2014 sees the return of the Biblical epic. Exodus will be released in December, and Noah opened this weekend. Naturally, Noah has created quite a stir amongst evangelicals – will it be Biblical? Will it be offensive? Will it be too environmental?

I went to the theaters this weekend to watch the film. I love movies, and always enter the cinema with a sense of excitement. Story is powerful. It can change people at a heart level and cause entire shifts in our culture.

The director, Darren Aronofsky, is an atheist with some dark (though powerful) films in his history. I’ve seen some of his work, and so I knew he had a very unique style – this would not be your standard Hollywood epic. I was actually shocked that he would do a Biblical epic, but this piqued my interest even more.

Was it Biblical?

This is the most popular question and comment from Christians that I’ve seen. But I knew going into the movie it would not be completely Biblical. First, when was the last time you saw a movie that was the same as the book? Probably never – film structure works differently then the written word. Elements are also added in to increase the visual drama.

Secondly, the actual story of Noah in Genesis is less than 2500 words. In order to create an entire movie, narrative elements will need to be imagined and added. I might upset some for saying this, but there would be no point to judging it for every detail that differs from the Bible.

Interestingly, I think many people are probably comparing the film to the felt board stories they heard growing up. I have some news for you: those felt board stories with a smiling and happy Noah weren’t exactly Biblical either. The same could be said for the Veggie Tales version (Noah did not have an umbrella!)

We must be cautious with stories like this to not let the movie (or felt board, or anything else) replace Scripture. This is true in all things – God’s Word is our standard and nothing else.

Knowing what I know about the director and story in general, my chief concern going into the film was this: What themes and messages would the film convey? Would they align with the Bible? Would they enable Christians who desire to engage culture to have good discussions?

Image Credit: Noah Film

Quick Review:

The quickest way to review any film is to answer this one question: Do you recommend that others watch the movie? For me, the answer about Noah is a yes. As expected with Aronofsky, the film does have a very unique and artsy style – and some may not like it. They attempted to blend art-house film with an epic adventure. Sometimes the blend worked, and other times it didn’t.

The “Watchers” were unexpected and awkward (their special effects felt fairly 80′s at times), but they did make the battle scene a lot more entertaining. Again, this is definitely not the felt board version of Noah. It is violent (like much of the Old Testament) and not one for kids. Overall, however, there are some beautiful scenes, the drama is often gripping, and the acting is superb.

Most Christian film or television is remarkably subpar and cheesy. While this isn’t technically a Christian film, it was extremely refreshing for me to watch a Biblical story told as an art form. It’s not perfect, but it was definitely a step in the right direction from a quality standpoint. I hope the movie encourages more Biblical films from Hollywood. Even more so, I hope it encourages Christian story tellers to improve their work.

I did find the themes of the film quite thought provoking, and though there are some holes Biblically, I believe that if you watch the film with non-Christians you can definitely have gospel-centered conversations.

Image credit: Noah Film

Themes in Noah

There are several messages going on in Noah, and I think all of them are relevant for today and could lead to great conversations for people who want to #LiveFully in their approach to culture. I don’t want to ruin the film, so I won’t go into great detail.

1) Care for the Creation: One of the chief reasons God destroys the world in Noah is the destruction man has done to the Creation. God is frequently referred to as “the Creator.” Some will say the film was too politically environmental, and perhaps it is. But do you know what drives me nuts about Christian conservatives? They defend creation and condemn evolution, but do little to actually care for the Creation. Just to clarify, I am a conservative Christian and I do believe God created the world. I just think If we claim to love the Creator, then we should make sure we’re taking care of His creation.  Question for discussing with friends: Are we honoring the Creator by our treatment of creation?

2) The sinful nature of man: The film definitely demonstrates the sin of mankind. You expect this with the people who drowned in the flood, but I was impressed by a scene where Noah confesses to his wife that he realized he was sinful and deserved death as well. This is as Biblical as it gets. We tend to look at heroes in the Old Testament as perfect, but they were deeply flawed and needed a Savior. Question for discussing with friends: Is all of mankind truly evil? 

