Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 6

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 2 Comments

When my daughter Kelli was in middle school she and her friends often choreographed dance routines — some rather elaborate — to their favorite tunes. A few hours of tumbling and thumping on the upstairs floors of our home would eventually lead to a big dance performance, which my wife and I took in eagerly with much applause. It occurred …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 5

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 0 Comments

My basic point in this series of posts is that when students grow into their “true selves” in Christ, they are likely to remain steadfast in the faith. But when spiritual engagement and church life feel artificial, boring, obligatory or moralistic, there’s a good chance young people will check out (or just drift away). They will look to discover their …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 4

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 0 Comments

How can we keep young people in the church? Seems to me this is not precisely the right question. The better question is how we can help young people love God and grow into their “true selves.” A happy by-product will be their faithfulness to the church. Here’s a start: Teach kids to engage in productive faith.In his two books Culture …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 2

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 6 Comments

Imagine a 16-year old named Caleb who grew up in the church but within a couple of years will leave, perhaps permanently. Caleb is fascinated by the world of cars, racing and engines, and wants to go into auto mechanics. At church Caleb experiences worship, community, Bible teaching. All good things. He learns about morality, God’s love, salvation, prayer. He’s …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave, Part 1

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 2 Comments

David Kinnaman Recently a concerned mother approached me at a church where I’d spoken and told me a story, versions of which I hear often:“My son announced that ‘he can no longer believe in the Christian God.’ He’s walked away from the faith. He used to be involved in youth group, a worship band, family devotions, Christian conferences, evangelism . …

The Forbidden Subject Part 2

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Church 0 Comments

Last week I related how I decided to bring up a forbidden topic with a person who, in certain circumstances, is intimidating to me. I knew going into the conversation with Jim that I’d probably mess it up somehow. Worse, however, was the idea of postponing the conversation yet again, which I’d been guilty of for a long time. So …

Reflections from 56, Part 3

Rick Mattson Church, Devotion 0 Comments

When it comes to ministry, my thinking and practice have undergone several changes in middle age. One is that I’ve shifted from a focus on innovation to, well, basics.Admittedly not too exciting. Yet, I take this change to be a significant upgrade. The young man’s thinking was this: Whenever our ministry is struggling to keep its head above water, most likely …

Reflections from 56, Part 2

Rick Mattson Church, Devotion 2 Comments

Transformation I’ve noticed since turning 56 that I’m not as smart as I used to be.  As a young man I was pretty sure I knew better than most how to fix the church. The thought was to break with tradition and move church folk out to the cutting edge of radical methods in evangelism, leadership and worship. I figured …

From Urbana ’12

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Atheism, Church, Devotion 2 Comments

The Urbana ’12 Missions Convention is my 12th Urbana. The event is held every three years by InterVarsity (and has been relocated to St. Louis as of 2006). Three observations: 1. This generation of students is deep into community, teamwork, cooperation. 2. They show little interest in the turf wars of their elders regarding denominations and secondary doctrines. 3. They’re …