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Goodbye Generation The Goodbye Generation is made up of youth, young adults, and adults who once were regular church attenders.  Many of them have given up on going to church services, while many have walked away from their faith completely.  This book is a journey into the stories, thoughts, hurts, struggles, and lives of these people. Read More »
Before They Say Goodbye It is common knowledge that the majority of the children, youth, and young adults who have grown up in the church do not remain.  However, many have been left wondering, ‘What? If anything can we do?’  Before They Say Goodbye is a proactive attempt to answer that question. Read More »
Blog Read and comment on stories, articles, and ideas from David Sawler. Read More »
The Disciple A challenging look at what following Jesus looked like to those who travelled with Him in person.  It discusses how does modern Christianity differs from what these men experienced and what this should mean for us today. Read More »
The Beautiful Christ Order Now – This book reveals why despite the many attacks on faith, advances in science, teaching and understanding of evolution, a rise in skepticism and atheist thinkers, and incredible failures in church leaders, that the belief in Jesus keeps increasing worldwide. Is there something in Him more powerful, lasting, and attractive that keeps drawing people? Read More »
Goodbye Generation
Before They Say...
Blog
The Disciple
The Beautiful Christ
Posted on 18 Jun 2014   Atheism, Before You Say Goodbye, Goodbye Generation

The End of Faith is Near – And other lies we are told.

I love stats at times. I use them all the time when talking about youth and young adult rentention in the church today. Sometimes I believe people think I must be quite depressed as I have spent a significant part of my life studying, writing, and speaking about the loss to certain age groups in their faith circles. I... Read More »
Posted on 18 Jun 2014

The End of Faith is Near – And...

I love stats at times. I use them all the time when talking about youth and young adult rentention in the church today. Sometimes I believe people think I must be quite depressed as I have spent a significant part of my life studying, writing, and speaking about the loss to certain age groups in their faith circles. I... Read More »
Posted on 15 Jun 2014

My Father

‘My prayer for my kids is that they will go further in ministry, do more, share the gospel with more people, go places I will never go, and have experiences with God that I never have.’ I heard my own father say that and similar statements many times about my brother, sister, and myself. I know I walk today... Read More »
Posted on 09 Jun 2014

The June Give Away

Before You Say Goodbye was written to be a tool to help young people connect to practices, habits, ministries and online content that can help keep them stay connected to faith. We want to make help you get this into the hands of as many youth as possible that you work with.  As we get near the end of... Read More »
Posted on 09 Jun 2014

Canadian Youth Network Tour Video

In May of 2014 the Canadian Youth Network toured numerous cities in Canada. Every year they take time to invest and encourage youth workers. This year they showed three videos with lessons from Before You Say Goodbye. This is the first which gives a bit of and overview of the project. Enjoy. Canadian Youth Network Tour Video 1 Read More »
Posted on 27 Mar 2014

Haemorrhaging Faith Explanation by...

This is video featuring David Overholt. It is an explantation of what the Haemorrhaging Faith survey is and also why it is so very relevant to your church and ministry. You can purchase a copy of the full study at www.hemorrhagingfaith.com You can also purchase a copy of ‘Transfusing Life – A practical Response to the Hemorrhaging Faith... Read More »
Posted on 24 Mar 2014

Thank God for Science – It Is...

‘Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.’  Carl Sagan Science is built on facts. Or perhaps for some it is the discovery of those facts, ideas, and theories which until this point we have not understood. Science is growing and increasing in knowledge. Discoveries are still being made whether it has to... Read More »
Posted on 22 Jan 2014

Finding Your God Moments

A truth from the Hemorrhaging Faith Survey – Young people who are engaged in the church today are far more likely to say that they have personally experienced the love and acceptance of God, as well as answered prayer, as those who are disengaged. Connection is important. We are all different, thank goodness. Just as we look different, and... Read More »
Posted on 17 Jan 2014

Hasn’t science disproven God? by Andy...

Dr Andy Bannister was one of the people we asked to give some input for the Before You Say Goodbye Project. He was asked this question, ‘Hasn’t science disproven God?’ Here is his response. A common claim made by many of our atheist friends is that science has replaced religion. Atheist authors like Sam Harris claim that “the success... Read More »
Posted on 10 Jan 2014

The Incredible Improbability that there...

