Transcript: An Evangelical Pitch to Millennials | Feb 12, 2018

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a black blazer over a flowery black shirt.

A caption on screen reads "An evangelical pitch to millennials. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says AS REGULAR ATTENDANCE AT
TRADITIONAL CHURCHES CONTINUES
TO DECLINE IN CANADA, A NEW KIND
OF FAITH COMMUNITY HAS BEEN
MAKING INROADS WITH A HIPPER,
YOUNGER CROWD.
EVANGELICAL AND TECH SAVVY,
THEY'VE BEEN BRINGING THE GOOD
WORD IN PERSON AND THROUGH ALL
THE USUAL WAYS THAT MILLENNIALS
COMMUNICATE: ONLINE AND ON
SOCIAL MEDIA.
JOINING US NOW TO TELL US ABOUT
THEIR OUTREACH EFFORTS:
SAM PICKEN, LEAD PASTOR OF C3
CHURCH TORONTO, A 5-YEAR-OLD
EVANGELICAL CONGREGATION...

Sam is in his thirties, with short blond hair shaven at the temples and a stubble. He's wearing a green shirt over a black undershirt.

Nam continues SHELDON NEIL, FAITH LEADER AND
HOST OF "OUTSIDE THE BOX," AN
EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN TELEVISION
PROGRAM ON YES TV...

Sheldon is in his twenties, with short-cropped black hair and a goatee. He's wearing round glasses and a burgundy sweater over a black shirt.

Nam continues AND SILK "ETERNIA" KAYA,
MUSICIAN AND HOST OF "LOVE IS
MOVING," A CHRISTIAN TV SHOW FOR
YOUNG PEOPLE ON GLOBAL TELEVISION.

Eternia is in her thirties, with curly brown hair cropped at the temples. She's wearing a purple blouse.

Nam continues WELCOME TO YOU ALL.
I SHOULD SAY... SILK AND I KNOW
EACH OTHER FROM BACK IN THE DAY.
IT'S REALLY NICE TO HAVE ALL OF
YOU HERE.
SO TO JUST GET INTO WHAT WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT, LET'S TAKE A LOOK
AT HOW ONTARIANS CURRENTLY
DESCRIBE THEIR RELIGIOUS IDENTITY.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Religion in Ontario."

It displays a pie chart.

Nam reads data from the slate and says
SOME NUMBERS FROM A RECENT IPSOS
SURVEY SHOWS THAT 46 percent OF
ONTARIANS IDENTIFY AS BEING
CHRISTIAN, BUT WE SHOULD NOTE
THAT THOSE IDENTIFYING AS
CHRISTIAN HAVE DROPPED BY 20 percent
SINCE 2011.
AND ACCORDING TO THE EVANGELICAL
FELLOWSHIP OF CANADA, ABOUT 10
TO 12 percent OF THE ONTARIO POPULATION
ARE SPECIFICALLY EVANGELICALS.
A LARGE PORTION ARE NEWCOMERS OR
IMMIGRANTS.

Another chart pops up titled "Religion and young Canadians."

Nam says MEANWHILE, IF YOU LOOK
SPECIFICALLY AT HOW YOUNG
CANADIANS, AND THAT'S 18 TO
34-YEAR-OLDS SELF-IDENTIFY, YOU
CAN SEE THAT 27 percent ARE CHRISTIAN,
29 percent ATHEIST OR AGNOSTIC.
AND EVANGELICAL MILLENNIALS,
THEY MAKE UP ABOUT 10 percent OF THAT
COHORT.
WHY DO YOU THINK THE DECLINE HAS
HAPPENED?
WHY DO YOU THINK THERE ARE LESS
CHRISTIANS IN ONTARIO?

The caption changes to "Sheldon Neil. Host, 'Out of the box.'"
Then, it changes again to "Pinning it down."

Sheldon says I GUESS I'LL JUMP IN.
I THINK THAT PEOPLE OFTEN
WRESTLE WITH A DEGREE OF
OPTIONS.
WHAT'S A VALID OPTION FOR MY
LIFE?
I THINK WHEN LIFE HITS... LET'S
SAY YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TO PAY
YOUR BILLS, YOU LOST YOUR JOB,
PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH, WHAT'S A
VIABLE OPTION THAT CAN GIVE ME
AN ANSWER RIGHT NOW?
OFTENTIMES PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH
THE UNSEEN OR THE SPIRITUAL
BECAUSE THEY DON'T LOOK AT IT AS
A VALID OPTION.
SO IF IT'S NOT SOMETHING I CAN
SEE OR GIVE ME A WAY OUT NOW TO
A SOLUTION, I'M GOING TO PUSH
CHRISTIANITY TO A SIDE AND MAYBE
GO A DIFFERENT ROUTE.
I THINK PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR
RIGHT NOW OPTIONS AND A DEGREE
OF FAITH IS ROOTED IN
CHRISTIANITY, TO BELIEVE BEYOND
WHAT YOU CAN SEE, BEYOND YOUR
OWN RESTRICTIONS.
IT TAKES GOING OUT AND PUSHING
BEYOND YOURSELF AND OFTEN THAT'S
HARD TO DO WHEN LIFE HITS...

