Student Loans – Change is on the Horizon

© 2017 Hamza Butt, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

The amount of educational debt among emerging adults continues to increase.  In 2016, the average among college graduates was over $37k.  About 44 million Americans hold about 1.34 trillion dollars in student loan debt.  This amount of debt as a young adult can be overwhelming, and change is needed to our educational system, and how college is financed.

Millions of student loans could be headed for big shakeup

As Courtney Minor began a master’s program in vocal performance, she made sure to heed some well-known advice: Stick to federal government student loans. 

In completing the two-year program at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Boston in 2009, Minor racked up $60,000 in debt using six different loans, which required her to pay a total of $800 a month for 10 years following her graduation.

Read the full article here.

Here are some of the changes discussed:

  • Adjusted Loan Forgiveness
  • Employer Incentives to Assist in Debt Payments
  • Additional Refinance options
  • Eliminate PLUS loans

While no one really knows what the future holds (since many of these changes are based on our political system), the church should speak regularly about the danger of debt which is mentioned regularly in scripture.

Related Articles:

 

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and communities to minister to the needs of emerging adults.

Emerging Adult Ministry – Reading List

Here are some resources that I recommend for those who want to minister to emerging adults.  Our recommendations does not mean that we agree with everything stated in the book, or with all beliefs of the author.

© 2014 Brittany Stevens, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

If you want to know the first book that you should read – my top pick…

Continue reading

Why are Millennials slowly leaving the church? by Sam Eaton

The purpose of EA Resources is to provide resources to equip parents and churches to minister to the needs of emerging adults.  Many times churches turn away emerging adults because they do not understand how they think or feel about the church.  This article represents one voice of the Millennial Exodus – or those who have either left or almost left the church.  You can find more of their stories by searching under the phrase Millennial Exodus.

Here is Sam’s story.

We are already misunderstood and highly overlooked. Millennials are on a clock worked schedule and it always seems to consist of proving ourselves to people as well as being heard. Much of these unfortunate events tend to happen in schools, the work area, with family (who are not millennials) and even church.

Yes, I said church.

Read the entire article here.

This article was written by Sam Eaton.  You can find out more about Sam at his website.

Why did emerging adults not vote in the 2016? What does this mean for the Church?

In the 2016 election, 46% percent of emerging adults (18-29) voted.  This percentage was up slightly from the 2012 election.  Historically, younger Americans do not vote as much as older generations.  For example, over 70% of those over the age of 65 voted in the election.  We could say that the reason that emerging adults don’t vote is because they are all lazy and narcissistic, but that would not be true.

www.census.gov

 

I believe that young voters often do not believe that their vote will make a difference.

Democracy is built upon a belief that each individual has a voice, and that each vote matters.

I recently read an article that was discussing the recent election in the United Kingdom.  In the last election (which included the decision about the UK leaving the European Union), 43% of voters between the ages of 18-24 did not vote.  The author stated that behind each young adult, there is a story as to why they feel as if their vote did not matter.

The author states that she believes the same thing is true about the church.  She states, “If they [emerging adults] haven’t been included in decision making and leadership, if they’ve been patronized or belittled, why would they bother turning up?”  I believe that there is a correlation between the involvement of emerging adults in the institutions of government and the church.

Emerging adults are rarely allowed into places of leadership.  Emerging adults are rarely given the opportunity for their voice to be heard.

The decline of religion in the UK has been occurring for many decades, and as the decline of religion is becoming clear in the US (Millennial Exodus), we should listen and learn from them.

Unfortunately, sometimes current church leadership does not want them to vote – because they are afraid.  They are afraid of what the new generation believes.  So instead of everyone coming together to work out our differences, we simple don’t leave room for them at the table.

Instead of fear, I believe that we should respond in faith.

Without the voice and vote of emerging adults, the church suffers.

Relevant Links

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources.  He is the founder of the EA Network.  If he can help you and your community ministry to the emerging adults in your community, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

The Millennial Exodus – An Article from South Korea

The article is entitled – Why young South Koreans are turning away from religion – Some churches are employing technology and becoming less hierarchical to try to entice and keep young members.

The article was interesting to me because it has similar features to the Millennial Exodus happening here in the United States.  According to the article, the reasons why South Koreans are leaving the faith…

  • Smartphones
  • Demanding Educational System
  • Unemployment
  • Church Hierarchy

Unfortunately, it appears that some churches are attempting to win them back by following the Western churches through hip music and pyrotechnics. 

Here are some additional resources about this topic.

 

Multigernerational versus Intergenerational Churches

Spiral of Hands from Flickr via Wylio

2008 lostintheredwoods, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio

Here is an article that introduces some discussion about Multigenerational Churches versus Intergenerational Communities.

Here are a few of my highlights:

  • In a MULTIgenerational church, the generations can show up on the same day and in the same place, can all be in the attendance rolls and partner files, but not be interrelated or interconnected in life or experience.
  • An imbalance between the generations can lead to problems like…
    • Older generations have the money and resources to keep the lights on, so their preferences, advice, and past experiences hold more weight in the direction of the church.
    • Younger generations are “the future,” so massive shifts in worship, style, look, and structure of the church are risked to head towards that future.

Here are some additional resources concerning building an Intergenerational Community.

Here are some questions to ponder:

  1. Is your faith community – Intergenerational or Multigenerational?
  2. Does your leadership reflect the diversity of the body of Christ by generations?
  3. What is the first step for your community for moving towards a intergenerational church?

