Reading Time: 14 minutes To save his job, Christian Watts clung hard to a time-tested, long-honored evangelical get-out-of-scandal-free card: calling upon Christianese to escape the writing on his wall.
Youth Pastors and Ministers
Pastor who gave kids ‘I ❤️ hot youth pastors’ stickers placed on leave
Reading Time: 3 minutes Days after Fairview Baptist Church youth pastor Cory Wall handed out “I ❤️ hot youth pastors” stickers to kids, the Greer, South Carolina church says he’s been “placed on administrative leave.” However, their statement is hardly an apology and fails to acknowledge why so many people in the community are upset. As I recently posted, after […]
This church’s ‘I ❤️ hot youth pastors’ sticker raises many, many questions
Reading Time: 3 minutes If you’re a youth pastor at a church, and you’ve seen all the articles about youth pastors getting arrested or being sentenced to jail for sexually abusing kids, how on earth could you think it’s a good idea to hand out a sticker to children in your church saying “I ❤️ hot youth pastors”? Because that’s […]
The Fantasy and the Reality of Evangelical Youth Groups
Reading Time: 9 minutes Of late, we’ve been checking out the hilarious, utterly-lacking-in-self-awareness ramblings of aspiring youth evangelist Greg Stier. Obviously, his target customers, youth ministers, value and adore All Things Youth Ministry. However, youth groups in white evangelicalism aren’t actually very effective at their stated goals. Today, I’ll show you the fantasy — and the reality — of youth groups.
The Fantasy Youth Evangelists Sell Pastors (Doesn’t Ever Happen)
Reading Time: 8 minutes Hi and welcome back! Lately, we’ve been talking about an evangelist named Greg Stier. Like many similar evangelists in his market, he sells his products not to teenagers but their parents and pastors, who grow more desperate by the month to slow down Christianity’s decline. To make sales, he offers his customers various promises about […]
Counting the (False) Costs of My Teen Zealotry
Reading Time: 8 minutes As we reviewed evangelist Greg Stier’s three totally-surefire teen evangelism strategies, many of us got angry and saddened — because we’d been exactly the teens he’d have considered major successes. For many of us, though, his strategies caused us only immeasurable grief — first and foremost because evangelists lie freely about exactly what the costs are that we should be counting. Today, I’ll be counting the costs of the zealotry that Greg Stier desperately wants to push onto unwitting evangelical teens.
John Ortberg: The Scandal That Just Keeps Getting Worse
Reading Time: 9 minutes Recently, yet another megapastor lost his cushy gig due to scandal. John Ortberg battled against this inevitable conclusion for weeks, but yesterday he finally resigned (effective August 2nd). This scandal’s got a lot of similarities to the ones we’ve seen erupting out of evangelicalism like the angriest volcano ever — so I wanted to look at it today. Today, let’s examine John Ortberg’s scandal — and see what it tells us about that end of Christianity.
Teen Baptisms Are Down (Still!) in the SBC
Reading Time: 10 minutes The SBC tracks baptisms-by-age-group — and they’re alarmed about just how far teenage baptisms have plummeted. That trend doesn’t seem to be anywhere near reversing, either. Today, let me show you a decline that gives me a lot of hope for the future.
Church Volunteering: Just Like Group Work From School
Reading Time: 11 minutes Over the past week, I’ve noticed a lot of discussion regarding church volunteer work. Not much of it sounds positive, either. In fact, it reminded me intensely–and most unpleasantly–of group work from my school days. Here’s why church volunteering reminds me of those old hurts. (In this post, I discuss a bad bunch of experiences […]
Andy Savage and the Problem of Evil
Reading Time: 9 minutes The first important thing that Frank Page’s resignation shows us: that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is still way too focused on shoring up its disintegrating power level to worry about reforming its own broken system. But I hinted–as Yoda did once–that there was another reason: many Christians still haven’t figured out that “Jesus” is doing exactly diddly-divided-by-squat to help anybody at all in Christianity do anything, or realized what this perceived inaction means.