple truths combine to create the situation we see today:

Our Christian Teenagers are Inarticulate and Uninformed
Unfortunately, most of the young Christians who graduate from our youth programs and enter college are surprisingly inarticulate about their Christian beliefs. Sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Denton did an excellent job of reporting the problem in Soul Searching: The Religious Lives of American Teenagers. They discovered Christian teens have the ability to be articulate about a number of issues, but are seldom articulate when it comes to their Christian beliefs. Most could not describe simple principles and claims of Christianity, and even those who could, struggled to provide simple responses to typical skeptical objections they will surely encounter in college. Our students have not been trained with the university battlefield in view.

University Campuses are Generally Hostile to Christianity
And make no mistake about it, the university setting will likely be a battlefield populated with people opposed to Christianity. Sociologists Neil Gross (Harvard University) and Solon Simmons (George Mason University) conducted a study in 2006 revealing 1 in 4 university professors are atheists or agnostics (nearly 5 times the ration in the general population. And according to an Institute for Jewish and Community Research survey of 1,200 college faculty members, only 6% of the professors say the Bible is “the actual word of God,” 51% say the Bible is “an ancient book of fables, legends, history & moral precepts,” and more than half of the professors surveyed have “unfavorable” feelings toward Evangelical Christians.

Young Men and Women Are Eager to Chase Their Desires with Liberty
Most of us, if we’re honest, understand the temptation facing young Christians, because we’ve also experienced such enticements. As fallen humans, we’ve all experienced the temptation of youth. For many of our Christian students, their college years are the first opportunity they’ve ever had to be free of their parent’s consistent oversight. It’s also a place filled with attractive young people, many of whom don’t share their Christian worldview. Consider the strength of the temptation and imagine the selfish value of an alternative worldview allowing young students to chase their passions and desires without restriction, inhibition or guilt. For many, atheistic naturalism, with its alternate creation story, moral code, materialistic values and goals, is an incredibly attractive alternative to Christianity. The fallen inclination to chase our selfish desire is common to all of us, but it’s a critical driving force for many young students.

It’s time to align our churches and ministries to engage the most important demographic within the Church: young Christians. 

It doesn’t take a researcher with a PhD to understand the forces at work here. In fact, the dilemma can be characterized with a simple equation:

Most of us ought to be able to predict the sum in this equation; it should be easy to anticipate the outcome. Take a closer look at all three “addends” being added in this equation. Which of these three additive realities can we, as parents, youth pastors and leaders, impact or change? We can’t change the hostile nature of the university campus or the human nature of our young Christians. If we want to alter this math equation, we’re going to have to get involved with the first addend. We’ve got to do whatever it takes to inform, equip and engage young Christiansin a rational, evidential investigation of Christianity. It’ll be tough enough for our students to resist the temptation to abandon their Christian worldview when tempted by their own desires; especially given the nature of university life and the encouragement they will receive to pursue their passions. But, it will be even easier to walk away if our students aren’t even sure why Christianity is true in the first place. It’s time to align our churches and ministries to engage the most important demographic within the Church: young Christians. It’s time to get in the game, redirect our efforts and start training.

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Apologetics at Biola University, author of Cold-Case ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.  Subscribe to J. Warner’s Daily Email



Brain-SMART Teaching

Brain Smart Teaching


“We are on the threshold of leaving behind the old way of teaching—the way based on right/wrong, competition, shame, fear, punishment, rescuing, and judgment, demand of compliance, and obedience to outside authority. We are entering a new age—a time of awakening founded on trust, inner knowing, allowing, choice, personal power, responsibility, love, and unity.”-Chick Moorman (author/educator), “Spirit Whisperers: Teachers Who Nourish A Child’s Spirit” 

There is a God-shaped hole within each of us, and our spirits are restless until they find rest in Him” St. Augustine                        Background–All kids can see but they can’t bring meaning to what they see. Thus, the need for the teacher!  The truth does not change but the teacher has the tools to assign meaning. The Most teachers see themselves as postal workers, they deliver the mail someone else writes and the kids spit it back. Good educators’ assist the students to write their own mail.

