Brett.Ullman

Category - church

The Shadow of the Fear-vangelicals

This is a really important article for Christian people in the climate we have today. I really like at the end of the article when Skye Jethani writes:

The question is, how do you primarily view the “other”…as a threat to your safety or as a person worthy of your love?”

I actually see this trend in both the church world and in the mainstream culture. We really don’t know how to have the ability to listen to one another.  I really love the chart I pulled from the blog below.

Do you see yourself on either side of this chart?

Yesterday I read a few articles on both gun control in the US, and Ontario politics as we head towards an election. The “Fight” side of the chart was alive and well in all the articles and blogs I read. Both sides calling each other names like stupid, brainwashed, uneducated as well as comments that bordered on racist, homophobic, and sexist. None of the articles I read really even talked about opinions and were more just slamming the other side and how “dumb” they are. I think we actually call these “red herrings” where we don’t even argue the actual topic anymore.

I see the other side of the chart in our Christian world where we continue to create a safe “side culture” where Christians run from the society we are in and circle the wagons waiting for impending doom.

Rob Dreher in this article is quoted as saying:

But doesn’t the Bible tell us that perfect love drives out all fear? What happened to the evangelical tradition, a movement that was noted for its robust engagement in the world, to turn a significant section of it into such a fearful bunch?

There has to be a better way. Each time I do one of my talks I address that fact that we might have differing opinions, and that is ok. If we can stop attacking and running from each other maybe we can start to find more common ground. Let us spend more time listening to each other and having a posture of openness and see where it takes us.

Please take a few minutes to read this article. Well worth your time.

What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn – NY Times

This is not an easy article to read but it is a very important one for us as parents and leaders so we can see where culture it as today and how we help our kids to have a better understanding of pornography. I don’t think most parents faith-based or not would want their kids to view pornography, but we all need to talk to our kids about pornography and teach them how to process what they might see:

American adolescents watch much more pornography than their parents know — and it’s shaping their ideas about pleasure, power and intimacy. Can they be taught to see it more critically?

Statistics are also scary:

On average, boys are around 13, and girls are around 14, when they first see pornography, says Bryant Paul, an associate professor at Indiana University’s Media School and the author of studies on porn content and adolescent and adult viewing habits. In a 2008 University of New Hampshire survey, 93 percent of male college students and 62 percent of female students said they saw online porn before they were 18. Many females, in particular, weren’t seeking it out. Thirty-five percent of males said they had watched it 10 or more times during adolescence.

For all the parents who tell me that they want to be the ones to talk to their kids about sex and porn we seem to be failing in this regard:

It’s not surprising, then, that some adolescents use porn as a how-to guide. In a study that Rothman carried out in 2016 of 72 high schoolers ages 16 and 17, teenagers reported that porn was their primary source for information about sex — more than friends, siblings, schools or parents.

Drew, who had once used porn as his main sex educator, was now thinking about sex differently. “Some things need to come to us naturally, not by watching it and seeing what turns you on,” he told me. The discussions about anatomy and fake displays of pleasure made him realize that girls didn’t always respond as they did in porn and that they didn’t all want the same things. And guys didn’t, either. Maybe that porn clip in which the nice, tender guy didn’t excite the girl was wrong.

In our church world, we need to look at how we can have better conversations on pornography. With many of today’s teenagers getting their sex education from pornography we have to look at how we can help parents have this conversation in their homes, and then assist them by equipping and empowering them in our churches.

This actually would fall under a larger topic of equipping parents to help their kids get a Biblical Worldview of healthy sexuality. This would encompass everything from pornography, sexuality, dating, media awareness, pregnancy, STI’s, etc.

Love to hear peoples thoughts.

Click here for the entire article.

CCLP 014: Brett Ullman On Anxiety, Depression And Mental Health In Church Leaders And In The Church

I had the privilege of sharing my mental health journey with Carey Nieuwhof on his Canadian Church Leaders Podcast. It’s probably the longest conversation I have had on my journey to date.

Mental health is not a subject we discuss well in the church. But at any given time, about 20% of your church and leaders are struggling with various mental health issues.

Brett Ullman, a nationally respected speaker and authority on parenting and teens, talks about how his struggles started and how to respond in the church and in leadership when mental health struggles arise.

Please click here to listen to the podcast. I would also encourage you to subscribe to this podcast. It’s one that I never miss.

Did you hear Justin Bieber refused Satanic child abuse?

Really great article. Please take the time to read our Christian response to Fake News.

Many Christian influencers, especially those on social media, contribute to this trend by spreading stories such as the Bieber one or by adding sensationalistic anecdotes and hearsay about newborn sacrifices at hospitals, Oprah Winfrey endorsing face creams made from infants’ foreskins, Illuminati plots by entertainers such as Katy Perry, Jay-Z and Beyonce, and other claims.

It’s an understandable reaction, but it’s not the right thing to do.

People should be able to look to Christians as a source of truth, not a source of panic.

When we ascribe darkness and Satanic attribution to everything we see (or think we see), the devil doesn’t have to do much work himself.

We see everything a little bit blacker.

As Lewis feared, it will make us into devils.

Click here for the entire article.

SO GOOD! Please take a few minutes to read. Love your comments. Thanks

Research: Loneliness in the Church

For my research in Loneliness I am posting 1 area in which we experience loneliness per week and see how people feel in each area.

So far we have talked about:

  1. Loneliness in leadership
  2. Loneliness in mental health
  3. Loneliness in the workplace

This week we are looking at Loneliness in the Church. I have had many people message me already that they feel lonely in the Church world today. I have heard people talk about the disconnect between what the Church messages & songs content, and the disconnect with the modern church set up with stadium seating, 2 minute greeting time within the services, etc.

Love to hear any thoughts, quotes, books etc. You can post in the comments on all social media, this blog or send me an email/PM.

Thanks

Scissors + Glue || Church

Scissors + Glue is a documentary series exploring the narrative of millennial faith. Our second film focuses on Millennials’ experience in the Church, with the goal of creating dialogue about following Jesus.

“What Millennials need is dialogue… “

Love to hear peoples thoughts on this.