It may seem a bit strange to some, however I am part of several online atheist groups and discussion boards.  I’m not there to bash people but to listen to people’s thoughts, perspectives, and reasons why they do not believe in God.  A common theme I’ve discovered is that people believe there isn’t any proof of the existence of... Read More »
Posted on 06 Jan 2014

Lost in Transition – Free Chapter...

Lost in Transition Talk about surprises. It has been a long held belief that most young people walk away from their faith after high school and into young adulthood. While it is true there is a decrease then, it is not the biggest one. The largest decrease in church attendance and faith occurs during the transition into Jr High.... Read More »
Posted on 05 Jan 2014

Find Someone Who Believes in You...

Several years ago, I visited a church in Columbia that had a youth ministry which had grown dramatically into the tens of thousands. I had the opportunity to speak to a few of the young people who were part of this ministry. I asked how many people were in the small group networks (cell groups) they all led. I... Read More »
Posted on 01 Jan 2014

Who do YOU want to EMULATE?

Who do you want to be like? As a skateboarder there are a few guys I have always idolized. I am amazed at the things they can do and wish I had the same skills they do. You likely have your own people to look up to. But beyond their skills or material things, who has goals, ambitions, and... Read More »
Posted on 22 Dec 2013

Ashley Gowenlock – A Young...

In Before You Say Goodbye we have included stories of real Canadian youth and young adults. Ashley’s faith journey is one we could all learn from. Watch her video below. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that causes your muscles to spasm and be very tight all of the time.  I had spinal surgery when I was... Read More »
Posted on 20 Dec 2013

Sendme.ca is Here

Some things change for the better. In the last few years the Gideons have taken huge strides in becoming relevant to the younger generations in Canada. Some people just know them for putting Bibles in hotels. However, they now have one of the best Bible Apps available, some of the most create Bible magazines, and now Sendme. This is... Read More »
Posted on 14 Dec 2013

The Story Behind Before You Say Goodbye

Only 1 in 3 people who attended church as a child still do so as young adults. 1 in 2 young adults continue to identify with the Christian tradition they were raised in. 3 out of 5 young adults who stop attending church will also drop their affiliation with any Christian tradition. These are just a few of the... Read More »
Posted on 12 Dec 2013

Before You Say Goodbye Video

After a year of work we have finally finished putting together a one of kind resource for Canadian Youth and Young Adults. It is a web-interactive magazine style book that is a proactive response to the Hemorrhaging Faith study. The goal is simple, we are trying to help connect youth and young adults to faith habits, practices, ministries, and... Read More »
Posted on 11 Dec 2013

Until Jan 15 – Before You Say...

Before You Say Goodbye is a fully web-interactive book for youth and young adults. It takes on many of the issues that many of this generation are faith destroyers and gives advice on how to navigate through these obstacles. The focus however, is discovering why may churches, ministries, and denominations are not struggling with youth retention, but are in fact... Read More »
Posted on 09 Dec 2013

Where is God when Bad Things Happen?...

Life doesn’t always go as planned. It seems that trouble finds us. If it hasn’t yet, it will. Pain, suffering, sickness, loneliness, and death are all coming. It seems when we go through these things it causes one of two things to happen. We either run to God for strength and comfort or we take it as a sign... Read More »
Posted on 08 Dec 2013

Young People Are Starting Churches All...

There are so many great stories of things our youth and young adults are doing across our nation. Very often there is a focus on why churches are losing this age group. However, did you ever stop to consider where they go? Some go no where, some go searching for new places to connect with, and then some step... Read More »
Posted on 06 Dec 2013

Your Movement – World...

A few weeks ago we asked Cindy, from ‘Your Movement’ as few questions. One of them was, ‘Why should someone do a mission trip with you?’ This was her response. We have designed a unique leadership opportunity that deeply connects you with local community youth leaders in creating meaningful and lasting change on the ground together. This immersive experience of... Read More »
Posted on 05 Dec 2013

What is ‘Not Who I Was?’