Do not take notes during lecture or video

  • the most common instructive tool is lecture
  • Lecture sends the least amount of info to LTM (long-term memory). The only way info gets into LTM is by hooking onto something already there, so scaffold new learning onto existing!
  • Every 15-20 minutes, allow the student to reflect in written or verbal form.
  • Content expectations should be the subtle stuff
  • Math requires reading; it is 50% a Language course!
  • Every 15-20 minutes Freshman and Sophomores need to move
  • It is not learned until THEY carry it forward.
  • Nobody cares what you teach; it’s what the student carries forward.
  • The lecture ratio is 70% me, 30% them,
  • to carry forward (invest energy and time) it has to be 50-50
  • 80% of humans thru the first 15 years are concrete learners, 80% of the curriculum is symbolic/abstract physicalize IT!!!

The brain is a survival organ and will take that road every time (www.! It makes economic/survival decisions. Emotion dominates attention and cognition in the following order—survival, growth plates, social interaction, cognitive; curriculum is number four. “Emotions dictate attention. It is biologically impossible to learn something to which the brain has not paid attention” (Sylwester, 2000, p. 11).

  • So what strategies are you using? If I take away scaffolding, the brain cops out! The brain-disconnect is the major cause of behavioral incidents. Classroom relationship meets their social need and DI (differentiated instruction) teaches to their learning level.
You intentionally create the emotions desired
  • The kids crave positive social interactions
  • Meaningful participation
  • Opportunities for self-definition
  • Structure and clear limits
  • Physical activity.
  • Creative expression.
  • Create the Emotionally inviting classroom
Use their names Catch ’em doing it right Listen intentionally
Applaud positive risk-taking Be prepared Demonstrate commitment to success, not documentation of deficiency.
Let go of grudges Give assignment choices Demonstrate academic struggle is a virtue, not a weakness
Display student work hydrate Give them roles and responsibilities
  • The emerging/maturing brain has 2 factors that affect it:
    • Moral and abstract reasoning, awareness of consequences, planning, immediate working memory, impulsivity occur in the pre-frontal cortex
    • Input bypasses the cognition center, goes directly to the emotional response center… the teen-brain lacks the governors on impulse and control. The brain matures between 18-25 years of age…look at average-age college enrollments ~29 yrs…
  • It takes 5-11 iterations for them to get it.Experts think in patterns, novices in separate pieces.
  • DI is not giving the faster learners more work to do, learning is episodic, NOT LINEAR!
    • Assessment is derived from the Latin “assidere”, to sit beside. Do we view the report card as an autopsy of physical?
    • Use assessment (formal and informal) to group kids for activities. Use it to inform instruction.
    • Assessment is done and the results (diagnosis) drive the next lesson or classroom decision.
    • Assessment and instruction are inseparable.
    • DI is doing what is right for the students. It’s best practice delivered strategically to maximize student learning and embedding info into LTM (carrying forward). It’s changing complexity and not the difficulty. It’s change the quality/nature not the quantity.
    • It’s not just the content, it’s presentation too.
    • DI makes sure they know the stuff, not that they did it. Kids are getting high grades for doing work and demo of mastery!
    • DI structures the info for the student for maximum LTM retrieval later!
      • If there is no prior knowledge, intentionally create the link
      • “Differentiated Instruction requires that teachers study student differences in understanding learning modalities, and interests,and plan accordingly to allow for different learning rates and structure tasks of varying complexity” (Scherer, 2000, p. 5).
    • Content is the legally mandated curriculum
    • Process is the way they learn
    • Product is the demonstration of knowledge.

How do students arrive?

  • Kids come based with their biased with perceptions so assess where they are—know where the kids minds are
  • Do not assessstudents unless you take actions (from the Latin, it means to sit beside)
  • How does assessment guide my next steps?

How do we group them?

  • Readiness
  • Interest
  • Learning profile—anything that imparts learning. Do not group by ability, it implies permanence and discomfort.
  • If we do this right, the next generation gets better!!!
  • Do the best to impart learning—
    • Synetics—pick 4 words & relate to current topic.

How do I make my classroom inviting?


§  celebration

§  humor

§  inviting atmosphere

Primary attributes of the Teacher

Learner empathy

Whole student attitude


Listening ability


FFC- firm fair, consistent


§  flexibility

§  risk-taking


§  large bag of tricks

§  authentic learning and application

§  frequent/ongoing assessment


§  tenacity–ganas

§  footwork

§  multi-tasking

§  organization

How much time is lost if I don’t have the student’s attention?