 

New stats of Religious Teens in the UK

Is it really true that 20 per cent of young people are active Christians? Unsplash

I found this article over the weekend, and I wanted to share it with my readers.  The articles states how approximately 20% of adolescents in the UK claim to be religiously active.  I believe that the author makes a good point to show how sometimes religious studies where recipients self-report are not accurate. It could also reveal that like young adults in America, many claim to be spiritual – but what that really means is different to those who study faith and religion.

When something seems too good to be true, it’s probably because it is. As reported by the Daily Telegraph at the weekend, a new piece of research suggests that 21 per cent of young people (aged between 11 and 18) describe themselves at ‘active followers of Jesus’. And while that is a wonderful idea, and one that all of us involved in youth ministry hope and pray for, I’m afraid it definitely doesn’t ring true. One of the team behind the research was quoted as being ‘shocked’ by the results, and said ‘there was disbelief among the team because [that number] was so high’. It’s a remarkably honest sentiment, and one I share.

Here is the rest of the article.

I have written many times about the Millennial Exodus, and the decline of Christianity in America.  England has traveled that road before us, and those who still cling to faith understand the new world that we may soon be facing.  The author writes,

 “The Church is faced with a huge challenge in re-engaging young people.”

The UK is not alone.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources.  He is the founder of the EA Network.  If he can help you and your community ministry to the emerging adults in your community, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

 

Facebook is Seeking Authentic Community

I came across this article, and had to share it.  Facebook is now seeking how to develop community that is real and authentic.  Many churches are attempting to do the same thing – for a different reason.

At Facebook, mere “sharing” is getting old. Finding deeper meaning in online communities is the next big thing.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg is no longer satisfied with just connecting the world so that people can pass around baby pictures and live video — or fake news and hate symbols. So the Facebook founder wants to bring more meaning to its nearly 2 billion users by shepherding them into online groups that bring together people with common passions, problems and ambitions.

In this Wednesday, June 21, 2017, photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, right, talks with Facebook group administrators Lola Omolola, left, Erin Schatteman, second from left, and Janet Sanchez during the Facebook Communities Summit, in Chicago, in advance of announcement of a new Facebook initiative designed to spur people to form more meaningful communities with Facebook's groups feature. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Here is the full article.

The article explains how their leadership team is seeking to move Facebook from social sharing into communities where people find genuine community.  Community is powerful.  As humans, we were created to be in community with one another.  The ability to develop a community is so essential, that I present it as one of the basic developmental factors of adulthood. 

Facebook is facing an uphill battle.  While still the largest (by far) of the social media platforms, Facebook is facing decline among today’s adolescents and emerging adults who prefer to use Snapchat or Instagram.  This decline in popularity is causing them to rethink social media.

The main cause for this change is money.  Facebook made $27 billion dollars on advertising last year.  The longer that people stay on Facebook, the more income that they produce.

According to Anita Blanchard, virtual communities “can fill a fundamental need we have for a sense of belonging, much like eating or sleeping.”  The real hurdle for building authentic community is whether virtual communities, can truly provide undivided attention, a warm embrace, or help when your car won’t start.

If you are looking for a virtual community to join, check out the EA Network – a network of people who desire to minister to the needs of emerging adults.

Related articles:

 

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder of EA Resources, and the EA Network.  If he can help you minister to the emerging adults in your life, contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

 

Professor’s response to student’s absence: Bring the baby

 

Morgan King and her daughter, Korbyn, pose for a picture. Morgan's professor offered to take care of Korbyn during class whenever King is unable to find childcare.

© Submitted by Morgan King

A University of Tennessee student got a heart-warming surprise when she emailed her professor about missing class last week.

 

Morgan King, who studies therapeutic recreation, emailed her professor, Sally Hunter, on June 15 to tell her she had had to miss class the day before because she couldn’t find child care for her daughter, Korbyn.

Read the rest of the story – here.

While many of today’s emerging adults are waiting to have children, it is important to know how to treat these young parents in today’s culture.

The reason that the story went viral is due to a professor embracing the challenges of an emerging adult.  Instead of telling the young mother to suck it up (or calling call her lazy and self-centered), this professor responded with a heart of service.

How can churches respond in the same way to today’s young adults?

Here is an article where I discuss how Millennials are now having children, and how the church can respond to serve them.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources.  He is the founder of the EA Network.  If he can help you and your community ministry to the emerging adults in your community, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

Why You Need the Church (And Not Just a Campus Ministry)

Russell Moore is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (Website Bio).  He has recently made news as one of the few Southern Baptists to question support for the direction of the Republican party.  While I would not agree with this man on several topics, I found this article on his website, and wanted to share it with my readers.

Please share with your graduating seniors.

May is graduation season. All across the country, thousands of high school seniors are getting ready to leave high school and hometown behind as they go off to college. This includes many Christian students, for whom a move to a new city means being away not just from the comforts of home, but from their home church. Away from the gathering of Christians they’ve known for years, many students will look to their school campus ministry to fill the void.

Here is the full article.

At the end of the article, he gives practical ways to stay connected to a church including:

  • Resist the temptation to keep your membership in your home church.
  • Join a church in your college town, as soon as you find one with a commitment to Christ and the Scripture.
  • Find a church where some people will know your name, and will know if you are not present.
  • Make a friend who will ask you where you were if you missed a weekend.
  • Spend some time with people in your congregation who are not in the same place in life as you–a lonely senior adult, a harried thirty-something Mom, a sarcastic fourteen year-old kid.
  • Pester the church leaders of the church for some way for you to exercise your gifts in the congregation–and let the leaders recognize and encourage your gifts.

What are some additional ideas for connecting with a new church community?