One of the highlights of being involved with Before You Say Goodbye was discovering a few of the people across Canada who are producing incredible resources for youth and young adults.  Shauna Jenkins is one of those people.  Her website ‘Not Who I Was’ is full of extremely well done video testimonies. There is a focus on addiction and... Read More »
Posted on 03 Dec 2013

Faith and Short Term Missions

Last year when the Hemorrhaging Faith Survey came out there was a lot of focus on why many Christian faith groups were struggling with keeping their youth and young adults. However, there was also other information that was discovered through this study. For example, several themes came out about the youth and young adults who are very engaged in... Read More »
Posted on 02 Dec 2013

I Am Second and Before You Say Goodbye

There are some incredible resources online these days for youth groups, individuals, churches, and so on. We are pleased to say I Am Second is promoting in Before You Say Goodbye. To be honest I had no idea everything this organization did until I was recently in contact with them. I did know of their very well done testimony... Read More »
Posted on 01 Dec 2013

New Leaders are Changing the Face of...

There will always be change. The message of the gospel is always true and yet the methods we use to share hope, love, and the message of Jesus may take new forms. Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing many of the stories of youth and young adults from across Canada who have found their... Read More »
Posted on 30 Nov 2013

An Incredible Future

Before You Say Goodbye tells the stories of just some of the incredible things happening with youth and young adults across our nation.  Some are in print, but we also have many links to videos, in the print and e-book version, to stories like this one from a Church that recently started in a home of a young family... Read More »
Posted on 29 Nov 2013

Before You Say Goodbye – It Is...

Talk about a panic and lots of misinformation. Over the past years there has been a huge amount of articles, books, videos, and messages about the exodus of youth and young adults from the Church. I personally have been involved with several projects on this issue, and likely have added fuel to this fire, but a few misconceptions must... Read More »
Posted on 01 Oct 2013

Andrew’s Cafe, Not in Vain

I had heard all my life that people learn from their mistakes. That some people have to learn the hard way. There is a level of truth to these statements, but in some cases it is not true at all. One of the places it is definitely false is when it comes to addiction to drugs and alcohol. What... Read More »
Posted on 28 Sep 2013

Why I Believe – Post 7

Last year I had several people ask me this question. ‘Why are you a Christian? There doesn’t seem to be any proof that God exists.’ I know there are endless opinions on faith, God, and life but I don’t believe ‘Faith’ is blind as some suggest. Instead I think people believe because God is there, speaks to... Read More »
Posted on 07 Aug 2013

Why I Believe – Post 6 –...

Good….. You have likely been told to be good.  To do good.  You likely got rewarded for being good when you were kid.  You may have received money for getting good grades in school.  We also like it when others are good to us. It even feels right when we see something that is good. While Youtube has lots... Read More »
Posted on 09 Jul 2013

Why I Believe – Post 5

There has been a long pause between my posts on this topic. We have been in the middle of a fundraising / building project for our church and youth centre the last few months and I put blogging aside for a time.  However, I am back to writing and looking forward to continuing the ‘Why I Believe Challenge.’ Very... Read More »
Posted on 27 Jun 2013

Fighting Over Jesus

Someone recently sent me a story about a lawsuit that recently took place in the States. I must say, sometimes I am happy I live in Canada. Well except for the cold. So sixty years ago the Knights of Columbus put up a memorial for people who died in the war, which included this statue of Jesus. The Freedom... Read More »
Posted on 06 Feb 2013

Today I wanted to write a letter to and about Gail and Dave Sharkey.  Gail is in Hamilton right now battling a second round of cancer and has not been given much time, except for a miracle.  Too often I say things too late so I felt to do this publicly.   To Gail. In Honor. To a life... Read More »
Posted on 07 Oct 2012

Why I Believe – Post 4 –...

Too much evidence. For the past weeks I have been posting thoughts I have on why I believe in God. I know many people who have issues with the idea of a god(s) because they believe they have not seen, or experienced any proof of a god(s). While I know much of these discussions revolve around creation / science... Read More »
Posted on 12 Sep 2012

Turns out Age Segregated/Specific...

For the past several years of my life I have studied, read, and listened to just about every book, research paper, blog, and video that I have been able to about why all young people do not remain in their churches. One of the major topics that keeps coming up, which it should, is what effect have age specific... Read More »
Posted on 08 Sep 2012

The Challenge – Why I Believe...