  • Attention getters for large groups
    • movement
    • sound
    • rain stick
    • power location
    • 5,4,3,2,1,
    • speak quietly, requesting action
    • hand up and start counting
    • minimize light blinking
  • Use of task cards maintains momentum
  • Attention moves
Using the student’s name Proximity Use S as assistants
Redirecting Vocal inflection Unison task
Startling Argue (devil’s advocate) Props
Pre-alerting Prompts Humor
Drama Praise Real-life connections

Lesson design 

Madeline Hunter still Lives (1984)

  1. The anticipatory set includes activities such as reviewing prior content (scaffolding), checking homework, introducing new topics or subjects and arousing interest. * If I prime the pump (set the purpose and explain the structure) the effect size of retention skyrockets to 0.80, without priming it’s < .3 and .25 is considered worthless!
  2. Lesson presentation usually consists of what might be considered the traditional teaching activities
  3. Checking for understanding entails asking questions, observing students working, and audits students’ progress.
  4. Guided practice—provides activities or opportunities foe students to practice and apply the skills or content central to the lesson with the teacher as guide or facilitator, providing feedback.
  5. Independent practice—takes place without the teacher
  6. Closure—at the completion of the lesson, the teacher provides activities or discussion that review and summarizes the content, skills, or materials used during the lesson. The instructor focuses students’ attention on what they have learned or accomplished during the period.

— In your lesson design consider the six facets of Understanding (Wiggins and McTighe)

1. Explanation 2. Interpretation 3. Application
4. Perspective 5. Empathy 6. Self-knowledge

What is  Layered Curriculum”

  1. When someone walks into the room the teachers is hard to find
  2. This is one-on-one time with the students, meeting face-to-face in their territory.
  3. Administrators are usually at a loss on teachers-observation evaluations- it is a bit of a challenge to walk into a room that is student centered (the have the main role) rather than teachers centered.
  4. Many the students are experiencing success.
  5. There are few classroom management problems.
  6. The teacher is smiling at the end of the day knowing she has positively affected the future.

What is available technologically for assessment?


Skills Tutor

Geometer sketchpad


Thanks to Wormeli, Sousa, Antonetti, Darnell, Fogarty,

The Digital Brain

Focusing the Digital Brain Marilee Sprenger

Marilee Sprenger

 Today’s students are experts at skimming and instantly sharing information. But they’ll need to do more than skim through the 21st century.

I recently saw a text message that one of my middle school students sent a friend: “First, he left me a voice mail, so I sent him a text on his cell, then he contacted me on Facebook, so I e-mailed him on my Blackberry. Two days later he sent me an instant message, but I wasn’t online. How will I meet him?”

This hyperconnectedness that doesn’t always lead to connection is a hallmark of what I call the digital brain. It’s how many of our students live their lives. This lifestyle has benefits, but it also causes problems. If we want our students to have the life skills the 21st century will demand of them, we must be aware of those problems.

Throughout their long lives, our students will not be passive viewers, but participants in an interactive, digital world. We adults must help all students assimilate technology into their lives in a way that will enhance—not eclipse—skills like sustained thinking and connecting to fellow humans. According to Daniel Pink (2005), two skills will make our students successful in the 21st century: high concept—the ability to detect patterns, connect unrelated ideas, and create something new—and high touch—the ability to empathize, read faces and gestures, and inspire joy in oneself and others.

So what does the kind of frenetic digital communication that the girl in my opening anecdote engaged in mean for these skills? Let’s look at how teenagers typically use digital tools and toys.

Growing Up Connected

Called both the net generation (Medina, 2008) and digital natives, our students have grown up using digital media. Their brains have been conditioned by using computers to play games, send email, exchange instant messages, or videoconference through Skype (Small & Vorgan, 2008). Instead of meeting face-to-face, they “text” one another on cell phones. According to a recent study of 2,000 students between the ages of 8 and 18, on average students spend six hours a day connected to some digital communication device, often to several simultaneously (Tapscott, 2009). They do homework while listening to iPods, sending instant messages, or watching movies on their computers.

 By adolescence, today’s young people have become experts at skimming and scanning. The average person spends two seconds on each Web site when searching for information (Small & Vorgan, 2008). Two seconds! Is this style of information gathering affecting our students’ attention spans? Absolutely.