3) God is Just and Merciful: God’s justice is certainly abundant in this film. His mercy is more difficult to see, but it is also present. One character shouts, “Creator, forgive me” as he dies and is instantly swept up to Heaven. God blesses Noah and his family in the end, despite their faults. Our culture struggles with a God who would flood the entire world, and perhaps we should. But despite the sin and death we cause, God still chose to redeem our situation. Question for discussing with friends: Do we deserve justice or mercy? 

4) Man’s choice or God’s plan? I think one of the most interesting questions of life is that of freewill. If God has a plan and knows all things, what role do our choices play? They must matter on some level, but I’m not sure we’ll ever know exactly how. Noah must make an extremely difficult choice in the climax of the story, and ultimately his decision is blessed by the Creator. The choices are quite dramatic, and I think the film  puts too much weight into Noah’s choices, but it can still make for an interesting discussion. Question for discussing with friends: Do our choices matter? Or has God planned everything already? Or do they work together somehow?

Conclusion:

Noah may not perfectly Biblical, but don’t miss this opportunity to engage with culture and point people to Jesus.

Your turn: Did you see Noah this weekend? What were your thoughts?

I once read an article about Justin Bieber’s faith.

“I’m a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins,” Bieber told Billboard in November 2010, while promoting his autobiography. “I believe that I have a relationship and I’m able to talk to him and really, he’s the reason I’m here, so I definitely have to remember that. As soon as I start forgetting, I’ve got to click back and be like, you know, this is why I’m here.”

Now that sounds really nice, but considering his moral breakdowns this year, this statement he made in 2010 can seem very surprising. Bieber (or, “Bizzle” as he might now prefer to be called) was arrested for drag racing, drunk driving, and resisting arrest. There are also stories of him beating people up, going to strip clubs, and more.

But if you read the rest of his interview with Billboard, I believe we will find a key to his failures:

“They go to church just to go to church. I’m not trying to disrespect them. But for me, I focus more on praying and talking to Him. I don’t have to go to church.”

I understand what Bieber means about people who “go to church just to go to church.” I grew up in the Bible belt, which meant I knew hundreds of people who went to church, even if a relationship with God meant nothing to them.

Bieber does get one thing right, Christianity is about a personal relationship with God and not religious rituals. Prayer is essential for any christian, but by avoiding the church, he misses a huge blessing and sets himself up for a colossal fall.

You see, the church is not a building you visit on Sundays. The church is the people of God, and we need them.

I’ve heard this analogy before, and perhaps you have too: I love building fires (perhaps that is part of my genetic code as a male). Anyone who has spent much time around fire knows that burning wood will continue burning best when it remains with the rest of the burning wood.

Fire

If you pushed a log away from the rest of the fire, that piece of wood would quickly die out. Most christians today have sung or prayed that God would “light the fire in my heart.” We want to love Him passionately, but if we live in isolation from the church, we make our job incredibly difficult.

Christianity is not a solo act. If you want to #LiveFully, you need to live in community with other believers. We need the encouragement, the accountability, and the passion of other people inspiring us to seek the Lord even more.

The church is messy – it’s full of broken people who sin on a regular basis. But God loves the church. He protects it, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The church is the bride of Christ, and if we hope to love God, then we must also love His bride.

#LiveFully.

There is a disturbing trend these days: People are fighting hate with hate.

Perhaps I should not be surprised. After all, this sort of thing has always been around. The internet, however, has expedited things by giving people the freedom of anonymity to really let their insults fly. If you spend much time reading comment threads on news sites, youtube, or internet forums it won’t take long to find this sort of behavior.

Just to clarify, I’m not talking about trolls (people who say preposterous and outrageous things just to make others angry). Trolls are a problem, but all we need to do is ignore them. I’m talking about people who genuinely think they’re making the world a better place by verbally assaulting people who do wrong.

The story of Alicia Lynch

Take, for instance, Alicia Lynch. Now, this story may be ancient history (it happened almost 3 months ago), but I think it provides an excellent picture of the problem.

Lynch made a stupid decision, she really did. She dressed up as a Boston Marathon victim for Halloween. It was insensitive and foolish.

Initially, people called her names and ranted about her insensitivity. But hate always begets more hate, and things quickly escalated for her. There are many tweets and forums filled with horrible statements, but here is an example: “Is that chick with the marathon bombing halloween costume dead yet? have we killed her yet? If we havent, then what are we waiting for?”

Someone found her address and home phone number on the internet, and the death threats started happening over the phone. She lost her job and even her parents had their lives threatened.

