Barna Survey Shows Why Gen Z And Millennials Are Leaving The Church – Tim Brooks Has A Different Approach to Resolving This Conflict: Is the Church answering the important questions of life? Do pastors know what their congregation wants to hear? Does the congregation know what they need?Â Tune in now to learn more!
Air Date: 12/16/2019
Guest: Tim Brooks
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live, my name is Rick Green, I’m America’s Constitution coach and I’m here with David Barton, he is America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim Barton is with us, he’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders and we are excited that you have joined us. We encourage you to visit our website wallbuilderslive.com. That’s the place where you get a list of all our stations across the country, where you can listen, you can get archives from the last few weeks if you missed some programs and most importantly, you can click on that contribute button and become a one-time or monthly donor to WallBuilders. We are a listener-supported program. So we greatly appreciate you coming alongside us and supporting the program. It allows us to reach more and more people and help to restore America’s Constitution.
Alright, guys, later in the program Tim brooks pastor from Hot Springs Arkansas is going to be joining us. But before we get him on after the break, let’s talk a little bit about this poll that the Barna Group just came out with and they pulled tons of people in the Christian community, people that have left the Christian community. This particular poll was focused on, well actually, they pulled all demographic groups, but it really emphasized Gen Z and Millennials and why they left. One of the big reasons was they said the church just doesn’t have answers to the questions that we have for life. What do you guys think about that?
Biggest Demographic Leaving The Church Was Young People
Well, I do think it’s interesting that the biggest demographic in that poll was showing young people leaving the church. And I think there’s some truth to what they’re expressing that the there’s a lot of churches I’ve been to that didn’t provide any information, any answers whatsoever. And I say a lot of churches I’ve been to a little loosely, I mean guys, we travel and speak a lot and so we end up being in a lot of churches.
But most time if we’re there, we’re there to speak but there have been times we’ve been on the road and we’ve gone to visited a church or we’ve gone with family members to a church and there’s just been some churches I’ve been to where for the first time I understood why people would rather go to the lake than go to church, right, they’d rather go fishing or hunting or do something else. Because some of these church services, there wasn’t much of the word, there wasn’t much of fellowship or worship or right, things that you would naturally think you go to church for.
The Church Is Not Giving Them What They Need
So on some level, I certainly can see that people are saying the church is not giving me what I need, but also I think it’s worth asking, well, what is it that you think you need that you’re not getting and did you ever ask for? One of things the Bible teaches you have not because you ask not, I think a lot of times we’ve never expressed what we’re looking for and sometimes we don’t even know what we’re looking for. It’s that maybe the church didn’t make me feel the way I wanted to feel or they didn’t comfort me here. What is it you really mean when you say I didn’t get what or the church didn’t provide what I was looking for, what does that mean?
Tim, to follow up with what you just said. One of the things we found, I guess it’s two or three years ago, we got George Barna to ask people, what do you want to hear in church, what do you want to learn in church? And there were 14 issues were that at least 70% of people said, I wish my pastor would talk about this. So it’s interesting a lot of times even once we know, I’ll bet most of those people never went to their pastor and said, I would like you to talk about this. You know, the poll came out and had results.
Are We Going To Blame The Church For A Lack Of Resources?
Well, and that was something too from that survey George Barna did. The demographic wasn’t specifically broken down to young people wanting to hear those. It was the whole church wanting to hear. And so even to that point, right, we can see where there are some churches that have not done a great job answering questions, but it it’s worth noting, are we just going to blame the church for a lack of resources or maybe were you not getting involved in the small groups where they were having some of these apologetics or Bible studies where you not getting involved in the midweek prayer meetings, right? Whatever else is going on, I feel like there’s probably just more to the story maybe than what we’re getting, but this is not a new thing either just for this generation or a new voice. We’ve heard this many occasions.
In fact, one of the guys that we do a lot of work with, Tim Brooks under his ministry, they have brick hill ranch and they have high point leadership camp which is where I’m up every summer working with some of those groups, they do a college internship and they do an awful lot even have a Christian school they run. So they work a lot with young people and they certainly have seen this attitude, but Tim has a very different approach to resolving this conflict.
