When I was a kid—way back in the 1900s—there were a ton of sitcoms that capitalized on “unconventional” families. Who's the Boss?, Full House, My Two Dads, Punky Brewster, Different Strokes, One Day at a Time: the lineup was full of storylines that didn't revolve around the typical nuclear setup with a mom, dad, and 2.5 kids. It's been a long time since the rest of the world actively acknowledged that families come in all shapes and sizes and the importance of telling those stories. But it's a rarity to see places in our Church landscape where the concept of “Family Life” has grown beyond the narrow “traditional” model.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2017/06/01/living-family-life
This data is relevant yet it helps to shed the institutional Adventitis mindset and find out why people COME. The typical answer is usually—“to worship God”. That response is shallow & superficial, if not a downright evasion of the truth. People come to become better persons and that response even has different reasons for it.
People have needs of affection, acceptance, appreciation & achievement.
If church attendance does not serve those needs, people will spend time elsewhere attempting to meet them.
A main challenge is that there are about 7000 waking minutes each week for individuals of which a small minority is spent with church or spiritual nurture (200 minutes??)
The worldly/secular competing interests nullifies and/or corrupts the influence of those 200 minutes and if that time is filled with irrelevant, ritual, shallow soteriology, minimal contemporary coping skills and non fat dry milk typical, topical , low exposure bible sermons…what can one expect but churchgoers being victims of the surrounding depraved, cynical, exclusive, anti-social culture?
Competent upper & middle management business personnel know that the attitude/morale of the employees is heavily influenced by their behavior & actions/programs.
The SDA denomination has promoted & perpetuated some very limited & shallow approaches (wineskins).
Since fear & paranoia is so prevalent in most churches, change is not likely until a crisis drives it.
At higher conference levels, only lack of tithe $$$$$$ = a crisis.
Adventist evangelism is based on fear not love and thankfulness. It has no staying power.
I think this is a great topic. We have a few single people in our church that fall into this category. I’m one of them. You don’t fit in because you’re not married and not able to hang out with people because you’re the third wheel. Our church needs Divorce Ministry, Couples Ministry and Singles Ministry to help those groups.
Reliable church growth data informs us that more than 80% of Christians make a commitment to Christ before they reach the age of 18. With that in mind, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that our churches should be invested in reaching and keeping young people. Yet, on average, only a small and dwindling percentage of annual Adventist church budgets is allocated to youth and children’s work.
Yes, at any one date and time approximately half of any NAD SDA congregation is comprised of “unmarrieds” and yet very little is done to address this significant population.