We often refer to the kind of activity digitally connected people engage in as multitasking. But according to many neuroscientists (Medina, 2008), multitasking is not only unproductive, it’s impossible. The brain can only attend to one thing at a time. Yes, we can walk and talk simultaneously, but those two processes don’t involve the same brain functions. Walking is a procedural motor memory; because we don’t have to think about walking, the executive part of our brain can focus on making conversation.

 The Digital Brain in Action

Let’s look at what happens in the brain of Emily, an average teenager, as she thinks she is focusing on a homework assignment. Emily sits in front of her laptop. Her iPod is playing music by Coldplay. She has three windows open on her computer screen: her Web browser through America Online, MSN Messenger for sending instant messages and e-mail, and her word processing program. Her homework is to write about five causes of the U.S. Civil War.

As Emily is putting her heading on her paper, her cell phone rings. She quickly picks up her phone and a picture of her friend Ivy appears on the screen. “Hi Ivy, what’s up?”

“You’re not going to believe who texted me,” Ivy says. Emily squeals as she hears the name of someone Ivy is interested in dating. Just then Emily’s computer flashes, “You’ve got mail!” The executive part of her brain drops the conversation with Ivy as she reads a new e-mail from another classmate asking for the homework assignment. Emily answers the e-mail as Ivy rambles on, but she realizes she should get back to work. “I’ll text you later, Ivy. I have to get some work done.”

Emily shifts her attention back to the word processing screen. Let’s see, where was I? Her brain must let the snippets of social conversation drop out of her working memory. Attending to the assignment causes Emily’s brain to retrieve long-term memories of her readings and lectures on the Civil War. As she begins to think about the differences between the North and the South before the Civil War, her mind drifts to picturing Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind.

Refocusing takes several seconds as she remembers what Mr. Montgomery told them in class about slavery. Emily types “causes of the Civil War” into Google. Immediately, 12,900,000 hits come up. She clicks on the first link, realizes it doesn’t have any information she is looking for, and tries the next Web site.

 Immersed in her search, she is startled by a jangle from her Blackberry. Emily sees Jackson’s text message “What r u doing?” Jackson is Emily’s new love interest, so her brain floods with pleasurable chemicals as she types her reply—these chemicals make it hard to return to homework.

 So it goes among the net generation. Multitasking? Not many tasks are getting done. Later, however, Emily will remember her mission to complete her homework and will stay up late attempting to explain the reasons for the Civil War.

Some researchers believe that young people who operate the way Emily does are putting themselves into a state of partial attention. Linda Stone (2007), a former software executive for Microsoft, has coined the phrase continuous partial attention. Digital natives are motivated by a desire to be busy and in demand. They don’t want to miss anything, but the main goal behind their multitasking is not so much to be productive as to be connected to someone. Being physically present has become less important; responding instantly is highly prized.

In addition to being inefficient, this method of operating causes other problems. Excessive connectedness can cause stress, which results in the release of cortisol and adrenaline from the adrenal glands. Initially, this cocktail enhances memory. But over time, stress chemicals can lower the effectiveness of the immune system, weaken cognitive functioning, and, in some cases, cause depression. In addition, although quick communication occurs in scenarios like this, people aren’t bringing their full attention to their personal interactions. In small doses, this can be useful, but habitually using this kind of attention will put people’s ability to problem solve and interact with others at risk.

 Providing Balance

If you are 30 or older and fall into the digital immigrant category, you are probably trying to keep up with your students from a technology point of view. Your brain must change too. But you don’t have to be tech savvy to guide your students toward a healthy balance between always being connected through technology and connecting with real people. Here are seven strategies to try.

  Provide Reflection Time

After students search for information online or learn new material, give them time to reflect on what they’ve absorbed. To reflect, a person must use different areas of the brain and thereby give some overworked areas of the brain much-needed rest.

 One high school teacher whose school switched to a block schedule considered how to use so much time productively. He assigned journal writing as a way for students to think about their thinking. This forced students to slow down and yielded several other benefits. For example, when the teacher asked students to describe how they felt about specific learning experiences, students had to recall the learning, which triggered mental rehearsal of that information. He also asked students to suggest other ways they wanted to study this material, which provided fodder for differentiated instruction.

