If you keep up with cultural trends and statistics, you may be aware that a rising number of young adults raised in the church are now leaving the church and that new converts in the millennial demographic are fewer than ever. As a woman passionate about mentoring younger generations and as a mom of teens, this statistic is very concerning to me. I try to pay attention to authors and teachers who seem to have a helpful and realistic perspective on this topic, meaning I don’t listen to “doom and gloom” or uber positive “everything is fine” mentalities, rather I look for truth from those admitting we have a problem, yet who offer hope with wisdom. Which is where our very own Lauren Green McAfee comes into the picture.
I sat down with Lauren a couple weeks ago to chat about the book she wrote with her husband, Michael. Their book, Not What You Think: Why the Bible Might be Nothing We Expected Yet Everything We Need, was released this May and addresses the tragic fact that millenials and Gen-Z are engaging with the Bible at alarmingly low rates. Among this demographic, the Bible is often misinterpreted, misunderstood and misrepresented. Many young adults and teens believe the Bible to be old-fashioned and not applicable to our current culture. How in the world do we steer the ship back on course? To be honest, hearing these stats can feel overwhelming and heavy to me, but thankfully the McAfees have a different perspective.
You know I love a good story! The way God intricately weaves our circumstances together simply amazes me. Lauren and Michael were living life in OKC, when they both found themselves working on the enormous project of opening the Museum of the Bible. Their jobs were in different areas, but both dealt with biblical artifacts in one way or another.
Over the years leading up to the museum’s grand opening—including a six month period living in New York City—the McAfees were struck over and over with the same two truths: the Bible is an absolutely credible, life-changing book, but many of the young adults they met around the US had written the Bible off as an outdated text. Holding both of these truths at the same time—week after week immersed with the Bible’s history and sustainability, yet watching their own demographic reject it—created a passion in them to do something!
Lauren described to me the desire they felt to write a book truthfully addressing some of the most difficult aspects of the Bible, sharing their own doubts and struggles, then asking the reader to give the Bible a fair chance. They offer helpful tips on where and how to start reading the Bible and a challenge for readers to engage the Bible.
As Lauren and I talked, I could actually feel my disappointment lift and I became hopeful for this next generation, even praying about who I could pass this book on to. I know you will want to hear the entire interview about how this book came to be, including what is was like to write with her husband while they are both pursuing their PHDs from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ethics and Public Policy.
Along with professional and writing updates, Lauren also gives us an exciting scoop about the baby they’ve been waiting years for… so CLICK HERE TO LISTEN, then go out and grab a copy of the Not What You Think: Why the Bible Might be Nothing We Expected Yet Everything We Need!
Click the podcast link to listen:
Meet the Author!
Heather McAnear is a wife, mom, author and speaker with a passion for sharing God's truth to help women understand their uniquely beautiful design and how to use it for God's glory! In fact, Heather hosts the Uniquely Beautiful Stories podcast on iTunes in hopes do just that! She loves teaching young married couples with her husband, homeschooling their three children, traveling the world, enjoying good chocolate and long conversations in coffee shops. CRBC has been her church home for two decades and she is thrilled to be part of the Women's Ministry team, helping women connect with each other and grow in their walk with Jesus!