Tim Brooks from Hot Springs Arkansas Christian Ministries Church, there they do incredible work in all kinds of areas. It’s not your typical Church of today. They’re very involved in the community and need have great outlook on these questions from this polls who’s going to be with us when we get back from the break. So stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
America’s Hidden History
Hi, this is David Barton and this is Tim Barton. We want to let you know about a series that’s happening right now on TBN on Thursday nights. Now TBN is a Trinity Broadcasting Network. Every Thursday night there’s a series that we’ve filmed called America’s Hidden History. In this season, it’s called America’s Hidden Heroes. The reason is we highlight heroes from American history for years. We’ve been focusing on the forgotten history heroes of the nation and now we have a TV show just highlighting some of those heroes.
These are inspiring stories about some of the greatest people maybe you’ve never heard about. We go on location, we go to the site, we show you where the events happen and it’s a story of folks like Bronco Charlie and Stagecoach Mary and Jedediah Smith and Robert Smalls and so many inspiring folks.
Now, this happens every Thursday night and the time is going to be different based on where you live, either way. We think this is something that will so encourage and inspire you and learning some of these great stories from America’s Hidden History.
Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live, we got pastor Tim Brooks back with us, always a pleasure Tim, good to have you back bro.
Hey, man, it is great to be here. I always enjoy being on the show with you talking to the listeners and encouraging them about how good things are going, man. God’s got it going on here, Rick, we’re doing good things.
Millennials And Christianity
It’s evident when you know every time I get to come up there and visit you in Hot Springs I see it with your church with you all what you all are doing. Not just there, man, you’re having an international impact. I love the way you bring people in and the things that you do. So you get what’s going on culturally and pay attention to those things and the influence at the church has.
So that’s part of the reason David said, man, we got to asked him about this new Barna survey on Millennials and there’s a lot in this survey. But even just the headline they say nearly half of young adults with ties to Christianity, so these are those that either grew up in the church, you know, still in the church or maybe walked away but they have it tie to the church. They say the church can’t answer their questions and then they go on to say, that’s one of the main reasons for the ones that did leave, 58% that they left, they couldn’t get the answer. So, you know, what do you say as a pastor to that?
Who Is The Church?
I look at this survey myself, as you haven’t studied some of these. I read surveys all the time, I want to know where we are, you know, what people are thinking. I think as a pastor, you ought to read every survey you can. You need to know what’s in the minds of people when they come in your door and so, chew on surveys all the time. But this one, no, Rick, I want to take a little bit maybe a different twist on this because as I’ve looked at this, it really highlights a problem we’ve got in America today and that is a problem of no personal responsibility.
Now when I read a survey 25 to 35-year-olds say the church doesn’t do [inaudible 07:39], the 18 to 30-year-olds say the church doesn’t do, my question is, Rick, who is the church? Now we”re they talking about of the church didn’t do this, the church didn’t do that? Well, I would love to be on the survey and team because when I got a 25-year-old says to me, well, the church is not meeting the need of the poverty, of the homeless, of social needs.
My first question would be doing you volunteer every Saturday to work with your youth group? In your church, do you have all of your youth, you all meet on Wednesday night, then you have a meeting here on Saturday at the church and every Saturday you take youth down into the homeless area, pass out food, talk to them about maybe getting a job, talk to about helping them, how can you”¦ do you go or what are you leading your youth group to do in your church? Do you get all the singles, are you heading up a singles group in your church?
I want to get together all the 20 to 30-year-olds that are not married in our church, we’re going to start meeting and every Saturday morning, we’re going to go. You know this generation wants to say the church, the church or the government, the government or my parents, are they down there? And that’s the problem. Who is the church when I read this poll? It’s the people in the church and that’s my take on this thing. I’m just asking, okay, who are these 25 to 30-year-olds that are polling all these negative things about the church?
