Study Tours, Millennials and Rick Tobias on Changing the World
It is good for your heart and mind to work in an environment with young people. They keep you on your toes. Many of our Tyndale students are from the Millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000. They are known as digital natives. They grew up with a computer in their homes and cell phones in their hands. They are known to be technologically savvy, and they are also unique in terms of their faith experience and practice.
A recent Barna study found that 70% read their bibles on a phone, tablet or computer, not from a book. When looking for a church 56% turn to the Internet first. And when the Millennials want to find spiritual content, Bible studies, Christian music or discipleship materials, six out of ten turn to the Internet. These statistics are important for church leaders to understand.
Perhaps equally important to understand is that by the time the Millennials turn thirty, 43% have given up on their faith.
Among those who have given up on their faith is a large group who still consider themselves Christian, but who do not feel comfortable in the church. They feel like they “Don’t fit in anymore.”
At Tyndale we take these findings seriously. And we want to help you – the Church – to meet the needs of Millennials. Here is how we want to help. We offer training for leaders and pastors to better understand the needs of the Canadian culture and suggest ways of reaching out to the Millennials. We offer a safe and challenging environment for young people to grow in knowledge and faith. Let us help your church today. Take a class, come for a seminar, send a student. The challenge ahead of us is great, and together we will reach all generations for Christ.
Blessings upon you,
Rev. Dr. Rob Patterson
Director, Alumni & Church Relations
For almost 25 years Rick Tobias led Yonge Street Mission and he is currently serving as the organization’s Community Advocate. Since 1984 Rick has been an adjunct professor at Tyndale Seminary. This is the third installment in a four-part series that takes us through a discussion with Rick about what is needed in church leadership today.
Do you want to change the world?
“I think we need leaders who don’t want to change the world,” states Rick, an unusual opinion in today’s culture.
Whether it is in the church or outside of it, there is a constant call for people to step-up and change the world we live in. But Rick believes that “we need leaders who want to be changed themselves and who may want to live out the gospel in their little corner of the world.”
So, how do we transform the world? “We transform the world by listening to God carefully so that God shapes the culture of the church and God shapes the direction we take and perhaps most importantly that God shapes us.”
“I know by faith that if we will stop and listen to God and believe that God will make us different then maybe someone around us will be different too,” Rick asserts. “Not many of us get to be Billy Graham. Most of us are pretty average. I don’t even know that we should be asking the big questions. When I find myself thinking about doing really great things, it is usually coming from me.”
Rick is committed to the world around him. “It’s not accidental that I have been 30 years at Yonge Street Mission; there have been other jobs and ministries along the way. I am here because I think somehow there is something good that happens when we stay in one place for a long time. We don’t get to change the world, it’s been 30 years— is the community any better? Actually, it’s worse. But over 30 years I have seen miracles and I have seen lives changed and I have seen seeds of hope take root and blossom.”
“I believe that God calls us to be the pastor or shepherd of a people. We need to commit ourselves to journeying with a people through all their wilderness years. Maybe something fun will happen. And my testimony is that something fun has happened. Most of the leaders I know are smarter than me and are part of communities that are far more prestigious than the community I belong to. Regardless, I can say that for me it has been a wonderful journey.”
Faith Talks 2014
Since 2007, Tyndale has invited well-known Christian leaders from a wide range of disciplines to speak at its annual Faith Talks lectures. The purpose of Faith Talks is to hear from a speaker who has a unique perspective about faith that will “ engage the Tyndale community with the integration of Christian thinking and spiritual formation,” said George Sweetman, Dean of Students at the university.
This year, Christian songwriter/musician, author and Christianity Today columnist Carolyn Arends spoke about her experiences and insights about wrestling with doubt.
Israel & Jordan Tour (Oct 23 - Nov 4)
Please bring your church leaders on a sacred journey to the Holy Land and Jordan. Walk the ancient streets of Jerusalem and experience the Dead Sea. The tour includes a journey to the lost city of Petra, a truly once in a lifetime journey.
For more information, please click here or send an email to churchrelations [at] tyndale [dot] ca (subject: Israel%20and%20Jordan%202014%20Tour)