Nam says IT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU
CAN SEE.
ETERNIA, WHY DO YOU SEE THE DECLINE?

The caption changes to "Silk 'Eternia' Kaya. Recording Artist."

Eternia says I CAN SEE WITH
YOUNG PEOPLE, THERE WAS THE
PRODIGAL SON THAT LEFT AND THEN
RETURNED AND A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE
IN THE CHURCH, RAISED IN THE
CHURCH, THEN LEAVE BECAUSE THEY
DON'T FIND WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING
FOR IN THE CHURCH, AND THEY'RE A
LITTLE BIT DISENCHANTED OR THEY
FEEL ABANDONED BY THE CHURCH,
THEY FEEL HURT BY THE CHURCH.
A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH
LEAVE.
AND SOME PEOPLE WEREN'T EVEN
RAISED WITH ANY KIND OF FAITH
RELATIONSHIP.
THEY WEREN'T RAISED BY PARENTS
WHO EVEN INTRODUCED THE CONCEPT
OF GOD TO THEM SO IT MAY BE
SOMETHING THAT'S A COMPLETELY
DIFFERENT LANGUAGE.

Nam says YOU SAID SOMETHING
INTERESTING, HURT BY THE CHURCH.
IN WHAT WAY CAN A PERSON BE HURT
BY THE CHURCH?

Eternia says I WAS HURT BY THE CHURCH.
YOU VIEW THEM AS YOUR FAMILY AND
YOU GET VERY CLOSE AND THEY'RE
COMMUNITY AND THEY'RE HOME.
THEN SOMETHING HAPPENS WHERE I
GUESS THE LOVE MIGHT FEEL
CONDITIONAL AS OPPOSED TO
UNCONDITIONAL.
SO YOU MAY NOT BE MEASURING UP.
YEAH, THERE'S JUST LOTS OF
DIFFERENT THINGS THAT HAPPEN.
IN MY CASE, IT WAS THAT
EXPERIENCE.
AND SO I LEFT FOR... I WAS A
PRODIGAL DAUGHTER, I LEFT FOR 15
YEARS BEFORE I RETURNED TO
CHURCH AT 28 YEARS OLD.
THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT
CAN HAPPEN IN THE CHURCH BECAUSE
WE'RE HUMAN.
A LOT OF THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN
LIFE HAPPEN IN THE CHURCH BODY.
WE HURT EACH OTHER.
PEOPLE BACK-STAB EACH OTHER.
THERE ARE ALL TYPES OF THINGS
THAT HAPPEN IN THE CHURCH THAT
HAPPEN ELSEWHERE AS WELL.
PEOPLE EXPECT IT NOT TO HAPPEN
IN THE CHURCH SETTING.

Nam says WHAT IS DID ABOUT
EVANGELICALISM IN PARTICULAR
THAT YOU THINK IS APPEALING TO MILLENNIALS?

The caption changes to "Sam Picken. C3 Church Toronto."

Sam says IN RESPONSE TO
SOME OF THOSE THINGS, WHICH I
AGREE WITH BOTH OF WHAT YOU GUYS
SAID, FOR PEOPLE THAT ARE
EXPLORING SOMETHING, MAYBE THEY
DON'T LIKE THE STIGMA OF
RELIGION OR THE LABELS THAT COME
WITH CHRISTIANITY OR TRADITIONAL
CHRISTIANITY, BUT WHEN IT COMES
TO FAITH AND PERSONAL
RELATIONSHIP WITH A HIGHER
POWER, JESUS OR GOD, THAT MAYBE
SEEING THAT SOME EVANGELICAL
CHURCHES GIVE YOU THE SPACE TO
EXPLORE.
I DON'T THINK IT'S JUST TRUE FOR
EVANGELICAL CHURCHES EITHER.
PEOPLE DON'T WANT THE LABELS
WHEN IT COMES TO RELIGION.
THEY'D JUST RATHER HAVE A
RELATIONSHIP JUST FOR
RELATIONSHIP'S SAKE.
I THINK THAT'S WHERE WE SHOULD
LEAVE IT.

Nam says SO YOU DON'T LIKE THE
LABEL EVANGELICAL OR...

