Episode 434

SBC Pres. Shares Optimism for Future, Toddlers to Learn Biblical Worldview & Fears for an Internet Generation

Sep 11, 2023

Southern Baptist Convention President Bart Barber shared his optimistic outlook for the future as he visited the offices of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) Wednesday (Sept. 6). Children begin developing a worldview as early as 15 months old, and parents are doing a poor job of discipling children during formative years, researcher George Barna said in his latest findings. And, veteran church leader Chuck Lawless has some concerns about a generation of church leaders raised in the Internet age.

Transcript

Southern Baptist Convention President Bart Barber shared his optimistic outlook for the future as he visited the offices of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) Wednesday (Sept. 6).

“I’m going to predict that spiritual awakening is coming for America, and that we’re going to have the opportunity to benefit from that and participate in that, and it’s not just wishful thinking,” Barber said in response to a question from NAMB president Kevin Ezell about the future of the SBC. “As a student of our history, the spiritual awakenings that we’ve had before have come in times of profound darkness. Just because that feels like a trend right now doesn’t mean that we’re stuck in that.” Barber said the next generation is inheriting a “raw deal.” He referred to statistics that show how 46 percent of adolescents today are reporting that they consistently deal with feelings of anxiety and depression. Barber, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Barbourville, Texas, in his second term as SBC president.
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Children begin developing a worldview as early as 15 months old, and parents are doing a poor job of discipling children during formative years, researcher George Barna said in his latest findings.

Worldviews are largely in place by age 13 and don’t change throughout the remaining lifespan, said Barna, director of research at Arizona Christian University’s (ACU) Cultural Research Center and founder of The Barna Group.

Adults don’t usually change their worldview unless they encounter a major life crisis, Barna said in establishing four worldview phases:

 Ages 1-12, a lifelong groundwork is laid;

 Ages 13-24, the foundation is refined, articulated and applied to daily life;

 Ages 25-59, individuals become “evangelists” promoting their own worldview;

 Beyond age 59, individuals reflect on how their life philosophy has worked.
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Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.
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Veteran church leader Chuck Lawless has some concerns about a generation of church leaders raised in the Internet age.

1. That they will do ministry without talking with people. That’s what happens when your communication strategy usually means texting, emailing, etc.,  rather than having a conversation. 

2. That they will do ministry via quick fix, simple, limited-character solutions. I worry they will not understand the value of a long-term, deeply felt commitment to a group of people. They’ve grown up in a world of abbreviations and shortcuts.    

3. That they will not understand the value of their actual voice. It’s one thing to text a prayer to somebody, but it’s a completely different issue when that person hears you pray. A hurting, supportive voice can minister much better than a text. 

4. That they won’t know how to relate directly to people. When your communication with people is primarily through a phone or computer screen, dealing with people face-to-face can be anxiety-producing and difficult. 

You can read the full piece and learn more about our daily emails at Baptist Press.com.

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