At first, many students requested learning through strategies like blogs or online lessons. As the teacher balanced the use of digital tools with face-to-face communication and low-tech materials, however, students began to request more face-to-face activities.

 Disarm Them

Take away the toys occasionally and encourage students to practice listening to one person at a time. Explain how uncomfortable you—and many people—find it to converse with someone who is reading or sending a text message. Pair students and give each partner three minutes to speak to his or her partner about an assigned topic. Each student must actively listen to the other, make eye contact, and not interrupt. After each partner has both spoken and listened, have students discuss together what each of them said and how the experience felt. Attentive listening usually promotes empathy and connectedness.

Discuss the experience as a whole class. Ask how students felt about talking and listening carefully to a peer while disconnected from any digital media. Did they notice facial expressions and body language? Did being focused change the communication?

 Let Them Teach

Our students’ digital expertise is an important part of their world. We should respect it. Encouraging students to teach one another about digital skills can help them see how they can use their instant access to information to help them evaluate and synthesize concepts and create something new.

 Henry was the Twitter king in his middle school. Sasha’s blog was followed by every girl in class. Wikis were Edgar’s claim to fame. These three students had a passion and talent for using digital media and jumped at the chance to demonstrate these tools’ potential for 21st century learning.

 Edgar, for example, took his classmates to the Wikipedia site and searched “causes of earthquakes.” He talked with fellow learners about the entries that came up and how to edit each entry. He was very serious about adding information to a wiki with integrity, insisting that this was a chance to add to a body of knowledge, not a license to mislead others. Most of Edgar’s classmates had used Wikipedia, but they hadn’t realized how interactive this site was or how to add to it. The students discussed how they could set up wikis about content areas they were studying.

 Use Interactive White Boards

Digital natives often interact with their world through screens. Interactive white boards allow you to connect a large screen at the front of the class to a computer and to project on that large screen whatever appears on the computer. The tool is interactive; with a finger touch, a user can move around the information that appears on the screen or even call up new information. Students can work in small groups at the white board, or the entire class can participate. Students can move physically and communicate with one another as they interact with technology.

 For example, the class might open from a computer file a worksheet they had for math homework and project it on the white board. Students can come up to the white board and demonstrate solutions. They can erase mistakes with their hands and call peers up to the board to help them.

 Build Emotional Literacy

Facility with relationships will be essential in this new century. One analysis of more than 100 studies showed that students who had received training in social-emotional learning, compared with those who hadn’t, earned higher grades, scored 14 percent higher on achievement tests, and were less impulsive and better at calming themselves (Lantieri, 2008).

 Communicating digitally is an efficient way to exchange data, but when dealing with fellow humans, everyone needs to be able to recognize other people’s emotions and to use emotional intelligence to help make decisions, cooperate, and even understand themselves. Students who immerse themselves in high-tech activities lose their ability to read facial cues and body language. In their world of instant communication, students seldom take the time to examine how they or others are feeling (Small & Vorgan, 2008).

Teachers can help students by simply taking a few moments each day to check in about how they are feeling. When I taught middle and high school, I checked in with students while taking attendance. As I called names, I asked each student to say “present” followed by any number from 1 to 10, with 1 indicating “I feel terrible” and 10 indicating “I feel great.” This reading gave me a good idea of how much learning would take place that day. If a lot of students gave low numbers, I would give students an opportunity to explore negative feelings through journaling or talking together before beginning instruction.

 I also had students practice becoming aware of others’ feelings. I showed students photographs of faces with different expressions and challenged them to decide how each person pictured was feeling. Students role-played emotions and asked classmates to guess what feeling they were enacting. At times, I guided students on how to handle situations in relationships, through role-playing or discussions. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning ( has excellent resources for teaching social and emotional skills.

 Teach Mindfulness

Meditation techniques lower students’ stress and improve their focus. Such techniques encourage mindfulness, a deliberate inner awareness of what one is thinking, feeling, and experiencing. This enables students to focus on themselves and to become aware of their own thinking.

 The 2008 book Building Emotional Intelligence by Linda Lantieri offers grade-appropriate suggestions for teaching students how to calm themselves and focus their attention. For example, some teachers simply offer students a five-minute calming time. Each student chooses a quiet part of the classroom and sits comfortably, slowly breathing in and out. Each student chooses a mantra, a phrase or a word such as ohm, that he or she repeats silently. Students focus on their breathing and the mantra and allow any thoughts that enter their minds to drift away. Students report feeling more energized and attentive after such a meditation.

