Hello. I’m Dave Richardson, president of Assumptions Institute … and this is your invitation to be a part of one of the most strategic enterprises for the Kingdom of God in the 21st century.
Let me explain.
I’ve been concerned for years about the huge number of young people who’ve grown up in Christian homes and attended church, yet no longer identify themselves as Christians.
If you think for a moment you can picture the faces of some young people you know who’ve done this. It’s tragic.
Numerous national studies have documented the rise of what is being called “THE NONES” – those who, when asked which religion they most identify with, answer “NONE.” In just thirty years… by the year 2050… if the current trend continues, 35 million youth raised in Christian homes will disaffiliate from Christianity. This is over one million young people per year who are leaving the faith!
These religiously unaffiliated – “the NONES” – will nearly double as a percentage of the U.S. population, from 17% today to 30%. That’s more than 50 million people who will leave the church and join the ranks of “the NONES.”
Why is this happening?
Young people today tell us they find Christianity -- as they’ve experienced it -- “not compelling.” Christianity here in America may be meaningful on a private level, but it seems to offer little “real-world” relevance. They say, “It just isn’t worth their time.”
From these studies it appears that many American Christians have become ineffective as salt and light in the culture because they’ve become disengaged from their faith in their public lives. Sadly more and more Christians are even accepting of progressive and humanist philosophies as capable solutions to the brokenness of our society. Overall, the impact of people who claim to be Christian is diminishing rather than growing … and this has been happening for decades.
In addition to the very real eternal consequences on individual lives, this trend will result in fewer committed Christians to love, serve, and lead our communities in the name of Jesus. The effect is that the church will more and more abdicate responsibility and leave these important tasks of compassion and care to ineffective and impersonal government institutions.
But, what if there was a solution?
What if there was a way to effectively help adults connect their faith in life-changing ways to all aspects of life including their vocation and how they live out their faith with others publicly?
What if people -- both young and adult -- could quickly and reliably “see through” the errors in the secular messages they encounter daily in class, in the media, and with their friends?
Assumptions Institute has discovered a solution that is working!
This tax-deductible, non-profit, Christian ministry has created a way to equip people from all walks of life with real-world discernment skills so they may know Jesus Christ, reflect their relationship with Him in all of life, and avoid being manipulated by the cultural messages they encounter daily.
This “Learn to Discern” strategy is a powerful solution that is proven to work
· in churches,
· in small groups,
· with homeschool families,
· in university classrooms,
· in faculty think tanks,
· and even in seeing university professors become Christians.
The key tool is called the “Critical Assumptions Test” or CAT. This simple and effective method gives students and adults real world discernment in real time. With this skill they can discern what is true and false in the messages they encounter daily in class, the media, and the culture. With a little training and practice they can “see through” these false messages in less than a minute.
With the CAT we can help adults who influence students to reflect their relationship with Christ through every area of their lives. They can be more effective salt and light because they can relate their faith in Christ to “real-world” things, not just their personal devotions and private life.
The CAT also can help educators show Truth -- based upon God and the Bible – as they teach students HOW to think rather than WHAT to think, and have an impact even in state university and public school classrooms.
In this next phase of Assumptions Institute our talented and experienced team will create introductory and intermediate level discernment curriculum for individual and small group use. It will include innovative and practical teaching with engaging videos delivered through numerous channels -- including mobile technology.
We also plan to create curriculum for Christian schools and home schools. A major Christian academy will pilot and field test our curriculum with its teachers and students to ensure it is effective and reliable. As students and adults alike acquire these powerful discernment skills we’ll empower many people to reflect their relationship with Christ in all of life. As people discern what is TRUE we’ll accomplish our goal to intentionally dismantle the false ideologies promoted by academia, the media, and culture.
We’re sharing this with you so you can partner with us to make this vision of change a reality. We believe together with people like you who will partner with us we can make a difference in the lives of millions of people.
We are standing at the precipice of a strategic opportunity.
· Imagine what it would it be like if fewer Christian students left their faith as young adults?
· What if the “at-risk” students gained real world “discernment?”
· What if millions of Christians knew how to live their faith publicly in school, at work, and in the community?
It is possible …and YOU can partner with us to make it happen! But …we CAN’T DO IT ALONE.
We are trusting God to raise up partners in ministry like YOU. From a stewardship perspective, we are convinced that this is among the most strategic investments anyone could make to advance the Great Commission at this point in time. We project a need of $210,000 to launch this next phase of the Assumptions Institute strategy.
Will you prayerfully consider becoming part of helping change the way young people are leaving the church? With your gift of any amount, we promise to keep you informed of the progress that your contribution is making to advance the Truth of Jesus Christ.
I am Dave Richardson, President of Assumptions Institute. Thanks for sharing our vision, and giving to this important initiative.