What I would like to do is say, okay, tell me to the extent of your involvement in the church getting those questions answered? Well, the church doesn’t answer my question, okay, then why don’t in our Sunday school class you start a class answering questions of today and then find those answers and then you answer those questions that you have? You all come up with answers. We’re not doing anything. We want to sit on the back row of the church, fold our arms and then poll about what the church is not providing and then we get disillusioned with the church and we drop out of church because the church they won’t do.
Well, wait a minute, Tim, I thought the reason for church was to solve all my problems and serve me every Sunday when I come in?
You know, it’s about me, right?
They Are Not Doing One Thing In The Church
Oh, it’s all about you. And the reason you leave church is because the church is not meeting my needs. Well, the church wasn’t feeding me. Well, the church wasn”t”¦ You know, Rick I found I don’t have anybody leaving our church that is volunteering for about everything we do. You know, you got those folks that are down here on Mondays doing this, they come on Tuesday and they mow the lawn, they come on Wednesday and they trim the hedge, they come Wednesday night and they teach a Bible study and they’re the biggest financial givers of the church. That guy is not leaving the church saying the church is not meeting my needs. The people that are disillusioned with the church are the ones that are not doing one thing in the church.
And the reason the church is not meeting these 18 to 30 year old needs today is simply this, we’ve got a generation of 18 to 30 year olds who don’t want to do anything, they don”t even want to have a job and pay their own bills. I know why my school isn”t free and my medicine isn”t my house isn”t free? And that mentality is coming over in the church and they’re saying, well, the church should. It’s just the government ought to pay for my school, the church ought to meet the needs of the homeless. Well, who is the church? That’s the people that go there.
And someway, pastors are going to have to begin to communicate who the church is to the members that go there and they’re going to have to activate the members that go there to do all of the things that they see needs to be done. When somebody comes to [inaudible 11:36] how about break them from coming to me? Well, pastor, I think they ought to have a new microphone. Well, that’d be great, here’s the kind they need to get that.
There’s The Broom
I was just envisioning you say somebody says, well, they ought to clean that up. I could see Pastor Tim Brooks saying, well, here’s the broom brother.
Hey, there’s a spill out here in the foyer, somebody needs to clean that up. I say, alright, around that corner, over there is the broom closet, the mop closet, won’t you jump in there and handle that for us right now? Any time somebody in the church comes to me with a need, I say, praise God, I am thrilled God has laid that on your heart, you see that as a need, now go make that happen.
And you know especially this time of year, I think we ought to do this for Christmas. I think we all to”¦ you know, there’s all kinds of great things out here to be involved. Oh, that’d be great, you all get together [inaudible 12:23] some shoe boxes. Well, that’d be great, you all get together and put some [inaudible 12:29]. But we’re always wanting the church to do something and these negative poles about the church, I don’t know I think it’s a reflection on our society especially of this generation that wants somebody to pay for everything and do everything for them and we don’t have to realize that we are the church and if you see a need in your church, then roll up your sleeves and get in there and meet it. You don’t quit and go find another church somewhere to complain about.
Yeah, and you know, Tim, because you do a lot of business as well and I bet a business owner would hear what we’re saying right now and say, man, I deal with the exact same kind of attitude in the business environment as well.
It’s a Mindset
It is. It’s a mindset that we’ve got right now that somebody is supposed to provide and do something for me. And we’ve got a generation that want their education provided, their meals provided, their housing provided and they go to the church and they want all the expectations they have of the church to be provided. Well, the church should be answering my questions; the church should be more involved in social issues; well, the church should be involved in homeless situations. Okay, what are you doing about any of those? You are the church. And well, we just lost this concept of rolling up our sleeves and diving in, we all want to sit here on the couch, we want somebody to do something for us. Rick, I really believe we just got a spectator mentality all across the board.
You know, we want to go to a football game and sit in the stands, we’re not down there trying to make a split-second decision and blow that whistle. But buddy, after we see it on replay, then we can start doing the officials of what they should have done. We”re just a spectator Society right now and that’s going to have to turn around all the way to the church.