Sam says SOME PEOPLE ASK US WHAT
DENOMINATION WE ARE AT C3 CHURCH
AND THE QUICK ANSWER IS
NON-DENOMINATIONAL.
BECAUSE THE MOMENT THAT QUESTION
IS ASKED, I'M WONDERING WHAT
FRAMEWORK ARE YOU ASKING THAT
QUESTION IN, FROM PAST HURT OR
SOME SORT OF NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE
OR EVEN WHAT THE MEDIA PORTRAYS,
THAT EVEN IF THE MEDIA DOESN'T
PORTRAY YOUR EXPERIENCE AND WHAT
THE MEDIA IS PORTRAYING MIGHT BE
NEGATIVE, THAT BIASED
ASSOCIATION TO A LABEL, YOU
MIGHT BE ASSOCIATING WITH
SOMETHING NEGATIVE THAT WAS EVEN
PRESENTED ABOUT THE RELIGION.
AND SO I THINK... I THINK YOUNG
PEOPLE... ANYBODY WITH A
HEARTBEAT THESE DAYS DOESN'T
WANT TO BE SEEN, IN LOVE AND
COMMUNITY I THINK FOR THE MOST
PART AND POSITIVITY AND WITH ALL
THE NEGATIVE STUFF THAT CAN
HAPPEN IN POLITICS AND RELIGION,
I THINK WE TRY TO PUSH THAT TO
ONE SIDE AND JUST SAY, LISTEN.
RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS,
RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS
SOMETHING THAT IS HUGELY
RELEVANT AND BENEFICIAL FOR
ANYBODY, ANY WALK IN LIFE,
WHETHER YOU'VE BEEN HURT BY
CHURCH OR SIMPLY HAVEN'T HAD AN
EXPERIENCE AND EVERYONE IS
WELCOME.

Nam says WHAT WOULD THE STIGMA
BE OF BEING A CHRISTIAN?

Sam says A MILLION THINGS.

Sheldon says I THINK OF A
PARTNERSHIP.
SOME PEOPLE LINK... HERE'S THIS
HISTORICAL BOOK.
ITS RELEVANCY IS ENCASED YEARS
AND THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF
YEARS AGO BUT IT CAN'T SPEAK TO
THE ISSUES THAT I'M DEALING WITH
RIGHT NOW.
SO PEOPLE LOOK AT THE BIBLE AND
CHRISTIANITY AND, OKAY, IT WILL
SPEAK TO SOMETHING THAT WAS.
IT WAS MY GRANDFATHER'S GOD OR
MY GRANDPARENTS' GOD.
IT'S NOT WHAT I'M GOING THROUGH.

Nam says SO WHAT'S THE STIGMA?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Sheldon says THE STIGMA IS THAT IT'S OUT OF TOUCH.
YOU'RE OUT OF TOUCH.
SOMETIMES WHEN PEOPLE GO TO
CHURCH WHO ARE HURT, THEY
HAVE... THEY'RE HIT WITH RULES,
NOT NECESSARILY RELATIONSHIPS, A
BUNCH OF THOU SHALL, THOU SHALL
NOT.
THEY FEEL THE CHURCH IS GOING TO
JUDGE ME.
IT'S OUT OF TOUCH WITH MY
PRESENT-DAY ISSUES THAT I'M
WRESTLING WITH.
A LOT OF THE ISSUES WE GO
THROUGH, YOU SEE IN SOCIETY,
THEY EVOLVE.
CAN THE CHURCH SPEAK TO THE
Hashtag METOO MOVEMENT?
CAN IT SPEAK TO LGBT ISSUES AND
HOW WE LIVE TOGETHER UNDER ONE
BLUE SKY?
IF IT'S HISTORICAL, I NEED TO
PUT THIS BACK ON THE SHELF.
IT'S NOT FOR ME.
IT'S OUT OF TOUCH.
IT DOESN'T SPEAK TO MY EMOTIONS.
I'M SURE YOU GUYS HAVE HEARD IT TOO.

Eternia says A LOT OF MY
FRIENDS DON'T GO TO CHURCH.
THEY'RE HYPOCRITES.
I SEE THEM SAY THIS AND ARE
DOING SOMETHING ELSE.
I WANT TO HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE
THAT ARE OPEN ABOUT THE STUFF
THEY'RE DOING.
THERE'S THE TRADITIONAL,
ESPECIALLY IN AMERICAN MEDIA,
THE RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE,
ANTIABORTION, ANTIGAY.
THESE ARE THE STIGMAS.
THESE ARE THE STEREOTYPES.
IT'S NOT THE COMMUNITY I'M A
PART OF.
IT'S NOT THE CHURCH I'M A PART
OF.
THESE ARE GENERALLY WHAT PEOPLE
WHO DON'T ATTEND CHURCH ASSUME
OF CHURCH GOERS.