Now, Lynch was certainly insensitive. But we have a serious problem in culture when we think that the appropriate way to handle an insensitive person is to hate, bully, and ruin their lives. It’s shocking, actually, that people could feel so incredibly self-righteous about themselves as they make death threats to a 22 year old they’ve never even met.

Do they not realize that their words and actions are an equal, if not greater offense than hers?

The log in your own eye

The Pharisees were also self-righteous. They never did anything wrong, and they looked down on all the sinners who dared cross their paths. Jesus tells a convicting parable in Luke 18:9-14

“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Who do you identify with more in that parable? The pharisee or the tax collector? If I’m honest, my personal thoughts sound a lot more like the pharisee. “I’m a good guy! I go to church, lead a small group, love my wife, I don’t drink too much…”

But the reality is, I am much more like the tax collector. I am selfish, egotistical, demeaning, and a sinner in desperate need of mercy. Until we understand this, until we recognize the depths of our own sin and accept the fact that we are actually jerks ourselves, then we’ll struggle to love people like Alicia Lynch who make mistakes.

So before you focus on getting the splinter out of your friend’s eye, consider the log in your own eye. We cannot control the selfishness or sin of others anyway, but with God’s power and help we can see change in our own hearts.

Why hate will never solve the problem

I’m going to close with two quotes from two brilliant men of faith. First is from Martin Luther:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

In fact, if you try to fight darkness with darkness, things will only get darker. If you want to change something positively, it can only happen with love.

And now we turn to a CS Lewis quote,

“Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him…The more cruel you are, the more you will hate; and the more you hate, the more cruel you will become—and so on in a vicious circle forever.”

Light defeats the darkness

Avoid the vicious circle, choose to love your enemies. If you want to see less hate in the world, our only weapon is love. To #LiveFully is to love fully.

How to Reverse the trend

It’s nice to talk about how we need to love instead of hate, but what does that actually look like practically? How do you love someone you disagree with on the internet? Here are some ideas on how to start reversing the hate trend in our culture:

1) Remember that you, like me, are a sinner who desperately needs God’s mercy. When you remember that, showing others grace will occur much more naturally.

2) Celebrate the good. Human nature is much more prone to pointing out faults than celebrating the good. Instead of ranting and sharing nasty stories, why not share and comment on positive stories? For instance, it was so encouraging to see the way Atlanta responded to Snowmaggedon last week.

3) Pray for people. We all make mistakes, and we all need prayer. Want to love someone like Alicia Lynch? The easiest thing you can do is pray for her. You could even let them know through social media.

4) Act instead of rant. For some reason, people think that they make a huge difference by ranting about problems in the world. I suppose awareness is a good thing, but instead of just ranting about something that makes you angry, take the time to get your hands dirty and work to reverse the problem. Allowing someone to continue hurting themselves or others isn’t loving at all, so work to help make an actual difference.

Your turn: What can you do today that will show others love?

The world watched last night as the Seattle Seahawks dominated Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. With a near perfect defensive performance and a rock solid offensive effort, the Seahawks were in control from start to finish.

On the heels of such glorious achievement in sports, many would say Seahawk stars like quarterback Russell Wilson have arrived at the pinnacle of their lives. And yet, as this short video reveals, Wilson and several Seahawk players are convinced that there’s something far more fulfilling than a Super Bowl victory or any other human feat.

Whether you’re a huge sports fan or not, this brief video is definitely worth the watch. #LiveFully

If you’re interested in seeing the interview in its entirety, just click here.

Can We Help?

Brian Burchik —  January 9, 2014 — 1 Comment
This is a guest post from Erin Burchik. Erin directs local and international outreach for Grace-Snellville Church outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She's also Brian's wife (which is a whole different challenge).

Chipotle Salad :)For New Year’s Day lunch, I wanted to do something really delicious. So, naturally, when I thought of delicious I thought of Chipotle. And then I thought about their burrito bowls. And then I started cooking.

As I was getting started on the food our 5-year-old Amyra and her little friend asked, “Can we help?”

I looked at the rice simmering and the chicken cooking and realized being eye level with a gas stove would not be the most beneficial way for them to help. So I told the two little ones that I would get everything ready and then they could assemble everyone’s burrito bowl.