It Sounds Like My Momma Was Right All Those Years Ago
It sounds like my momma was right all those years ago when she would say, if you’re not happy with yourself or how you’re being served, go do something good for somebody else and you’ll feel better.
That’s right. Yeah, I was reading this survey about the loneliness and the separation and I told the lady in our church”¦ Tim, I’ve lost my husband and I’m just lonely. And I just look her, I said, boy, that is just fantastic. Oh, I think you ought to start this very weekend having a bunch of the ladies in the church that have lost their husbands, open your house and you all get together two or three days a week and you all do activities together and you, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, she but I’m talking about was cramming it in reverse. Well, if you’re lonely and you’re by yourself, well, then why don’t you get all those that are lonely together and do something about them? Well, our church just has a lot of lonely people in it. Okay, well, what are you doing about that?
Yeah, it”s good, man. It’s good. So how do you challenge the other pastors out there and the church in general to say really what we’re missing is action, I mean we’re missing people stepping up and being the gospel?
We’ve Misread The Scripture And The Bible Talks About It
Well, I think we’ve misread the scripture and the Bible talks about it. To some are called apostles and teachers and you know, at least and then it doesn’t say it for them to do the ministry, it says for them to equip the saints for the work of the ministry and therein lies a big problem in leadership in the church. I don’t go to the hospitals and visit people that are sick. I equip the saints to do the ministry of the church. Does that make sense to you?
You know, I don’t go and do this. I don’t do, but we want to pay the pastor to be a Christian for us and I believe the pastors have got to get the concept of equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry. That’s what the Bible calls us to do and that”s what I teach in our church. Alright, if you see a need, then you go and meet that need. If you see an area that we’re lacking, then that’s God laying it on your heart to do something about that area, go meet that need. You don’t sit back and say the pastor ought to or the church ought to. The job I have as a pastor is to equip the saints so that they can do the work of the ministry.
A Pastor Cannot Do All Of That By Themselves
That makes so much sense. And when you look at the churches that are most involved in the community and making the most difference in all these different areas that we’re talking about, they’ve done exactly that. Because, you know, a pastor or even a pastoral staff and team cannot do all of that by themselves if it takes the congregation to do that.
No, we have somebody in the hospital, quite often the nurses have to put a sign up on the door, no more visitors. If we don’t have one pastor that does hospital calls, we got a church full of people that are doing the work of the ministry. When somebody gets sick and needs some food brought to their house, we don’t have the pastor taking food over there. They have to literally say, tell the church don’t bring any more food, we got more than we can eat over here for six months.
That’s the church that does the work of the ministry. And we want the pastor to be a Christian for us instead of the pastors equipping the church and my word to pastors is, you got to motivate your church to get involved in Christianity. You have to motivate your church to be a Christian
I would think that even just, you know, visiting, you walk into a church like that that has that much activity going on and you notice it immediately. That’s got to be, you know, not that we’re trying to be, you know, seeker-friendly and all that, but that’s got to be more appealing to a person walking on off the street anyway. I mean, when they say, wow, these people this the whole church is active in something, they doing all these different things, this is the kind of place I want to be a part of.
Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. You just get people being a part of what God’s called that church to do. That reflects on these polls that we see statistically coming out about people’s opinion of the church. We’re given an opinion of the church instead of being the church.
Pastors’ Conference Coming Up
Yeah. Well, man, you’ve got a pastors conference coming up pretty soon, I’m assuming that’ll be part of your message.
Yeah, we sure do. In January 9th, 10th and 11th, this is our 19th year to have a pastors conference and we’ve got”¦ and it’s not and I shouldn’t say that, it’s not a pastors conference, it’s a church ministries conference. Pastors bring their whole ministry team here: youth, children, secretary, maintenance people, connect leader, Sunday school leaders, churches bring their whole ministry team here and it’s a church ministries conference, not just a pastors” conference.
You still got room for that, is it too late for people to sign up?
No, they can sign up. They can go to cmchurch.com and they can find out all about it.
