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The mocking term “three to thrive” is a tongue-in-cheek way of talking about those who religiously hold to attending church meetings twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday evening. This pejorative is unfortunate because of the overreaction to gathering as a local church community.
The rise of social media has stepped into the void of minimal church gatherings, creating a false intimacy that assumes connectedness. With this lowering view of the local church, many folks do not sense the need for these gatherings because they can “take their favorite communities with them” wherever they go because of the ubiquitous social media.
The answer is somewhere in the middle. To thrive, we don’t need three monologue meetings a week—staring at the back of someone’s head. But we must be gathering in real-time and space, caring for each other for the health of the body of Christ, our families, and our personal lives.
In recent decades, social media is not healthy for kids. The problem is that peers do not provide stable, reliable, mature love that children need—which means that children who are peer-directed will always be insecure. – Nancy Pearcey
For the first time in the history, young people are turning for instruction, modeling and guidance not to mothers, fathers, teachers, and other responsible adults but to people whom nature never intended to place in a parenting role—their own peers. They are not manageable, teachable or maturing because they no longer take their cues from us. Instead, children are being brought up by immature persons who cannot possibly guide them to maturity. – Gabor Matre, author of Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
Psychologists tell us that children thrive only if they form a strong, stable attachment to a caring adult. But social media is so ubiquitous today that ever-younger children are forming their primary attachment to their peers—even when they are still living at home and even when they have loving, conscientious parents. Peer pressure is alienating children from those who love them most.
One study found that father-teen interactions in the United States today are simply not strong “enough to transmit the knowledge values, attitudes, and skills that adult males should pass on to their children.” As a result, children are losing touch with the wider perspective of adults. Their perspective becomes narrow and obsessive. Today the most common cause of suicide among young people is not rejection by their parents but rejection by their peers. – Nancy Pearcey
One Mind, One Thought
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Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).