So I prepared the different components, lined them up, showed them what to do and then let them loose. It was precious the way they debated over how to arrange the rice, beans, avocado, chicken, and cheese. They saw the bowls as their canvas and they were making a work of art.

As we sat down to eat, the girls watched our faces as Brian and I enjoyed their masterpieces. While I took so much delight in setting these two little ones up for success, guiding them along the way, and encouraging them as we ate – something dawned on me. They loved helping and being included. They loved coming alongside me to do something as simple as making lunch.

Granted, I am the one who went to the store, stood over the hot stove, and then showed them how to make the burrito bowls. But I found a way for them to be involved and it brought them and me so much joy.

I want to go into 2014 with this perspective in how I relate to God in the things I do. I want to recognize that he is the one who does the hard stuff that I can’t do: provides, supernaturally brings things together, opens doors, closes doors, creates, and guides things. But I just want to help. I want to help bring things together in the way he leads me and to just be a small part of the finishing touches. He is already at work but I want to come alongside him in what he is doing.

But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” (John 5:17)

At #LiveFully, we talk a lot about wanting to be a part of God transforming every area of our lives so that as followers of Jesus we can impact every area of culture. In order to do this, we must recognize that God is working and then ask him the simple question, “Can we help?”

He is the one who can bring about another renaissance in the arts, reformation in education, impact in governments, and a spiritual rebirth in the lives of people. And yet he invites us into the process. He  provides and we get to bring a few pieces together. He does opens doors and invites us to walk through them. He is at work and we get to come alongside him. And in doing so we get to experience the most full life imaginable. Not to mention, it brings the heart of God so much joy.

So as 2014 begins, let’s keep this in mind:

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. (Psalm 127)

As God builds things in your community, your school, your workplace, your family, may you come alongside him and see how you can help. #LiveFully

photo by: Mike Saechang

buchinger_fence_5x7In the last few months, one thing has become painfully clear: I’m addicted to what’s next.

The next big break professionally, the next house to buy, the next city to live in, the next group of people to get to know. Or in more shallow ways, the next “like” on Facebook, the next email, or the next retweet on Twitter.

This addiction to what’s next is apparent in my marriage. Erin and I have noticed that the majority of our conversations are focused on the future, as we constantly discuss what opportunities may be just around the corner.

But recently we’ve been asking, “Is this the best way to live?” And perhaps the harder question: “Deep down, are we perpetually discontent?”

Continue Reading…

photo by: Sir Home A Lot

Remembering C.S. Lewis

Brian Burchik —  November 22, 2013 — Leave a comment

Exactly 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. On that very same day, one of the most influential Christian thinkers and writers of the twentieth century, Clive Staples Lewis, also passed away.

It’s hard to communicate just how profound of an impact C.S. Lewis made in the western world, and surely his work continues to challenge and shape how people understand Christianity today. From his fiction writing like The Chronicles of Narnia, to his masterful non-fiction works including Mere Christianity, Lewis’ books have sold millions of copies and been translated in over 30 languages.

Here fifty years after Lewis’ death, let’s take some time  to remember his life and impact. This brief documentary from Asbury University does a great job honoring this man. Praise Jesus for the way he transformed Lewis’ life, and used him to creatively share the good news of Jesus with so many. #LiveFully

Jeremiah 2:13 is a rather fascinating Bible verse. It boils down all the sins of Israel into two evils: “for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

I believe we can say the same thing today. All of our sin – our lying, cheating, stealing, pride, lust, sexual immorality, greed, hate, selfishness, and so on are the result of forsaking God and pursuing other means of satisfaction.

This creates a bit of a paradigm shift for me. It means my sin has the same two roots as a murderer, adulterer, and addict. We have each forsaken God, and we’ve each turned to different cisterns to find satisfaction. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the majority of sin (maybe even all of it) occurs because the sinner is seeking satisfaction or happiness.

Living Water verses Empty Cisterns

The great tragedy, of course, is that no sin can satisfy us. The imagery is striking in Jeremiah 2:13. Living in New Zealand has reminded me of how beautiful living waters can really be. We are spoiled here with clear, blue rivers that rush across the entire country. A cistern is meant to catch and hold rain water. They are necessary in many parts of the world, but fresh living water is always preferred to water that has sat stagnant in a holding cell.

