Faith for Exiles: 5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon
David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock (Baker Publishing)
In ancient Babylon, the Israelites lived in a more pluralistic—and many ways more accelerated—culture then their homeland. Yet in this complex and diverse land, the Israelites were encouraged to be fruitful as they lived in exile. This ancient Babylon is very similar to the new “Digital Babylon” Gen Z and Millennials are living in today, according to authors David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock.
There is no shortage of publications on what churches are doing wrong to retain church dropouts. Faith for Exiles takes a different approach. Instead of looking at what the church has done wrong, the latest findings from a Barna Study conducted over a 10-year period focus on what the church has done right.
Kinnaman, the president of Barna Group, and Mark Matlock, principal at WisdomWorks, examine the research from the study to find out what churches are teaching young adults who stay connected and become “Resilient Disciples.” Throughout the research, Barna categorized the participants into four groups. They range from Prodigals, who no longer identify as Christian, to Resilient Disciples, who not only attend church regularly, but also believe in biblical authority and seek to change the world around them as they grow closer to Christ.
While only 10 percent of those surveyed are considered Resilient Disciples, Kinnaman, Matlock and the Barna Group identify five key traits that all Resilients share that could be a correlation for their lasting faith. Through these five traits—all discipleship based—the church can strengthen faith for those in exile in a “Digital Babylon.”
Micah Roddy, student pastor
First Baptist Church, Corpus Christi .