Nam says THE PEOPLE YOU'RE A
PART OF ACCEPTS EVERYBODY,
PEOPLE FROM THE LGBT COMMUNITY.

Eternia says YES.

Nam says NAME FOR YOU?

Eternia says ABSOLUTELY.

Nam says YOU GO TO CHURCHES
THAT ARE INCLUSIVE.

Sam says YES.

Nam says WHY DO YOU THINK
MILLENNIALS ARE GOING BACK?
WHY DO YOU THINK THEY'RE COMING
TO YOUR CHURCH?

Sam says A LOT OF PEOPLE
TRY TO PEG IT TO TECHNOLOGY AND
THINGS.
BUT I THINK IT'S THE HEART AND
THE GENUINENESS TO IT.
THE BIGGEST THING THAT I AM
TRYING TO BUILD IN THE CHURCH IS
TRUST, BECAUSE... AND IT'S HARD
TO GAIN BACK FOR REASONS, LIKE
YOU SAID, LIKE IT'S NOT
CONDITIONAL LOVE.
IT'S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
IT'S GOD HIMSELF IS THE ONLY ONE
WHO IS REALLY NOT GOING TO LET
YOU DOWN.
PASTOR SAM, I'M GOING TO LET YOU
DOWN, UNFORTUNATELY.
AND SO I JUST GO RIGHT OUT OF
THE GATE WITH THAT AND SAY,
LISTEN, YOU COME HERE.
I'M GOING TO LET YOU DOWN.
THE PEOPLE IN THIS CHURCH, WE'RE
ALL BROKEN.
YOU DON'T COME TO CHURCH BECAUSE
YOU'RE NOT BROKEN.
YOU COME TO CHURCH BECAUSE
YOU'RE SEARCHING AND YOU DO OWN
MISTAKES AND YOU ARE BROKEN.
AND BROKEN PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE
AND WE'RE ALL BROKEN TOGETHER.
SO JUST KIND OF COMING OUT OF
THE GATE AND SAYING, LISTEN, YOU
COME HERE, THERE'S NO GUARANTEE
THAT SOMEONE IN THIS PLACE IS
GOING TO LET YOU DOWN, BUT THE
PERSON THAT WE WORSHIP IN THIS
PLACE WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN.
AND WITH THAT MESSAGE, I THINK
IT CREATES... IT ALLOWS THE
GUARD TO DROP AND PEOPLE FEEL ACCEPTED.

Nam says YOU FEEL MAYBE THAT'S
THE MESSAGE?

Sam says I THINK IT IS.
I KNOW THAT'S THE BIBLE'S RELEVANCE.

Nam says WE'D LIKE TO SHOW A
CLIP OF YOUR CHURCH, WHAT IT'S
LIKE ON SUNDAY AT C3.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "June 14, 2017."
In the clip, Sam stands on a stage at night holding a microphone and speaking passionately.

He says I'VE PUT ALL MY EFFORT, ALL
MY POSSESSIONS, ALL MY DECISIONS
BEHIND JESUS CHRIST, AND I
UNDERSTAND THAT THIS CHURCH WILL
PLUNDER THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS
BECAUSE WE'RE A CHURCH THAT'S SOCIETY.

He performs on stage as people dance and throw their arms in the air.

In daytime, he talks to an interviewer outdoors.

He says WHEN I PRAY THOSE PRAYERS TO
GOD, IS THIS REAL?
LIKE, IS THE BIBLE REAL?
CAN YOU MAKE IT REAL TO ME?
HE WAS VERY FAITHFUL IN
ANSWERING THOSE PRAYERS.

(music plays)

A band performs on a stage.

The clip ends.

Nam says YOU HAVE THE BAND ON
STAGE.
YOU HAVE THE SMOKE MACHINES.
YOU HAVE, YOU KNOW, THE BOUNCING
BEACH BALLS.

The caption changes to "All the modern trimmings."

Sam says NOT EVERY
SUNDAY.
I WISH.

Nam says NOT EVERY SUNDAY.
BUT WHAT ABOUT PRODUCTION VALUE
WHEN IT COMES TO ATTRACTING
MILLENNIALS TO THE CONGREGATION?

