How to Retain Youth in Church

Questions aren’t the enemy.

The more I hear from those jaded and disillusioned by the church, those who love some idea of God but not the church’s, the more I feel the need to say that questions aren’t the enemy.

Can we just admit that we don’t know what we’re talking about?

We follow some biblical rules and we ignore others because they’re outdated or cultural or whatever reason we give. We skip over passages that don’t have an easy answer or don’t fit with our worldview. We add rules that the Bible never talks about. Can we admit that everything we do doesn’t make sense? And that’s okay. We could be wrong, we’re still figuring it out, and we can disagree on many things and still be brothers and sisters.

We can’t look down on those who question, because they supposedly have less faith or revelation or are further from God or drawn by sin and pleasures of this world.

Questioning the church – that’s not a sin. That’s not even necessarily temptation. That’s the first step to creating a personal faith that can’t be shaken when outside the church building.

I think of the many people who asked Jesus questions, who didn’t understand, and I’m pretty sure they made it to heaven just fine.

The church needs to be a place open to questions, to dialogue, not shying away from anyone who questions the norm. We don’t have to change our minds – though we might on some things – but I think we need to dialogue without judgement of the inquisitive.


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12 Thoughts from 12 Hours of Tinder

Hannah Brencher made me do it!
Okay so she clarified she didn’t mean it had to be Tinder or dating for that matter, but one of her writing tips is technically called “Go on Tinder Dates.” Really she meant get out of your comfort zone. But hey, writing tip is writing tip and so to Tinder I went.
From a complete newbie at this electronic dating search dealio, here’s 12 thoughts I had from the 12 hours I had a Tinder profile.

(Note: for any fellow newbies to Tinder, quickly here’s how it works. It’s the most popular dating app. You’re shown a picture of someone and a quick blurb. You swipe left if you aren’t interested in getting to know them, swipe right if you are. If both people swipe right that they’re interested, it says “You have a match!” and a messaging option unlocks.)

    1. Where’s the “Christian Only” option on this thing? (Side note: there are no legitimately okay free dating apps/sites specifically for Christians. We suck.)


    1. Why can’t I put “maybe” on this guy and it bring him back later?


    1. Why in the world do most guys’ pictures feature one or more girls on their arm?! How can this be considered remotely a good idea for a dating site profile?


    1. Do you like a guy if he says he’s into farm stuff and you’re not? What about if he’s into outdoors and sports and you’re not? Is that acceptable or leading him on?


    1. Why do you all say “I enjoy the simple things in life.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?????


    1. If I see my friend’s brother on here, is it cool to say, “Hey, you’re brother is on Tinder!” or is that like a secret society unspoken rule thing about, well, who happens on Tinder stays on Tinder?


    1. If I see someone I know, do I need to apologize in person? Like “Hey, saw you on Tinder, swiped left cause I just think it’s awkward to do online dating stuff with people I know….”


    1. Oh no, I’m gonna be swarmed by creepy stranger guys saying, “Hey, you’re that Tinder girl! I swiped right on you but you never swiped right back!” Please don’t hate me, world! (no worries, I am in fact forgettable so far haha.)


    1. Oh you seem cool! No, like too cool, I can’t swipe right to you, I’d never be normal in your presence.


    1. So if I’m hypothetically talking to multiple people and hypothetically go on a date with multiple people, when does it qualify as cheating to be talking/dating multiple people? I’m really bad at this dating thing….


    1. Wait, but if I swipe right, that means we might have to talk, and once we start talking, we might have to go out, and if we have to go out that means I have to actually leave my apartment some evening. I don’t want to leave my apartment!


    1. Most people don’t even get a match for multiple days, just swipe right, just once and you’ll figure that out when it comes. You probably won’t even have a profile at that point. *swipes right* “YOU HAVE A MATCH!” Seriously?! Right now? First swipe? Am I *that* desirable, world?!




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