 Encourage Storytelling

Digitally connected young people are experts at finding information, but in this century, they will need to package that information into broader concepts and share it in a way that engages their listeners’ interest and emotions. Storytelling enhances people’s emotional connectedness and understanding of concepts. It’s also what the brain likes best (Roger C. Shank, as cited in Pink, 2005).

 As we struggle to keep students’ digitally conditioned brains attentive in the classroom, storytelling may be one of our best strategies. Teachers might tell a simple story that relates to lesson content or students’ lives. When people tell stories face-to-face, those listening to them use more eye contact and watch the storyteller’s gestures. They are guided by the inflection in the speaker’s voice. Brain activity increases in the prefrontal cortex, which is a crucial area of the brain in terms of understanding the intent of a speaker’s message (Wang, Lee, Sigman, & Dapretto, 2007).

 Making Space for the Digital Brain

Students’ digitally conditioned brains are 21st century brains, and teachers must encourage these brains to operate fully in our classrooms. We must recognize that relationships and focused attention are key to learning in this century. If we can help students balance the gifts technology brings with these human gifts, they will have everything they need.


Lantieri, L. (2008). Building emotional intelligence. Boulder, CO: Sounds True.

 Medina, J. (2008). Brain rules. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.

 Pink. D. (2005). A whole new mind. New York: Riverhead Books.

 Small, G., & Vorgan, G. (2008). iBrain. New York: Collins Living.

 Stone, L. (2007). Continuous partial attention. Available:

 Tapscott, D. (2009). Growing up digital. New York: McGraw-Hill.

 Wang, A. T., Lee, S. S., Sigman, M., & Dapretto, M. (2007). Functional MRI studies at UCLA. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64, 698–708.

Brain Wurkz

How the Brain Works    David Sousa



  • We always focus on the what (subject matter) but not the how to learn (everything) fast
  • The brain— compartments
    • Base of skull—primitive
    • Middle brain—controls hormonal, emotions and part of LTM…strong emotions tie MEMORY LTM
      • fist with hand and wrap other hand over = neocortex—thinking brain
      • many neurons –its not really the number rather the connections we have between cells…intelligence is not fixed, it increasing by stimulated brain capacity…the brain expands thru use…you are the architect of your own brain…
      • The brain thrives on novelty…
    • The left (speech and logic, linear, sequence) and right brain (melody & pattern, global, intuitive) —the whole brain is actively involved…
      • Most traditional education materials rely on linear presentation that turns off the global learners…
      • Info entering our brains goes thru the middle and directs it like a switchboard to the primitive and new (neocortex). + Emotions engage and increase learning rates…
      • Stress and previous poor learning experiences present threat and learning less effectively because of less brain potential available…
      • Language uses 3 senses AVK—each brain has a preferred sequence of the combo—personal individual learning style…the knowledge of learning style makes effective learning possible…it should match that of the instructor if not then adjustments have to be orchestrated…
      • MI—natural and common sense talents—personal learning style combined with natural intelligence is the key match…academic success has been the usual mode of defining intelligence…things are changing

Master steps for accelerated learning

  1. Develop the mindset of a champion—peak state—relaxed, alert, confident, and motivated…= efficient results, spiral of upward outfoldment—