Sam says I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT.
WHAT THE GUYS IN THE BIBLE USED
WAS LETTER-WRITING AND THINGS OF
RELEVANCE TO THEIR DAY, AND I
THINK IF SOME OF THE MAIN HEROES
IN THE BIBLE WERE HERE TODAY,
THEY WOULD DO THE SAME THING.
I THINK FOR THE MAIN REASON IS
THAT FOR THIS
RELEVANCY-IRRELEVANCE IDEA THAT
PEOPLE HAVE IN THEIR
SUBCONSCIOUS WHEN THEY'RE
SHOWING UP, IF THE MUSIC IS
DISTASTEFUL, THAT MIGHT CREATE
AN INITIAL BARRIER, AS IN, SEE?
I THOUGHT THE BIBLE WAS GOING TO
BE BACK ON MY SHELF.
WAS I GOING TO WIPE THE DUST OFF
AND PICK IT UP AND READ IT?
YOUR MUSIC TOLD ME IT'S
RELEVANT.
SO WHEN PEOPLE COME IN AND SAY
I'M VIBING WITH THIS SOUND, THIS
MAKES SENSE, IT'S SOMETHING THAT
I'M USED TO, I KNOW THAT YOU'RE
AN ARTIST, AND THAT'S A WAY TO
PREACH THE GOSPEL WITHOUT
ACTUALLY PREACHING, THROUGH
ARTS, DRAMA, MUSIC,
ENTERTAINMENT, VIDEO,
EVERYTHING.
SO WE TRY AND USE EVERYTHING AT
OUR DISPOSAL, JUST LIKE YOU DO
HERE IN THE STUDIO.

Nam says I'M GLAD YOU BROUGHT
UP, ETERNIA, YOU'RE A MUSICIAN,
YOU'RE AN MC.
HOW DOES YOUR CHRISTIANITY
INFORM YOUR LIFE AS AN MC OR HOW
DOES YOUR LIFE AS AN MC INFORM
YOUR LIFE AS A CHRISTIAN.

Eternia says CHURCHES ARE A FORM OF
EXPRESSION.
AS MANY CHURCHES YOU GO TO,
YOU'LL GET THESE WAYS YOU
CREATIVELY EXPRESS YOUR BELIEF
AND LOVE FOR GOD.
JUST TO YOUR POINT.
YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING FROM SUPER
LOUD ROCK CONCERTS TO A SPOKEN
POETRY CAFE...

Nam says TRADITIONAL CHURCHES
DON'T DO THAT.

Eternia says BUT WE ARE.
I THINK MILLENNIALS ARE GOING TO
CHURCHES THAT ARE A DIFFERENT
TYPE OF CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS OF
GOD'S LOVE THAT RESONATE WITH
THEM.
THAT'S WHAT C3 DOES.
MY CHURCH IS DIFFERENT IN THE
SENSE IT'S SUBDUED AND KIND OF
PARED BACK IN A THEATRE SPACE.
IT'S NOT EVEN A CHURCH, IT'S IN
A THEATRE SPACE.
IT'S NOT THAT THIS OR THAT ISN'T
IMPORTANT, IT'S CREATIVE
EXPRESSIONS, IT RUNS THE GAMUT
OF PEOPLE.
IT'S A REFLECTION OF BEAUTIFUL
HUMANS ON THIS PLANET AND THAT'S
HOW WE COMMUNICATE.
AS AN ARTIST, I THINK BEING A
CHRISTIAN IS KIND OF A HOLISTIC
PART OF WHO I AM AS A PERSON.
I'M NOT LIKE A CHRISTIAN RAPPER,
I'M AN MC WHO HAPPENS TO BE A
CHRISTIAN.
WHAT YOU HEAR IN MY MUSIC IS
JUST WHAT I'M LEARNING, THE
COMMUNICATION BOTH WAYS BETWEEN
ME AND GOD.
YOU KNOW, IT'S A PERSONAL
RELATIONSHIP.
THAT'S WHAT YOU HEAR IN MY
MUSIC.
I'M NOT A PASTOR, I'M NOT A
PREACHER WITH MY MUSIC AND I
STRUGGLE WITH THINGS.
I'M VERY HUMAN.
I'M VERY BROKEN.
THERE'S A LOT OF DARK CONTENT IN
MY MUSIC.
BUT WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF
TURNING MY FACE TO GOD.
YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

Sheldon says I THINK WHAT
PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH, WE SPEAK
AND HEAR OVERSEAS, BUT WHAT A
LOT OF PEOPLE ARE WRESTLING
WITH, THIS LIFE STORY OF A MAN
NAMED JESUS REALLY SPEAKS TO ME
WHERE I AM.
THEY PUT THAT AGAINST THE
BACKDROP OF THEIR TRADITIONAL
EXPERIENCES, WHAT THEY'VE SEEN,
WHAT THEY'VE BEEN THROUGH, MAYBE
CHURCH HURTS, WHAT THEIR
GRANDPARENTS TAUGHT THEM.
WHAT WE'RE HEARING THROUGH MUSIC
AND PRESENTATION AS WE SAW IN C3
CHURCH IS THERE IS A GREATEST
STORY TO BE TOLD AND IT CAN MEET
YOU WHERE YOU ARE.