God promises us living water!

And yet, God’s people have rejected clear and fresh running water. Living water is available in abundance, but instead they poorly build their own cisterns, hoping to find refreshment by their own devices. And while they may find something to drink, the dirty and diseased water never satisfies. It leaves them feeling empty, sick, and thirstier than ever before.

When you really open up Jeremiah’s metaphor, it seems insane. Why would anyone forsake abundant, clear, and clean water for dirty water that runs out far too quickly? And yet, all of us do it.

Some cisterns I like to build:

Until recently, I thought cisterns were limited to outright sins. God has begun to show me, however, that I run to more than I realized. Here are three examples:

1) Approval of man: I am a people pleaser. I had anxiety issues in high school because of it. My desire to please people still remains strong today – I seek satisfaction in the knowledge that I have impressed people (in fact, I’m probably hoping to impress you with this blog post right now – pray for me!)

2) Self-Righteousness: I want to appear godly. I don’t always desire godliness when I’m on my own, but I want to hear other people talk about how godly I am. Why? Because I seek satisfaction in my own self-righteousness. This is wrong, and frankly has caused me to treat people rather poorly because I thought I was “better” than them. Being godly is a great thing to desire, appearing godly is an empty cistern.

3) Dollar bills: I’d like you to think I don’t believe money satisfies. And really I don’t care about the bills and coins and numbers on my eBank statement. I just want the lifestyle that comes with lots of money – I want to eat out whenever I want and travel wherever I want and not feel bad about it. I just think I deserve a rich man’s lifestyle sometimes. This can sometimes have rather negative effects for me.

Full disclosure: This is embarrassing, but I once spent $130 on a year’s supply of body lotion. It was a luxury item, and I was tired of always saving money and saying no to nice things. So I decided I deserved to have a nice thing or two around. I know my sin nature drove this decision. Why? Because I don’t even use body lotion. I just don’t like the stuff. But for some reason, as I stood there in the mall I decided I deserved the luxury lifestyle and so I handed someone my debit card. I regretted it greatly after two hours, and despite having well moisturized hands for two weeks (before I gave up) it certainly has not satisfied me yet.

The need to demonstrate compassion

All of my thinking has lead me to two conclusions:

1) I need to pursue satisfaction in God alone. It’s not enough to reject cisterns. Rejecting old cisterns along will lead us into new ones, and there is no limit to cisterns we can create. If we hope to move away from our idols, we must turn to the only one who can satisfy us and provide living water.

2) I need to demonstrate more compassion to others: It’s so easy to compare myself to others. “I may need the approval of man, but at least I haven’t cheated on my wife!” I’m not hear to argue that some sins are less heinous than others, but they do have the same root cause. An adulterer commits adultery because he (or she) believes it will make him (or her) happier. In the same way a thief steals for thrill, a murderer vies for power, and a teenager first looks at pornography.

All of us are desperate to find happiness. We want satisfaction and we all look into our own cisterns. Instead of looking down at others who simply want happiness, I challenge you to be like Christ and enter into their world. Don’t join in their sin, and don’t give them excuses to continue in it either. Instead point them to the source of true happiness and fulfillment: God.

Once you’ve tasted living water you know that nothing can be better.

So share the good news: that Jesus offers the life they desire. He is the good shepherd, and he has come that we may have life to the full.

Your turn: What are some empty cisterns in your life?

This is a guest post from Erin Burchik. Erin directs local and international outreach for Grace-Snellville Church outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She's also Brian's wife (which is a whole different challenge).

universal thank you noteIn a moment of potential chaos, Jesus had two options.

There were over 5,000 people gathered, hungry, and looking to him for food. He could have chosen to look at them and figure out how to throw a colossal meal together. He could have focused on what the next step was to get food, what would make the most sense in light of the huge need in front of him.

One of his disciples brought him the lunch of a little boy. In that moment, Jesus did something radical. Something that did not make sense. He chose to thank God for the little he held in his hands. In doing that, something miraculous happened. What Jesus gave thanks for began to multiply.

In choosing to focus on the (small) gift in his hands, thousands of people were exposed to God’s loving heart for them. They saw that God cared about them. They saw that giving thanks to God, even for small gifts, created miraculous, awe-inspiring provision.