  1. 5 -10 deep breaths of fresh air for inc O2, ( count and hold each breath)—
  2. Pleasure principle—what are the benefits, what’s in new learning for you?, reasons come first then strategies,
  3. Internal vs. external motivation—go internal –internal motivation = physiology (kinesthetic) + focus (visual and auditory), this changes biochemical rhythms by a loud noise, snap of fingers, staring at the sky…ask an empowering question rather than disempowering. Stay in charge of your mental focus with visual imagery.
  4. Listen to soothing music—master 3000 words for a new language for 3 months, that is 35 new words everyday. Master the basic and simple expressions.
  5. Affirmations with positive incantations…our brain works like a parachute, when open it collects more…always summarize at the end of a lesson
  6. Daily goals think of benefits by write a summary paragraph, set a timetable, break it into chunks, take action in peak state, celebrate after each victory, summarize and sleep over info for consolidation during REM sleep, review before each learning session.
  7. Discover your learning style by observing your senses…feed your brain in the same sequence that it enjoys learning…think of mind maps, highlighting, pictures, engage in conversation, touch feel and smell, move around…absorb new info in all 3 sources… remember 10% read,  20% hear, 30% see, 50 % Hear and say,  70 % say and work, 90% say as you do® learn in the accelerated form®using a multisensory approach
  8. Explore the subject by all of MI—intellectual knowledge is only the theoretical data and understating of subject matter; profound knowledge is – produces profound results from practice of the intellectual knowledge…something has to be done with surface knowledge.
    1. Get a grasp of the concept, theory, philosophy or subject matter
    2. Practice taking in the info in your learning style, sorting it out, org info in brain and explore with all of MI
    3. Realization of dreams, goals and desires…best a teacher can do is supply materials meaningfully for you to want to learn and remove obstacles…intelligence is not fixed, it can change in situs, it is simply a set of abilities and skills…it is demonstrated by what people do and achieve…you need to work to add to and improve your intelligence..>>>balanced learning…logically—break goals into small steps; linguistically—treat brain as an archive with strong grammar, vocabulary to associate with native and foreign language with VAK, record your own tapes in foreign lingo; visually—step into real-life situ with practical applications; musically—create jingles, rhymes, songs in the new lingo; physical—move around while repeated dialogue, act it out, fake it before you make it happen; interpersonal—select study partners and teach each other and have fun while practicing; intrapersonally—step back and reflect on where you are and where you want to be with the new info.
    4. Memory strategies –there is no learning without memory…how to go from STM to LTM—
  9. memorize the key facts and repetitions –but by fun filled associations with VAK,  visual—where are you when learning, stimulate the imagination, read the info, watch a video, create learning maps—associate with something you already know (scaffold); auditoryassociations could be—quality of voice while repeating, musical accompaniment, natural sounds, cassettes, engage with experts, create anchors with sounds—kinestheticcan be changing physiology (position), clapping hands, snapping fingers, combos of the three for new info…NLP—forging a memory groove or pathway.
  10. Decide to remember
  11. Review cycle—forget 70 % within 24 hours without review…recap after every learning session and recap before a new one…
  12. Review within 1 hour
  13. Revise the info within 24

iii. Review within 1 Week

  1. 1 Month
  2. 6 months look at memory bank like lots of books logically organized…organize sort and put in recognizable filed
  3. Have fun—
  4. Create acronyms LUCK = labor under correct knowledge, TEAM= together everyone achieves more.
  5. Sleep over new info® consolidation for LTM…let the brain use the unconscious
  6. Memory flashing®repro the map from memory on paper
  7. Show you know –practice—intelligent repetition and practice…every repetition forges the info into thick branches in the memory bank.
  8. Reflection for constant and never-ending improvement. What are your dominant intelligences? How can you use all eight effectively. What are your favorite memory strategies?  Create positive neuroassociations.
  9. Pick what you want to learn and make it work for you!

When Students say no

When students say no     

“I’m Not Going to Do It”  Marlene Battelle

A bright blue sky and a soft warm breeze in the middle of winter offer hope that spring is on the way. Sometimes students need that metaphorical hint of spring to figure out that it is possible that they will succeed. Hope works wonders, and a teacher must offer students that hope. 

Working with academically at-risk middle school students presents some unique challenges. The environment needs to be interesting, warm, inviting, calm, positive, and without distractions. You must set clear rules and high expectations and assume that students can and will behave well and perform at a high level. A positive attitude is imperative, and the ability to not take things personally helps immeasurably. You must treat students with respect and make sure they know that you care for them. You must be able to sincerely show elation when they succeed and disappointment when they don’t. Establishing a relationship with each one of them helps you to be an effective teacher and is crucial to their success. 

The 8th grade boy who comes into class saying, “I’m not going to do it,” presents the teacher with an immediate problem. He intends to get a reaction, and preferably a strong one. A confrontation is in the making, and even though there are days when you would really like to accommodate that intent and just yell, “Yes, you are—now get busy!” that would not lead to a satisfactory conclusion for anyone. The key is to react quietly, calmly, and positively and not to take the defiance personally.

