Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Interesting material from Bailey Gillespie's Forum presentation

I recently Pacific Northwest Adventist Association Forum presentation on what we know from the Valuegenesis studies by Bailey Gillespie, Ph.D. Professor of Theology and Personality Director of the John Hancock Center for Youth and Family Ministry School of Religion La Sierra University. I am going to be using some of his quotes from the talk in upcoming articles but I thought I would put the first part of the quotes I found most interesting here. So here are some of the extracts as well as one quote and link from the Valugenesis Update Newsletter.

“However three of the least believed doctrines show up in every study we do in every single group we do they are the same three in the same order. The sanctuary doctrine definitely believed by only 20 percent of your young people in Washington 20 % of your kids so all the other doctrines except these three are right up there 20% definitely believe this one. The Remnant 42% the next one 42% definitely believe and you know what the next one is Ellen White 36%...”

He goes on to say that we need to reconstruct those doctrines so that they make sense to young people. He goes on to say “when you ask the remnant question to university and college students you can’t get a score, it’s less then 1% of Adventist kids in college believe anything about the remnant. The exclusivity about that doctrine does not turn this generation on at all. It doesn’t make any sense…”

The most important issue if you want people to have find faith and God in their life is to have a warm and thinking climate in your church. Now warm is a common sense answer in research it’s one of those things people just know if its warm or not…

For the question “I go to things at my church because I want to”, true and very true:

He then lists 52% for 6th grade going down a few points as the students get older to 12 grade. The research based upon a census from Adventist schools. About half of your kids go to church because they want to.

For church warmth 65% see the church as warm going down to 44% by grade 12

As the kids get older they see the church as colder and colder… As kids get older and older relationships get more important. As they begin to want more relationships the church is giving them less relationships as they get older.

The Thinking Church Climate Scale is strongly correlated with the Warm Church Climate Scale and is an even more important predictor of values and commitment. While the percentage of young people who felt their congregations were warm and friendly and feel that they learn a lot in church has improved over the period of these two studies, we cannot be content with only 40 per cent of our youth feeling their church is a place where they can think and grow and is open to new ideas and encourages questions. Perhaps this area should be addressed by congregations who wish to have a more positive impact on the young of their congregations.

The church Challenges my thinking:

From grades 6 on down to grade twelve 65 to 25 (%)

In the North Pacific Union Conference 43 % 6th graders, 46% 7th and 8th graders, 34% of 10th graders, and 33% of 12th graders.

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