Click here to download the pdf version of The Lowedown.

Fans of the iconic Seinfeld sitcom series no doubt recall the famous “Soup Nazi” episode, in which a brilliant soup chef requires strict adherence to ordering protocol if patrons expect to get a sampling of his liquid gold creations. Those who violate the terms of ordering are curtly met with the phrase “No soup for you”, while given the proverbial boot and shown the door. (For a funny clip of this episode, go to: http:// It’s a funny made for TV moment that is hard to imagine happening in real life.

But imagine being a young single professional, just a few years removed from college, and being told by your church that there’s “No group for you.” Sadly, that is the case in many of our churches, where young Millennials find it difficult to connect with others who are in their same life stage.

David Richmond
David typifies many Millennials. Though he was involved in a Christian group in college, he found himself disconnected from the Lord after college.

David’s story typifies what is true for many Millennials. David grew up in what he described as an “off and on Christian home.” His parents divorced at a young age. He went to church when he was with his mom but didn’t go to church when he was with his dad.

In high school, David decided that he wanted God to lead his life but that decision didn’t translate into much meaningful change. Christianity was always in the background, never at the forefront.

When David transferred to UC San Diego, he started looking at various clubs on campus because he wanted to meet people. He got involved in Cru because he thought it would be a good idea and a great place to meet people.

David was a Bible study leader for Cru his senior year but for the most part, David was a worldly Christian. He did bible studies and other “Christian” stuff but he also partied and did all the “fun” stuff that he knew wasn’t helping him spiritually.

After graduation, David came back home, had a series of odd jobs and drifted away from the Lord. David became what we call a nomad. He still believed in the Bible and in Jesus but found himself increasingly disconnected from church.

Last year, David’s girlfriend began “dragging him to church.” He really didn’t want to go but did, just to appease his girlfriend. By the early fall, David started to feel like he wanted to make a change. As David looked around to find a place to connect with others like him who could help him navigate the circumstances he was experiencing in his life stage, he came up empty. He noticed a lot of different kinds of groups – groups for high schoolers, groups for marrieds, etc. But he didn’t find any group for a young single like himself who was dealing with a very transitory season of life.

David told me that he came to the conclusion that in order to find a group, “I either need to figure out how to get younger or I need to figure out how to get married.”

I met David back in November when I spoke at a church function. When Jen and I started our home group for Millennials at the end of February, I contacted David and invited him to come. I was delighted when he and a few others showed up for our first meeting.

David shared with me that “if it weren’t for the group we have on Tuesday nights where I can connect with others in my situation, I don’t think I would have made some of the steps I’ve taken to move closer to God.”

Pray for David as he moves to San Francisco this fall to attend Pharmacy school. And pray for us as we seek to ensure that Millennials in Orange County won’t be told “No Group for You!” when they seek to connect with other Millennials in their churches and in the area where they live.

Thanks for your partnership that is enabling us to make a difference in the lives of people just like David!

Learning About 20-Somethings

Connecting to the Culture of this Generation

Click here to download the pdf version of The Lowedown.

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Earlier this week, Jen and I watched a bit of the Grammys. It was a stark reminder to me of how different the current culture is to the one of my youth.

Most of the Grammy buzz was focused on Queen Latifah who presided over a mass marriage ceremony of 34 gay and straight couples while rapper Macklemore sang his hit song “Same Love”. Latifah quipped, “Whatever god you believe in we came from the same one.” It’s incredibly bad theology but unfortunately it’s a philosophy which many in the popular culture endorse and follow.

Another stark moment came for me when Country newcomer Kacey Musgraves appeared on stage to perform her hit song “Follow Your Arrow.” The song is about how there will always be people who will question you no matter what decision you make. While there is some truth in that, Musgrave’s response is “You’re damed if you do and damed if you don’t so you might as well do whatever you want.” While I wasn’t shocked, I guess I was a bit surprised to hear this ode to Post-modernism and Relativism coming from the Country music genre.

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Popular blogger Ed Stetzer posted his thoughts online after the Grammys. Stetzer suggested that we as Christians should seek ways to engage the culture instead of just complaining about the things we don’t like, as we are often apt to do. He also pointed out that the Grammys don’t really reflect the true values of our country. While I agree with Stetzer that we need to find ways to lovingly engage this culture instead of just complaining, I also think that the Grammys are a reflection of what many in our country think and believe and while not necessarily reflective of everyone, it definitely demonstrates how values are trending.