Nam says SPEAKING OF WHERE YOU
ARE, YOU'RE ALL VERY ACTIVE ON
SOCIAL MEDIA.

Sheldon says THAT'S RIGHT.

Nam says HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT
FOR YOU TO GET OUT THE MESSAGE?

The caption changes to "Sheldon Neil, @SheldonNeil."

Sheldon says IT'S VERY IMPORTANT.
HOW WE PRESENT ON STAGE FOR
ADULTS OR MILLENNIALS, FOR
EXAMPLE, HAS TO TOTALLY SHIFT IN
TERMS OF ITS APPEAL, GRAPHICS,
EVERYTHING TO BE CONSUMED BY A
YOUNGER AUDIENCE, TO BE
SHAREABLE.

Nam says BUT IS THAT AUTHENTIC?

Sheldon says OH, YES.
WE DON'T SWITCH THE MESSAGE, WE
SWITCH HOW IT IS PRESENTED.
IT'S ALMOST A TECHNOLOGY TYPE OF
THING.
ON INSTAGRAM YOU HAVE 60 SECONDS
TO POST A VIDEO THAT HAS HIGH
IMPACT, THAT DOESN'T WATER DOWN
A LIFE-GIVING MESSAGE.
SO BECAUSE OF THE ART AND THE
PLATFORM YOU'RE BROADCASTING ON
OR SHARING ON, YOU HAVE TO TWEAK
HOW THE MESSAGE IS PRESENTED BUT
YOU'RE NOT SHIFTING THE HEART OF
THE MESSAGE.

Nam says DO YOU FIND YOURSELF
REFERENCING POP CULTURE, OR IS
IT JUST THE MESSAGE FROM THE
SCRIPTURES?

Sheldon says JUST AS JESUS SPOKE WITH
PARABLES, IT BEHOOVES WE DO THE
SAME THING.
IF EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT KIM
KARDASHIAN OR THE GRAMMYS OR THE
SUPERBOWL, IF EVERYONE IS
TALKING WHAT THE LATEST THING
IS, WE HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES,
HOW IS IT RELEVANT TO HOW WE
LIVE OUR LIVES DAILY?
WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS IN
GOVERNMENT, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN
FOR OUR INDIVIDUAL PURPOSE?
HOW DOES IT FLOW FROM THERE?
WE HAVE TO BE POSITIONED,
WHETHER IT'S ON THE STAGE,
BEHIND A PULPIT, ON TELEVISION,
TO ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS.

Nam says AND THE WORD YOU'RE
ALL TRYING TO SPREAD IS THE WORD
OF JESUS.
SAM, IF JESUS WAS ALIVE TODAY,
WHAT DO YOU THINK HE WOULD BE LIKE?

Sam says HE'D HAVE AN INSTAGRAM
ACCOUNT AND HE'D FOLLOW SHELDON.

[LAUGHTER]

Nam says DO YOU THINK HE'D LOOK
LIKE THIS?

A picture pops up of a blond Jesus with glasses, several tattoos on his body and an open-necked gray t-shirt, holding up a lamb.

Sam says I DON'T KNOW.
HE WOULD NOT STAND OUT.
JUST LIKE HE DID IN THE BIBLE, I
THINK IN SOME WAYS HE WOULD
BLEND IN AND HE WOULD LOOK LIKE
MOST OF EVERYBODY AND WOULD
OFTEN BE OVERLOOKED.
I THINK THE GREAT THING TO USE
MEDIA WITH IS, YEAH, WE'RE
TRYING TO CHANGE PERCEPTION IN
ONE THING, BUT I THINK WHAT YOU
SAID, YOU'RE REALLY AUTHENTIC.
YOU'VE GOT TO COME AND DO SOME
STUFF AT C3.

[LAUGHTER]

Sam says IT GIVES YOU A WINDOW INTO
PEOPLE THAT ARE ON THE PLATFORM,
AS A PASTOR, I DON'T WANT PEOPLE
TO PUT ME ON A PEDESTAL AS
SOMETHING THAT I CAN'T LIVE UP
TO.
SO TO SHARE MY FAMILY AND MY
MARRIAGE AND JUST NORMAL LIVING
WITHOUT THE FILTERS, I LIKE THE
INSTAGRAM VIDEO THAT CAME OUT
AND STUFF AND IT JUST GIVES
PEOPLE THE IDEA THAT, HEY,
LISTEN, I'M ONE PERSON TRYING TO
WORK IT OUT JUST LIKE YOU ARE.
WE'RE NO DIFFERENT.
JUST KIND OF DOING THAT.
AND I THINK JESUS IS THE SAME
WAY.
HE'S LIKE, LISTEN, I'M HERE, AND
I'M FACING ALL THE SAME STUFF
YOU DO.
SO LET ME TELL YOU HOW I DEAL
WITH IT.
THAT WILL HOPEFULLY HELP YOU
DEAL WITH WHAT YOU FACE.