Several weeks ago I decided to answer a challenge.  How do you know God is real?  People question is it just a feeling?  Is our faith only in the ‘unseen?’ Just Emotions?  Knowledge? All of the above? Or Can we experience God in our day to day lives?  Over the next few weeks I am just telling some of... Read More »
Posted on 05 Sep 2012

Beautiful Hope

Over the past years I have traveled to areas of the world and seen unimaginable poverty in many places.  I have been to countries where lives have been ripped apart by war. I have sat with sick and the dying.  At times life seems so unfair.  There are those born into much, and those born into the world who... Read More »
Posted on 31 Aug 2012

Beautiful Christ Video – Book...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvUFGo-SXBc Promo Video for the new ‘Beautiful Christ’ book. It is subtitled, ‘Why I believe, in an age of skeptics’. There are many objections and questions people have about faith, life, and the Church.  This book includes topics like creation, science, evolution, suffering, science, church failures, difficult issues in the Bible, the evils of religion, can people be moral without... Read More »
Posted on 27 Aug 2012

The Challenge – Why I Believe...

I have found some very interesting challenges online lately. I am presently trying a new weight loss one. I will let you know how that one works out.  I have also challenged myself to try and explain why I believe in God, and specifically Jesus, in the best terms I can. Over the next few months I am going... Read More »
Posted on 23 Aug 2012

Religion and Your Evil Grandmother

Here are a few quotes. ‘Religion is the root of all evil’ – ‘Religion poisons Everything’ – ‘Faith is inherently   Dangerous’. ‘Our only salvation is to promote critical thinking, encouraging a belief in reality over dangerous myths’. It seems there are some people who have a very strong anti-religious or anti-faith message.  Not only are they questioning some aspects... Read More »
Posted on 21 Aug 2012

Why I Believe – Answering the...

I have friends who are Christian, some of other faiths, some who are atheists, and many who find themselves somewhere in between.  Over the past years I have spent a significant amount of time reading, watching, and listening to people of every background talk about issues on faith, religion, science, and the Bible.  I read and listen to several... Read More »
Posted on 08 Aug 2012

The Power of Staying –...

The Power of Staying When speaking to churches and leaders I always emphasize that one of the keys to keeping generations active in their churches is by making constants in their lives. One sad fact is that generational ministers are generally very short term. The average stay for a youth minister in many denominations is eighteen months. Some young... Read More »
Posted on 08 Aug 2012

The Beautiful Church – A Covenant...

Everyone has an idea or definition of what a church is. There are many who don’t want any part of any church because of the experiences they had in one. It seems the actions of many have tainted the true definition of what the Church is. First, the Church is not just a group of people who attend together.... Read More »
Posted on 04 Aug 2012

Why Will This Be Different? A Lesson on...

It was seven years ago my wife, kids, dog, cat, and I moved to Glace Bay to work towards starting a new church. Recently I was asked, ‘Why do I think our new church start would succeed?’ I live in an area where most churches are in serious decline, many have closed, and many more are closing. To further... Read More »
Posted on 02 Aug 2012

A Letter to Senior Pastors

Dear Senior Pastor and Leadership Team, My name is David Sawler. I am senior leader of a Church in Glace Bay, NS. For the past decade of my life I have been studying and speaking on the topic of why a vast number of the children, youth, and young adults who grow up in our churches do not remain.... Read More »
Posted on 24 Jul 2012

Hands – A Small Blog On Suffering

For several years I was lead short term mission teams to areas surrounding Monterrey, Mexico. During most of our trips we stopped by a particular orphanage run by several Catholic Nuns. The children living there were kids that society and families either didn’t want, had abandoned, or just could not care for. Some were blind, mute, others deformed, and... Read More »
Posted on 23 Jul 2012

Why do we go to Church?

Guest Blog by Cultural Rebel, Connie Smith Jakab   On the way to church last week, my five year old asked me, “Mommy, why do we go to church?” Good question. I honestly had a hard time answering. For me, its just something I’ve always done since I was three. Below are a series of answers I thought of... Read More »
Posted on 15 Jul 2012

What is Wrong with this Picture? A...