This Thanksgiving season, rather than focusing on the stressful aspects of our lives or looking towards the next season too early, let’s live fully in this season. Let’s practice radical thanksgiving – even for small things. And I think God will help us see the awe-inspiring moments all around us – even miracles. Here’s 7 practical ways to cultivate this gratitude.

7 Ways to #LiveFully in this Thanksgiving Season:

1. Start counting those gifts! Ann Voskamp (the “Mother of Thankfulness” and the person I’ve learned so much about thankfulness from) says to count those gifts – all the way up to 1000. Did you know that practicing gratitude can increase happiness by 25%? So get those journals out and start at #1.

2. Try to write three meaningful thank you notes (or emails) from now until Thanksgiving. Let people know what they’ve meant to you! Here are 7 free printable thank you cards for you to use – no excuses!

3. Read Psalm 100 and 111 and take time to thank God for all he’s done in your life. Here is a beautiful FREE print of Psalm 100. Print it out and put it somewhere in your home or give it someone who needs this reminder this season.

4. Think you have nothing to be thankful for? Watch this clip starting at 2:10. It’s inspiring (even though its a little fuzzy). A man with no arms and no legs who knows how to #LiveFully! POWERFUL! Be thankful for everything in your life.

5. This is what we’re doing at our house this Thanksgiving season. You or your kids cut these printable leaves out, attach them to some branches, and voila! A thanksgiving tree! We’re doing one a day here, writing someone or something we’re thankful for on the back, and watching gratitude being cultivated in our daughter.

6. After your done reading this, close your eyes and ask yourself, “Who is the one person I need to say thanks to?” Your mom for putting up with you as a rebellious teenager? Your grandpa who sacrificed for your family? A friend you haven’t seen in a while? Don’t think – just call them! Say the thank you you’ve been meaning to say but can’t seem to get around to.

7. This holiday season when you feel stress or chaos starting to creep in – STOP! Like Jesus, take a moment and thank God. Then watch as the chaos and stress come into perspective and a miracle happens – your heart changes!

–What are you grateful for this year? How has gratitude and thanksgiving changed your perspective? 

Share what you’re grateful for in the comments below. We’d love to celebrate along with you.

A Troubling Statistic

Brian Burchik —  October 31, 2013 — 3 Comments

268/365 - Default StateI recently came across an article reflecting research from the Barna group. It’s focused on the faith of millenials, and specifically what keeps millenial Christians connected to the church.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “millenial,” it refers to young adults between the ages of 18-30. (ages can slightly vary depending on who you ask.)

The entire article is worth the read, but there was one statistic that I could not get over.

According to the Barna group research…

Only 16% of young Millenials in church know how their career/work is informed by the Bible and Christianity. 

This is troubling to say the least. The gap between people’s understanding of the Bible and how it informs their own sense of purpose on the earth is huge. And I believe it’s a major reason so many, especially young adults, are ultimately walking away from the church.

The article indicates that one way “churches can deepen their connection with Millenials is to teach a more potent theology of vocation, or calling.”  At a time when such a low percentage of young adults see how their faith integrates into their jobs and careers, the importance of this quite obvious. We must demonstrate how various careers and jobs connect with following Jesus (not just the obvious ones, like pastors and worship leaders).

The good news is that the Bible casts the greatest vision for personal calling. There is no other world religion or religious narrative that validates a person’s work and purpose more than Christianity. And yet so often we miss it.

A central message of the Bible is that every single one of us is created by God, made in His image, called to represent Him in all we say and do (Col 3:17). And more specifically, the Bible teaches that we are each created for specific good works, mysteriously planned by God in advance (Eph. 2:10).

We believe “living fully” means following Jesus in a way that transforms every area of personal life and impacts every channel of cultural life. Specifically, we believe that God’s people are called to be salt and light in every channel of culture: family, education, business, government, media, arts & entertainment, and religion.

So here’s the question: How do we help Christians, particularly young adults, understand how their faith in Jesus integrates into their work? And how can we equip them to impact the various channels of culture in the name of Jesus?

I’d love to hear how you or other people/organizations are helping equip the next generation to step into their God-given calling. Leave your examples in the comments below.

If you’re interested in further exploring these ideas, check out Brian’s new book #LiveFully: Re-imagining the Greatest Calling on Earth.

photo by: Helga Weber