Nam says A QUESTION JUST POPPED
IN MY HEAD.
SO WHERE DO YOU THINK WE GET
THIS IDEA THAT HE WAS THIS
PERFECT INDIVIDUAL?
BECAUSE YOU'RE TALKING A LOT
ABOUT HOW... YOU MAKE MISTAKES,
YOU KNOW, YOU WANT PEOPLE TO
FEEL LIKE THEY MAKE MISTAKES TOO
AND THEY'RE WELCOME TO MAKE
MISTAKES.
WHERE DO YOU THINK WE GET THIS
IDEA FROM...

Sam says JESUS?

Nam says YES.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda."

Sam says THE BIBLE TELL US THAT HE
FACED EVERY TEMPTATION THAT WE
DO BUT DIDN'T SIN.
I DON'T THINK THE REREQUISITE OF
PLEASING GOD IS NOT MAKING
MISTAKES.
I THINK IT'S OWNING THEM AND
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS IS REPET
TANT.
THAT'S JUST A FANCY WORD OF
SAYING YOU'RE SORRY.

Nam says YOU'RE STILL PREACHING
THE SAME MESSAGE AS THE BIBLE OR
ARE YOU MAKING IT MORE, I GUESS,
SOMETHING MORE... LIKE,
SOMETHING MORE PEOPLE CAN RELATE TO?

Sam says THE BIBLE DOESN'T SET US UP
TO HAVE AN EXPECTATION NOT TO
MAKE MISTAKES.
THAT'S WHAT THE MESSAGE OF JESUS
IS.
AND THAT HE TOOK THOSE MISTAKES
ON HIS SHOULDERS ON THE CROSS.
BUT THE BIBLE SETS IT UP THAT IF
YOU CAN COME TO HIM AND ACCEPT
THAT THROUGH FAITH, THEN YOU'RE
SEEN RIGHT IN GOD.
THAT'S THE GREAT MESSAGE.

Sheldon says SOME PEOPLE
ONLY TAKE SNAPSHOTS OF JESUS'
LIFE, HE WAS PERFECT, AND THAT
MEANS I HAVE TO BE PERFECT.
THEY CLOSE THE BOOK AND THERE'S
NO ROOM FOR ERROR.
WHEN WE SEE HIS WHOLE STORY
LINE, IT'S A MAN WHO WAS IN
CONTANT CONNECTION WITH THE
FATHER, CONSTANTLY PRAYING.
IT WAS A RELATIONSHIP.
IT WASN'T ABOUT A TRIAL.
HIS LIFE WASN'T A TRIAL, I ONLY
HAVE TO DO PERFECT THINGS.
IT WAS ABOUT FULFILLING A
PURPOSE AND WANTING TO FULFIL A
PERSON.
WHEN YOU SAY TO PEOPLE, LISTEN,
YOU'RE ON A JOURNEY, AND YOU'RE
WITH A GUY WHO WILL LOVE YOU
THROUGH THICK AND THIN.
YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO RESTART.
I THINK WE PRESENT A GOSPEL THAT
IS SET ON RULES AND THOU SHALL
NOT AND NO ROOM FOR GROWTH OR
ROOM TO RESTART?
THAT'S NOT THE PRESENTATION OF
THE GOSPEL WE SEE IN JESUS' LIFE.

Eternia says JESUS WAS THE
AUTHOR OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE.
YOUNG PEOPLE ARE VERY INVOLVED
WITH SOCIAL JUSTICE.
JESUS WOULD BE ON THE FRONT
LINES.
JESUS WOULD BE MARCHING.
JESUS WAS A REBEL.
HE WAS VERY ANGRY AT THE CHURCH
LEADERS OF HIS DAY.
THEY WERE ANGRY WITH HIM AND HE
WAS ANGRY WITH THEM.
THAT'S WHAT WE WOULD SEE TODAY.
AND HE WOULD BE HANGING OUT WITH
ALL THE PEOPLE YOU'RE NOT
SUPPOSED TO.

Sheldon says HE WOULD BE
SHOWING UP, SAYING, LISTEN.