What is wrong with this picture? A lesson on young people. This picture, or ones like it, are hanging in churches and homes all over the world.  Every time I see one I am slightly annoyed. Not because it is painted poorly, or is crooked on the wall. No, it is because there are some things wrong with it.... Read More »
Posted on 12 Jul 2012

Yes, You can be moral without a belief...

I have heard, read, and followed this argument on many threads, blogs, videos, and debates. ‘Do we need God for us to be good, to be moral?’ I usually have wanted to yell at someone because it is completely obvious people without faith can have morals, love extravagantly, and strive to make the world a much better place. Somehow... Read More »
Posted on 09 Jul 2012

The Upsidedown Kingdom – One of...

There are several times mentioned in the gospels where the disciples argued amongst themselves about which of them would be the greatest.  The fact they they argued over that is not surprising as it seems to be part of human nature.  Churches, as well as, any group have had people lobbying for power and position through out history.  What... Read More »
Posted on 03 Jul 2012

What I Appreciate about the Atheist...

Some may think this would be a strange topic to bring up being as I am a person of Faith, a Christian, a Pastor, and I writer on such issues.  However, no matter how odd you think it may be, I have a real appreciation for several friends, authors, and bloggers who see things much differently than I. I... Read More »
Posted on 30 Jun 2012

Why I Am Proudly Religious

Just a few thoughts from my upcoming book release ‘The Beautiful Christ’ It seems no one wants to be religious anymore.  Christopher Hitchens has called religion, ‘the root of all evil.’  Others have said worse.  There are far too many examples of what people have done, and are doing on planet earth right now, in the name of a... Read More »
Posted on 29 Jun 2012

Who is My Disciple?

Some rambling from my book – ‘The Disciple’ Recently a pastor told me about a difficult time his church had gone through.  A large portion of the church members had left after a series of difficult situations that had occurred.  After the dust settled, they made a remarkable discovery.  They had several hundred people in intentional discipleship groups before... Read More »
Posted on 23 Jun 2012

Things That Are Wrong in the Bible

From the upcoming Beautiful Christ Book – Discussing Christ through the objections people have to faith, religion, and Christianity. Much of the Bible is the history of God’s people.  Just like ourselves, our history includes stories of great memories and events.  It also contains our faults and failures.  In the same way, the Bible does not hide either.  It... Read More »
Posted on 22 Jun 2012

‘The Disciple’ Book...

Read More »
Posted on 21 Jun 2012

Before They Say Goodbye – Huntley...

Before They Say Goodbye Interview Read More »
Posted on 20 Jun 2012

The Problem with the Bible

To even bring this up in various settings as I travel it has brought up much emotion.  To openly mention it, and discuss it, seems to be quite offensive, as we certainly hold the Bible in highest regard.  It truly is the Word of God, the Truth, and God breathed.  It is God’s revealed message to us.  Millions, if... Read More »
Posted on 19 Jun 2012

Is the Internet the Next Challenge to...

There has always been challenges to Christianity, religion, and faith throughout history.  Most of the arguments are not new.  However, today, there is a change.  There is actually something new.  This generation growing up right now is dealing with something that no other generation ever has, when it comes to issues of faith.  It is the Internet. For the... Read More »
Posted on 19 Jun 2012

Did Youth Ministry Kill the Church?

Before I start into this I better say, ‘I know nothing can kill the Church.’  However, we certainly can do some things which make it harder for local faith communities to exist long term. Recently, I have been doing seminars about helping churches transition their young adults into the regular church body.  The common belief, or expectation, is that... Read More »
Posted on 19 Jun 2012

Why Not Just Leave?

A friend of mine responded to this question.  ‘If someone you knew was going to leave their church or faith, what would you say to them?’ His response may hold some of the ‘truth’ of why some leave the church, in search of it. “Go ahead and go. If you want to go, then you’ll be miserable staying and... Read More »
Posted on 18 Jun 2012

The Disciple – The Blueprint...

Giving away the ending of a book at the beginning is something you usually don’t want to do. However, ‘The Disciple’ cannot be correctly understood without the subsequent foundation.  All of which is written in this book is simply based on two simple truths which I believe.  First, the life of Jesus is God’s blueprint for producing lasting fruit. ... Read More »
Posted on 16 Jun 2012

Orphan Generation – Free Chapter...

