Some interesting information on how the world around us views the church. David Kinnaman of the Barna Group shared the following insights from his soon-to-be-released book, "Un-Christian: What a new generation really thinks about Christianity . . . and why it matters" on the perceptions of 16-29 yo's have of the church and Christianity. Young adults perceive Christians in general as anti-homosexual 85%, judgmental 87%, hypocritical 85%, old-fashioned 78%, too involved in politics 75%, and out of touch with reality 72%. When asked, "What is your current perception of Christianity?" they replied, "Present day Christianity is no longer like Jesus intended." In this age group, 33% have a favorable impression of homosexuals, but only 3% have a favorable impression of evangelicals!!!!! In America, the number of 18-41 yo's who are "outsiders" is 34 million. ________________________________________ Chris Seay, an emergent church leader from Houston, addressed the consumer mentality of the church. In 2005, Americans spent $154 billion on Christmas gifts--$795 each!! $18 billion was spent on makeup. $15 billion on perfume, and for $10 billion everyone on earth could have access to clean water. ________________________________ Rick Warren writes: "Too many churches today would rather be cute than effective. I am addicted to changed lives. We cannot forsee the future, no one coul dhave predicted 9/11, but the world will continue to change at an ever-quickening pace. Focus on the things that will not change; people need to be loved, they will need meaning, they will need a cause to live for. If you can make the message simple, God will bless it.. The key to engaging culture is humility, integrity, generosity, vility, clarity (simplicity). The reason we have not engaged culture is because of our arrogance. Humility is not denying our strengths, but being honest about our weakness. Humility is teachability. If you can't learn from other people, you have an ego problem."