Saturday, November 04, 2006

scary photo of the week and revolution conference!

So these guys are the top 3 executives of alliant tech systems, the corporation that makes 90% of the small arms ammunition sold both privately and to the military in the U.S. (not to mention other excellent shit at larger scales for really big guns on battleships, and planes, and so forth). This means, imho, that they bear responsibility at some level for 90% of 30,000 deaths and 65,000 injuries in this country every year (.....9 times 30,000 = 27000, and .9 times 65K = ...58.5K) and god knows how many deaths and injuries around the world every year.
So here's my question. What do you see in their faces?
Here's the major themes I picked up at the totally awesome revolution conference this weekend:
What matters: kindness, justice, humiliy, connection with other people.
What doesn't matter: the local church.
Now some of you are probably going "oh my god, you heard that the local church doesn't matter? that *so* wrong wrong wrong.) Well here's what George Barna found out:

1. after any given sunday morning worship service, 80% of attendees felt they did not connect with the living god during the service.
2. after 1 year, 50% of regular church attenders said they never during the year experienced connection with the living god during church services.
3.Only 23% of people said that the local church was the place where they experienced their best spiritual connection/transformation.

Furthermore, Barna did research on what is influencing culture in america. What causes people to do and think the things the do and think. He found there were three tiers of influencers.

1. 7 things which provide about 60-70% of the influence in our nation. These were: Movies, music, tv, books, internet, family, and public policy.
2. a bunch of things which put together provide about 20% of the influence in our nation, including peers and radio
3. a larger bunch of things which provide about 10% of the influence in our culture. Among these is the local church. Furthermore, if you try to break it down to *just* the local church, he found that for the average american, the local church provides about 0.5% (that's one half of one percent) of the influence in their lives.

So here's the question: Is *this* where god is going to accomplish what he wants to accomplish in and through our culture?

Barna decided "NO", and he says he has 'joined the revolution', because god made him to be a people influencer, and it just wasn't happening as part of the 1/2 of one percent.

so the two questions, again, are:
1. What do you see in the faces of the ATK execs?
2. (in the light of Barna's research) Is the local church where god is going to accomplish what he wants to do in and through our culture?

You can peruse Barna's research at The Barna Group


Benjamin Ady said...

greed. "i don't care." "there are those in the world who matter, and those who don't"

and as for the church ... i dunno where its role is in my life ... i think it needs some deconstructing and redefining!

love you bens!
love megs

Kate said...

1. I think they look bland, bureaucratic and non-threatening, so that you don't think about what it is they actually DO.
2. I think church can mean family, community, order, ritual, guidance, a peaceful place from which to go and face the world, or a place to be challenged to make the world different. I think that private prayer brings us closer to God than church prayer on our collective behalf.

Incidentally, I heard a great sermon this morning about how we shouldn't use the Bible as a guidebook on whom we should exclude from fellowship. So many churches seem to do this.

Benjamin Ady said...

kate--who does jesus exlude from fellowship? (perhaps the people who are into excluding people from fellowship--did you ever notice how jesus served communion to Judas? people miss that. so much for rules about who is allowed to take communion)

Pam Hogeweide said...

nice blogging ben. you organize speaker notes nicely. i may have to link to your barna notes when i get back to updating my blog. i'm still catching up on life and family so i'm psuedo-blogging via other people's blogs, like yours :-)

see ya around the blogosphere

Benjamin Ady said...

thankyou pam. Nice to meet you. Here's my favorite quote from the conference "I've spent the last 15 years dealing with a diverse cross section of the body". I guess this struck me funny because I've been doing this biopsychology course, and we are always seeing pictures of cross sections of bits of the brain or spinal cord. So my mind immediately tried to mesh that with the idea of a "diverse" "cross section" of the body of christ, and it made me giggle.