[SPEAKING SIMULTANEOUSLY]

Nam says I WANTED TO READ THIS
PASSAGE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST
BY WRITER RACHEL EVANS, AND SHE WRITES...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Keep it old school." The quote reads "Many churches have sought to lure millennials back by focusing on style points: cooler bands, hipper worship, edgier programming, impressive technology. They are not the key to drawing millennials back to God in a lasting and meaningful way.
For a generation bombarded with advertising and sales pitches, and for whom the charge of 'inauthentic' is as cutting an insult as any, church rebranding efforts can actually backfire, especially when young people sense that there is more emphasis on marketing Jesus than actually following him.
My friend and blogger Amy Peterson put it this way: 'I want a service that is not sensational, flashy, or particularly 'relevant.' At church, I do not want to be entertained. I want to be asked to participate in the life of an ancient-future community."
Quoted from Rachel Held Evans, The Washington Post. April 30, 2015.

Nam says WHAT SAY YOU, SAM, TO THAT?

The caption changes to "Diluting the Holy Water?"

Sam says YEAH, I
COMPLETELY AGREE.
I THINK IT'S BOTH.
IT'S NOT AN OR, IT'S AN AND.

Nam says YOU DON'T THINK LIKE
THE DEEJAYS, THE INSTAGRAM, IT'S
TAKING AWAY?

Sam says IT'S NOT A COVER OR MASK
WE'RE TRYING TO USE.
IT'S A STRATEGY AND BEING
AUTHENTIC AND REAL AND OPEN.
PEOPLE WOULDN'T STAY IN C3,
WE'RE ABOUT TO CELEBRATE OUR
FIFTH ANNIVERSARY, AND IT'S
AWESOME.
AND WE'RE GOING TO MASSEY HALL.
AND THAT PROBABLY LOOKS
GLAMOROUS.
WE'RE NOT TRYING TO DO THAT
BECAUSE WE THINK, MAN, IF WE CAN
DO THE SMOKE AND MIRRORS RIGHT,
WE'VE GOT YOU.
NO, WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS
HAVE FUN WITH IT AND BE RELEVANT
WITH IT, BUT FOR ANYBODY THAT'S
BEEN IN C3 TORONTO FOR LONGER
THAN A HEARTBEAT CAN SEE THAT
WE'RE JUST DOING IT REAL.
AND MY WIFE AND I, WE'RE AN OPEN
BOOK.
OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM, OPEN BOOK.
NOTHING TO HIDE.
NO SMOKE AND MIRRORS.
WE'RE JUST HAVING FUN DOING IT.

Nam says WE HAVE TWO MORE MINUTES.
I'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM SILK AND
THEN YOU, SHELDON.

Eternia says WHEN IT COMES TO
THAT SPECIFICALLY, I MENTIONED
THIS BEFORE, HUMANS ARE SO
UNIQUE, SO DIVERSE.
IT'S BEAUTIFUL.
WE HAVE ALL THESE DIFFERENT
EXPRESSIONS OF CHURCH AND CHURCH
IS REALLY JUST DOING LIFE,
SEEKING THE CREATOR, SEEKING
GOD, LEARNING ABOUT JESUS.
THAT CAN BE AS VARIED AS THERE
ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE ON
THE PLANET.
IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE, LIKE YOU
SAID, IT'S NOT EITHER-OR, IT'S
BOTH-AND.

Sheldon says SOMETIMES I'M
ON STAGE PREACHING AND I
INTEGRATE A LIVE DEEJAY TO MAKE
IT RELEVANT FOR THE AUDIENCE AND
I REALLY HEAR THIS WHEN I TALK
TO MILLENNIALS ALL THE TIME,
BEHIND ALL THE LIKES AND FOLLOWS
THEY GET, THEY'RE ASKING SOME
HARD QUESTIONS: WHY AM I
BREATHING?
I'M STRUGGLING WITH SUICIDE,
WITH DEPRESSION.
BESIDES ALL THE GLITZ, ALL THE
LIGHTS, THEY'RE LOOKING FOR REAL
ANSWERS.
SOMETIMES WITH THE SHOW, THEY
MIGHT BE DRAWN TO THAT.
AFTER THAT THEY'RE GOING TO ASK,
HOW DO I GET THROUGH THIS?
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT
THIS?
I'M WRESTLING WITH WHO I AM?
THEY'RE BRINGING HARD ISSUES.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER, THE
GIG AND THE LIGHTS IS GOING TO
RUN OUT AFTER A WHILE.
THAT'S ENOUGH TO INVITE THEM.
AFTER THAT YOU HAVE TO MEET THEM
WHERE THEY ARE WITH NOT JUST
SUGGESTIONS BUT REAL SOLUTIONS.

The caption changes to "Producer: Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine; Producer: Harrison Lowman, @harrisonlowman."

Nam says THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING
HERE
SAM, AGAIN, CONGRATULATIONS, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY.
THANKS FOR HAVING US
AND SHELDON, APPRECIATE IT.
THANK YOU FOR THE INSIGHT YOU'VE
GIVEN US, SILK.

Watch: An Evangelical Pitch to Millennials