Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Buster and Mosaic Generations

A few days ago, I ended an entry with the question "Why?". I'm not going to dive too far into details today but want to keep true to the title of this blog, "Keeping It Real." Part of the answer to this question is that I have a deep, sometimes paralyzing, struggle with understanding my purpose and experiencing fulfillment. Sometimes, it feels like my insides are being shredded into little pieces.

This is reality.

I'm reading this fascinating book, unChristian, by David Kinnaman. (See the new bookshelf on the right side of the page.) This book explores the negative perceptions of Christianity among younger people. The gist of it is that outsiders - particularly younger folks - perceive Christians as being unChristian - hypocritical, sheltered, too political, and judgemental. (These are just some of the endearing characteristics.)

This is reality.

Kinnaman shares some interesting statistics on the Buster and Mosaic Generations in the Sheltered chapter (Chapter 6, pgs 126-128). The Buster Generation includes those born between 1965 and 1983. The Mosaic Generation includes those born between 1984 and 2002. (I'm limiting the following stats to the Busters to keep this short. Check out the book for the whole story.)

25% are unfilled in life
12% are lonely
14% deal with addictions
33% describe themselves as overweight
17% are in serious debt
25% who have been married have already been divorced
50% have used expletives in public in the last month
50% are stressed out
25% have consumed enough alcohol in the last month to be considered drunk

I can relate/empathize with many of these stats.

This is reality.

Kinnaman goes onto to share an excerpt from an interview with a twenty-eight-year-old, "So many Christians are caught up in the Christian subculture and are completely closed off from the world. We go to church on Wednesdays, Sundays, and sometimes on Saturdays. We attend small group on Tuesday night and serve on the Sunday school advisory board, the financial committee, and the welcoming committee. We go to barbeques with our Christian friends and plan group outings. We are closed off from the world."

This is reality.

It is relatively easy to put together stats, to identify problems, to offer critiques. However, we are left with a question:

What do we do?

Check out Trent's recent post, Get Real!, for another look into these types of issues.

As the month of March draws to a close, I just want to say, "Thanks," to those of you who have stumbled upon this lowly blog in its inaugural month. There have been some awesome "off-line" conversations. You folks rock my world. You break my "bubble." Have a great week!


justin said...

"So many Christians are caught up in the Christian subculture and are completely closed off from the world."

This dude is revealing the whole problem. Why should Christians be closed off from the world? I don't think they should. We should be very much in the world, affirming the goodness we find, and fighting the evil we find. It's one thing to avoid temptations. It's another thing to disregard a suffering and confused culture, to withdraw into ourselves, for the sake of avoiding temptation.

We should be prepared to take radical steps to overcome darkness with light, both in our personal lives, and in every point of contact we make with the world.

Anonymous said...

Reading these quotes, I was forced to ask myself: Am I closing myself off from the rest of the world, sheltering myself in this tiny bubble? Is it better to be on the outside looking in, or the inside looking out?