Alan, age 36

Alan shared some valuable insights about how he connects with God and how he serves the Kingdom. Not surprisingly, like many younger believers today, he has lots of regular connections with diverse church businesses but serves Christ daily outside of any one of these institutions. He, like many, are on the border of two generations and has a lot of insight into both what came before and what’s emerging next!

How do you connect with God?

“I connect with God by volunteering, by solitude, by reading (Christian and classic literature especially). I connect by attending services here and there, attending masses here and there. I connect by volunteering with others, or interacting with the people I have volunteered to serve.”

What, in part, do you see your personal ministry as?

“I live a life of voluntary poverty and then volunteer my time and excess resources to help others. I am not looking to fulfill an obligation from a purchased good or service – not trying to accumulate more stuff or chase riches – but instead just sharing my time and jack of all skills (often unskilled labor) with other people made in God’s image.”

How do you generally view Millennials as a generation?

“Sheep that do not readily recognize or trust the Shepherd, since many church leaders have become wolves dressed in wool by managing Jesus instead of managing their cross.”

In what direction do you feel Christianity is headed in America?

“In America, more and more faithful practice is being pushed underground… There is great hope in this because underground is where faith thrives and is released from the grip of the standards of the world.”

What are issues you see in organized religion?

“Organized religion doesn’t truly seek God’s kingdom to break forth on earth as it is in heaven. To do so would undermine its self-proclaimed authority as a holding place for God.”

You are dedicated to living a life of voluntary poverty – and you are passionate about teaching people about problems money can create. Jesus spent a lot of time warning people about money as well. How do you see money being a negative influence in the lives of whole churches and individual believers?

“God wills us not to worry about food, drink, and clothing. God wills us to spend time and resources helping the poor, meeting the needs of our neighbors, showing love to our enemies. What we see in the church today is the opposite. An obsession over selling ourselves for money is prevalent – in fact, working for as much money as possible to provide for the excess of food and clothing seems a prerequisite for being a member in good standing in organized religion. Instead of trusting God to avoid worry, we lean on our humanity to try to eliminate the perceived cause of worry – needing more stuff. This is failing to trust God for our provision, but is even worse: the time and energy it takes to get this money is time spent walking on the other side of the road from the acts of mercy among the poor and other good deeds God has waiting for us. I know we could go on forever about this topic alone, but thanks for sharing a small piece of me with others!”

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