As Jen and I transition to working with Millennials, we’re looking for ways to better understand our culture, particularly this generation known as Millennials. What do they think and believe and why do they believe the things they do? Why are they the least churched generation in our culture and why are they so skeptical of religion and corporate America?

While we still have much to learn, we were able to get some good input yesterday as we attended the Barna Frames event that occurred live here in Orange County. The concept of Frames is to read short books on engaging topics related to our culture in order to be better informed and hopefully better equipped to reach this culture. (see for more information on the Frames concept)

One of the topics presented was on 20-Somethings. Dr. David Kim spoke on “The New Shape of Young Adulthood.” There was a lot of great information that will be helpful to us as we move forward in working with Millennials.

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One of the things Dr. Kim talked about was how many global tragedies and scandals this generation has been exposed to growing up that are unprecedented compared to previous generations. From the terror of 9-11 and school shootings, to numerous political scandals as well as extreme examples of corporate greed such as the Enron scandal, it’s no wonder that this generation is extremely skeptical of everyone and everything. In fact, Dr. Kim mentioned that 1 in 4 Millennials are likely to fact check a sermon on their phone while sitting in the pew!

Yet for all this generation has been exposed to, Kim says they are less sarcastic than the previous “Seinfeld” generation. They are generally more hopeful and that is a reason for us to have hope!

We have the greatest hope ever in the message of the gospel. Pray with us and for us as we seek to present the true message of hope to this generation of 20-somethings!

We’re Moving Again!


5 years ago this month, we packed up all of our possessions and moved our family from Northern California, where we had spent the previous 10 years, to Southern California, where we stepped into a new role as Ethnic Field Ministry Directors. Our job has been to help start new movements on campuses everywhere to reach students of the many different cultures that exist on our campuses, and also to create a culture of faith, awareness and boldness for our staff to step outside of their comfort zone to take the gospel to students of every culture, planting new ministries that would grow and multiply and become self-sustaining.

While there were many road bumps along the way, I look back at the last five years and am amazed at all that God has done. Space doesn’t allow me to list all of the ministries that have been started or all that He’s done. What’s really exciting is that our ethnic ministries have grown and now have their own staff and national leaders.

Over the past 18 months Jen and I have sensed that our role was like that of John the Baptist as our role has decreased while the role of other leaders has naturally increased.

This past spring, we sensed the Lord telling us that our “mission” was accomplished and it was time to take the next step. It was a scary moment for us because we weren’t sure what that next step was. We identified with Abraham as we stepped out of our role before knowing where we were going. It made for an interesting summer of contemplation and reflection on our gifts, passions and experiences as we sought to reaffirm and redefine our calling. We’ve truly been on a faith journey these past 5 months.

One of the opportunities that was presented to us was the opportunity to start something new. As a pioneer, my interest was instantly piqued.

Through the leadership program Jen was involved in the past two years, we learned about a new ministry called Cru City. Specifically, we learned about an incredible need and opportunity to reach Millennials, the group of people in our culture who are 18-30 years old and who are extremely skeptical and turned off by traditional Christianity and evangelical approaches.

After much prayer and counsel, Jen and I have accepted the role as Orange County Directors for Cru City. So we’re not moving locations but we are moving our ministry focus! Our primary role will be to work with churches and volunteers to establish a movement among Millennials that will reach those who are lost and equip them to follow Jesus and impact others for Christ in their workplace, in their neighborhoods and among their families.

In short, we want to see this group, which has been described as the least evangelized segment of our culture, transformed for Christ and His church. After all, these are the next generation of church leaders.

In the coming months, we’ll share more about our ministry and the strategic nature of reaching this audience. For now, please pray for us as we seek to secure all of the funding that’s necessary to start this new endeavor and continue to work full-time for the Lord. And pray with us for this generation. They are lost and desperately need Jesus.

We’re so grateful for you and your partnership with us. Together, we’ve made a great impact for the Lord and great opportunities lie before us!

To read the pdf version of The Lowedown, click here.