The best response depends on the student and your past history with the student. You have to know the student and also have spent some time reflecting and understanding your action/reaction/interaction pattern with this particular student. Is this a game that you go through nearly every day, for which you both know the unspoken rules? Is this an uncommon occurrence? Is there something else that is really the issue, and it isn’t the assignment at all?

In some cases, you can respond by ignoring the statement. Some students just have to test the teacher the moment they walk in the room, and if no reaction is forthcoming, they will drop the issue and go to work. If a student just becomes louder and more demanding of your attention, a response is necessary, and some time needs to be spent determining the cause of the defiance. Does he not understand the assignment itself? Does he feel like it is nothing but busywork? Did he have a bad experience in the last class period? Is there something else going on that is frustrating him?

Answer the student quietly and calmly with, “Yes, you are going to complete the assignment; maybe not right now, but you are.” This approach is only effective when you have actually established a relationship with the student and you realize that the student needs to go through this defiance stage and be given some control before he is willing to do the requested work.

You also have to know that the student understands and is capable of doing the assignment. You can then suggest that the student complete another assignment and then work on the original assignment, or, if necessary, say, “Work on this today instead and bring me the other one completed first thing tomorrow.” In most cases, the student will respond well to this. Give the student choices of what to do in a given time, but always have all the options be things you want the student to complete anyway. Two options work best, because sometimes more just lead to indecision and inertia on the student’s part.

Spend some time going through the reasons for the assignment and the reasons for the student to complete it. When the student finally gets to the stage of saying, “I don’t want to do it,” you have changed his focus from being obstinate to being more reasonable, and you can switch to understanding his unwillingness and sympathizing with him.

The best response is usually brief. Don’t talk the issue to death, because the student knows what he is doing and what is inappropriate about it. He’s probably already heard it a number of times. If the student knows you care about him, and if you have a good relationship with him, you can even get to the point where you can say, “You know the spiel, I don’t need to say it again; let’s just move on,” and he will do so.

Teachers always have a number of paths from which to choose, keeping in mind that you must treat each student as an individual. That hope of spring, understanding that working with difficult students is a work in progress, and a positive attitude will reap great benefits.

Any goal we have that diverts us even to the slightest degree from the central goal of being “approved to God” (2 Timothy 2:15) I must learn to relate everything to the primary goal, maintaining it without interruption. My worth to God publicly is measured by what I really am in my private life. Is my primary goal in life to please Him and to be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how lofty it may sound?


“Be ready when an opportunity comes. Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.” Roy D. Chapin Jr.


Until you are willing to be confused about what you already know, what you know will never become wider, bigger or deeper.” Milton Erikson

“Aude aliquid dignum” (16th century Latin for “Dare something worthy”)

Dante–L’acqua ch’io prendo gia’ mai non si’ corse

The sea I sail has never yet been passed’s_taxonomy



A wise man once said, “If you study to remember you forget. If you study to understand, you remember!”

We remember

10% of what we read

20% of what we hear

30% of what we see

50% of what we hear and say

70% of what we say and write

90% of what we say as we do = To TEACH

???? double check the original research and check if it is still true ????

“Repetitio est mater studiorum.”

“Repetition is the mother of studies/learning.”

eiπ+1=0 “The most remarkable formula in math” Richard Fennyman-he knew where the Argon Matrix was

Ancora Imparo — DaVinci at 89 years-old–

I Look for what needs to be done… After all, that’s how the universe designs itself.” R. Buckminster Fuller

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

‘We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or SPARE us.’ Marcel Proust

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Martin Luther King Jr

Too many people think the world owes them a living.

The world owes you nothing. It was here first.– Mark Twain


Life’s Big Questions and Resources

What are Life’s Big Q’s? Who do I turn to for answers?

  1. Man’s Chief Aim– To glorify God and enjoy him forever
  2. Origin: Where did we come from?
  3. Identity: Who am I ?
  4. Meaning: Why am I here?
  5. Morality: How should I live?
  6. Destiny: Where am I going?
  7. Why is everyone feeling argumentative and outraged??? It’s because we are stained and guilty and under judgment


Navigating Genesis—Hugh Ross

Tactics –Gregory Koukl

ON Guard—William Lane Craig

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be and Atheist—Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek

Cold-Case Christianity –J. Warner Wallace

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