Worship In The Emerging Church

Periodically I get a chance to sit in a live studio audience for a CCN broadcast. I’ve seen Doug Fields, George Barna, Larry Osborne, Henry Cloud, etc. The best part is I can bring students and expose them to some of these leaders.

Anyway, I was particularly excited about the recent Worship In The Emerging Church seminar with Dan Kimball (he blogs!) and Sally Morgenthaler. If you’re going to hear two folks talk about this subject it’s hard to pick a better team. You can get the notes in PDF (although there are blanks).

Some thoughts I had:

  • As I suspected, college ministry really is a behind-the-scenes driver for a lot of the “emerging church” “postmodern church” stuff. Dan launched the precursor to his current church as a college ministry. All the staff at Curtis’ church (including Curtis) are former college ministers.
  • Dan mentioned that he had done a survey and 98% of UC Santa Cruz students were not part of either a church or a campus ministry. Hurry up, Brian & Cecilee!
  • Curtis Chang was also there as an audience member. He wrote a book on methodology in apologetics (Engaging Unbelief) which I really like. He also pastors an uber-cool church in nearby San Jose. I asked what he’s been reading lately and he said Mountains Beyond Mountains and that it had really stretched his vision. I’d never heard of the book, which just shows I really do know less than other people think I do.
  • The weakest point in the seminar was a foray into the realms of multiple learning styles. I find the concept as it is usually expressed pretty bogus. I’m not sure the church should be taking its lead from America’s education system and the theories that underlie it. Let me rephrase that. I’m sure the church should not be taking its lead from America’s education system. My apologies to all the educational theorists in Chi Alpha who will now regard me as an enemy.
  • Resources that were recommended:
  • In closing, I’d never seen Dan before this but I’d heard people rip on his hair. I like his hair. It suits his nose. He also plays with his wedding ring a lot, which I do myself.

Spirituality In Higher Education 2004–2005

The Spirituality In Higher Education project has released a new report for the 2004–2005 school year.

Some highlights (and my thoughts):

80% of college students attended a religious service within the last year.
MY THOUGHT: if they’re not coming back to the church it’s not out of ignorance–they don’t like what they see.

50% of students are “seeking” “conflicted” or “doubting” when it comes to their faith.
MY THOUGHT: that’s half my audience–is my ministry structured accordingly?

26% of freshmen consider themselves born again.
MY THOUGHT: they don’t know what that phrase means 😉

There’s a very readable article, Religiosity Rising On Campus, that covers the same data as in the official report.

GQ Profiles The Jesus Freaks

I just read Upon This Rock, an absolutely phenomenal article by an ex-Christian who goes to a Christian music festival and writes about it for GQ.

If you are a college or youth pastor you really need to read the article in its entirety. I mean it–all the way to the end.

(thanks to GetReligion for drawing my attention to this)

Religion In The Academy

Earl Creps just sent me a link to the article Revitalizing Religion In The Academy. Pretty boring unless you’re thinking about the role of religion in university settings (but interesting if you are).

Anyway, one stat leapt out at me: Campus Crusade for Christ reported a 73% increase in student attendance between the 95–96 school year and the 98–99 school year.

College Humor

There’s a fascinating article on the runaway hit CollegeHumor.com at the New Yorker: Funny Boys.

Two passages that struck me:

A key to college humor, the four have realized, is that students like to think they belong to a small in-crowd that understands the joke, while the public at large remains clueless. Take the phrase More Cowbell, which is a slogan appearing on one of the most popular of the companys Busted Tees; it comes from an instruction given in a skit on Saturday Night Live. Not everyone saw that episode, so the people who did see it think it is that much cooler because nobody else knows, Josh said.


Josh, of CollegeHumor.com, is happy to point out that his site has surpassed The Onion in traffic, though I cant say we are better. There is a crucial difference in content between The Onion and CollegeHumor.com: while the success of the former depends on the wit of its writers, the appeal of the latter is closer to that of Americas Funniest Home Videos. CollegeHumor.com offers found humor of the sort pioneered by, among others, Steve Allen and David Letterman. Yet CollegeHumor.com isnt the expression of a governing comic sensibility determined to entertain an audience with, say, Stupid Pet Tricks; rather, the audience decides what is funny, and entertains itself. CollegeHumor.com doesnt just cater to the lowest common denominator; its cooked and served by the lowest common denominator, too.

Relevant Network — September 2004

I’ve receive yet another shipment from Relevant Network. I keep telling people it’s one of the best values I’ve ever seen in ministry.

Here’s what I got in this month’s kit (slightly delayed due to Florida hurricanes).


  1. Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller ( Dick Staub interview)
  2. Facedown, by Matt Redman
  3. The Relevant Church, edited by Jennifer Ashley (came with study guide)
  4. God’s Relentless Pursuit, by Phil Strout
  5. The Revolutionary Communicator, by Jedd Medefind and Erik Lokkesmoe


  1. Highway Video Volume 9
  2. Igniter Video’s Together Team Hoyt


  1. Planetshakers: My King
  2. Watermark: The Purest Place
  3. Shawn McDonald: Simply Nothing
  4. Derek Webb: The House Show
  5. Jami Smith: Wash Over Me

Plus I got the usual five issues of Relevant Magazine and the Relevant Leader magazinelet.

Not too shabby.