Alright, man, sounds good. That”s January, you said, 8th, 9th, 10th?
9th, 10th and 11th. Yeah, we finish at noon on Saturday where churches can get back to their church home on Sunday morning. So it’s Thursday night, all day Friday and a half a day Saturday.
Love it. Love it. Well, man, keep up the great work. Thanks for spending a few minutes with us today, look forward to having you back soon.
Rick, always good to talk to you and pray a special blessing on you and your family.
Appreciate you, brother. That’s Tim Brooks stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
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Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us today and thanks to Tim Brooks for joining us on today’s program. We’re back with David and Tim Barton now. And guys, man, Tim had a different approach that I was expecting on that polling. I thought he would key in on, you know, pastors not addressing the major issues of the day which he’s talked about many times on the program and really challenges people to do, so that it is quote/unquote, relevant not in the way a lot of people think of a relevant church today, but actually, biblically, applicable to people’s lives. But, man, he was spot-on and saying, listen guys, you know, if he’s not getting what you think the church should be doing, what are you doing about it? Stop complaining about what other people are doing about it. Personal responsibility.
We Have Become A Spectator Sport In America
Well, you know, also pointed out that this has become an American attitude. I mean, we have become a spectator sport in America. We have professionals to do everything for us. We have all these specialist doctors and specialists everything. And so now we want specialist church people, who’s the specialist for homeless and who’s the specialist for the needy and no, no, the church is supposed to be us doing it. And Tim pointed that out, I mean when you look at the 12 apostles, none of them were paid for what they did. And by the way, you had a tax collector, you had fishermen, you had a political activist, Simon the zealot, you had all these different professions and even if you look at Paul who’s probably the most credentialed, even he didn’t get paid for it. I mean, this was a guy, he was a tentmaker on the side to make money so he could travel and pay for all this stuff out of his own pocket essentially. And that’s such a different attitude than what we have today in America where we have specialists and we want to be rewarded for doing nothing.
And this kind of goes back to a poll I saw recently where they globally, Christianity is exploding across the world at the highest rate ever measured and we’ve been measuring probably for a hundred years. And I mean it is just absolutely exploding now and here in America, it seems to be but falling and that’s not a problem with the gospel, that’s a problem with our application interpretation of it.
It’s Human Nature
Well, it’s just human nature. It’s easier to ask somebody else to do something for you than it is to do it yourself, right? It’s human nature to be lazy, to be unproductive and in America, we’ve kind of rewarded some of that. When you look at some of what we’ve done with government and what the government does rewarding people maybe who are lazy, we’ve just gotten used to somebody else doing our job in some occasions. But in this case maybe somebody else doing the job that maybe God’s called us to do.
And I love what he said that if somebody comes to them and they have a burden for something that is wrong, he says, well, maybe God gave you the burden because you’re the one here to fix it. And I think it’s a really interesting perspective that maybe in our life the things that we’re grieved by, God allows us to be grieved by that thing because he raised us up to be part of the solution for that problem. So if we’re looking at the church, right, if we’re looking going, man, you know, we need to improve this or why doesn’t anybody ever take out the trash or change that light bulb or right, why does the worship team do this? Whatever it is, man, the sound man, he misses us all the time, well, if you have a burden, alright, if you think it’s a problem, there’s only two options. Either you can complain or you can be part of the solution and we need to move from that complaining category to being part of the solution.
WallBuilder’s Activity In Nursing Homes
Well, in fact, you know, tomorrow we really want people to listen to WallBuilders Live for an activity that everyone out there can be a part of 10 years ago. WallBuilders started doing this with nursing homes at Christmas time and there are a lot of people in these nursing homes that don’t get a Christmas, that have no one come see them and you can be the one to bless them.
Tomorrow, you’re going to learn all about it, you’re going to get to hear from some of the WallBuilders team that does this every year. It’s such a blessing for you when you do this, but it’s a great blessing to those that you’re going to be serving. So don’t miss tomorrow, it”s going to be one of those action item programs that is really going to bless you and the people around you and your community.
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