March Homework – Week 1

Homework – March Week 1
__ General Editing.
__ Recast as an email followed by discussion.
__ Expand on items.
__ Include church discussion.

Please join me in making disciples:
F is for following.
F is for fishing … learning how to fish.
F is for fellowship … gathering people together to love one another.

Email Quote

22 Homework- Week 1: STAGE 1: COME AND SEE: (Intentionally develop relationships between one another.)
23 3.3 Reading #2. Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone – overcoming alienation and cut off.
24 Stark: people who are not connected well are open to new connections.

How is PUtnam playing out in your community?

Building up the body of Christ literally means building true community between the members and, by extension, with potential converts. The kingdom of God spreads from person to person within human networks of influence. Modern culture hungers for this sort of relational, nurturing intimacy: “The most powerful message for postmoderns may be to let the church be the church – not an institution but a living, breathing, missionary community.” The laity are called to a relational ministry of building up links between people of the body of Christ. Acts of Christian love among neighbors build ongoing relationships that prepare individuals for conversion through conversation; over time these persons can be discipled toward maturity in a cell group that functions as a nuclear spiritual family. In times past people were looking for a friendly church; now they are simply looking for friends.
Traditional Prairie DNA presumes that people know each other prior to church involvement. Robert Putnam’s research indicates that American networks of engagement are breaking down and that this loss of “social capital” is the primary cause of many serious social problems. As the church is the primary builder of social networks, the decrease in social capital is both a cause and a result of the decline of church participation in America. The church is failing in the work of building and maintaining the bridges of God between people.

 

Church

Conflict

Diagnosis

Dialogue

Decision

Antioch Chapel – (Open country rural; pastored by a lay speaker.)
B Bob Sherman: SJ Management Blue Hat – Subject? Thinking? Goal? Big picture?

C Carla Chase: NF Emotions Red Hat– intuitive, instinctive, emotional feeling

E Eden Sherman: SJ Navy formal shoes: Routines and formal procedures

F Faith Kelley

Reading #2. Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
Social bonds are by far the most powerful predictor of life satisfaction.
More Americans are bowling than ever before, but they are not bowling in leagues.
Joining and participating in one group cuts in half your odds of dying next year.
It has the equivalent benefit to your health of quitting smoking.
Every ten minutes of commuting reduces all forms of social capital by 10%
Watching commercial entertainment TV is the only leisure activity where doing more
of it is associated with lower social capital.
Declining Social Capital: Trends over the last 25 years …
Attending Club Meetings: 58% drop
Family dinners: 43% drop … Having friends over: 35% drop
Sociologist Robert Putnam’s research indicates that American networks of engagement are breaking down and that this loss of “social capital” is the primary cause of many serious social problems. As the church is the primary builder of social networks, the decrease in social capital is both a cause and a result of the decline of church participation in America. Relationships that build community bonds between neighbors are essential to disciple making.

Reflection Question: Do you agree? What are the implications of this?

Systemic Problem #4: Stranger Evangelism
HEADS: Robert Putnam’s research indicates that American networks of engagement are breaking down and that this loss of “social capital” is the primary cause of many serious social problems. As the church is the primary builder of social networks, the decrease in social capital is both a cause and a result of the decline of church participation in Christians from their churches.

Systemic Problem #4: Stranger Evangelism
HEADS: Robert Putnam’s research indicates that American networks of engagement are breaking down and that this loss of “social capital” is the primary cause of many serious social problems. As the church is the primary builder of social networks, the decrease in social capital is both a cause and a result of the decline of church participation in America. Relationships that build community bonds between neighbors are essential to disciple making.
What are the causes for decline in social capital according to Putnam’s research? Factors which probably contribute little to the decline in social capital include divorce, people living together or alone, the decline of the traditional American family, racial issues, big government, the welfare state, two career families and working women.
Factors which contribute significantly to the decline in social capital include slum clearance which destroys neighborhood relationships, the shift from local businesses replaced by regional giants where people shop as strangers, and the involvement of the power elite in corporate politics rather than community politics. Major factors in the decline include pressures of time and money, especially for two career families (10%), suburbanization, commuting and urban sprawl (10%), television and electronic entertainment (25%), and generational change, where lack of community involvement seems normal (over 50%).

 

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