On several occasions I have had the opportunity to visit orphanages in developing countries. I have seen first hand how the love of a few has saved the lives of many. Recently I spent a day at an orphanage run by several Jamaican nuns for special needs children. It upset me to see children and youth with physical problems... Read More »
Posted on 13 Jun 2012

The Radical Balance

When we think of living a balanced life we may thing that sounds awfully boring.  However,  this may be one of the most radical things you ever do.   The following is an exercise we did several years ago in one of the churches I was pastoring at.  We were told to write down everything we did in a... Read More »
Posted on 11 Jun 2012

No More Big Lights

Several years ago as I was working with a team at a YWAM base in Monterrey, Mexico.  Some of the staff told us about a woman we needed to meet.  They drove me and a few of my team to her modest house in a neighborhood where most of us would never consider living.  When we got there, I... Read More »
Posted on 11 Jun 2012

Ways to get a Date, Make Friends, and...

Idea – Buy a Dog Life can be lonely by yourself.  In our own walk to be people who bless those around us it seems sometimes extremely difficult to make inroads with others. We need to find connecting points with other people.  Whether it be our immediate neighbors or those in our community.  The connecting points may be the... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Questioning the Numbers

Some people love stats and some simply hate them.  When it comes to all the statistics on the retention of youth and young adults in our churches, I certainly have a love / hate relationship.  It seems everywhere I go people want to know the numbers.  Some want to be shocked.  Sometimes it is necessary to bring awareness.  Sometimes... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Friends

A small piece from ‘the Disciple’ At the last supper, Jesus says to His disciples, ‘I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.’ John 15:15 (NIV)  Jesus, Himself, looked at these men and... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

When Leaders Fail

While many people list many reasons why they believe people leave the Church, where I live in Nova Scotia, we seem to have one reoccurring theme right now. Most would say it is because of the failings of those in Church leadership. We have had several high profile cases of people charged with different crimes including possession of child... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Fathers

‘There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up.’  1 Cor 4:15 This is a time of year when we celebrate fathers and all that they mean to us. I am thankful for mine,... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

What Do We Do Now?

I still remember the first time I heard the statistics on the number of youth and young adults leaving the church. I was a bit dumbstruck, confused, upset, and of course thought I had all the answers as to why this was happening. Over the years I have heard many people speak about it, read many books, articles, and... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Promo Video for Before They Say Goodbye

Before They Say Goodbye Promo Video Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

The End is Near – Or Not?

Is there any hope? We are living in a day of increasing skepticism.  Atheism is seemingly on the rise. Churches are closing as young people are walking away from the faith of their parents. The voices questioning religious belief seem very convincing and are stirring up questions, few seem to have answers to. Since the end of our faith... Read More »
Posted on 05 Jun 2012

Did Jesus Give Us a Plan?

After speaking and writing about topics on, ‘Why do people leave the Church’ and ‘Why do most Church’s not seem able to bring new people to Jesus,’ I get asked a lot, ‘Ok now what?’  Simply talking about the obvious does not change the circumstance.  Over the centuries, and even now, churches and ministries all over the world have... Read More »
Posted on 27 May 2012

Do We Believe?

  Our direction, choices, future, actions, and entire lives are affected by what we believe.  In that past three years I have made a discovery which I believe has, and will, change the face of what Christianity looks like in the western world forever.  That is quite a bold statement, but I am making it anyway. The majority of... Read More »
Posted on 18 Jun 2014   Atheism, Before You Say Goodbye, Goodbye Generation

The End of Faith is Near – And other lies we are told.

I love stats at times. I use them all the time when talking about youth and young adult rentention in the church today. Sometimes I believe people think I must be quite depressed as I have spent a significant part of my life studying, writing, and speaking about the loss to certain age groups in their faith circles. I... Read More »
Posted on 18 Jun 2014

The End of Faith is Near – And...

I love stats at times. I use them all the time when talking about youth and young adult rentention in the church today. Sometimes I believe people think I must be quite depressed as I have spent a significant part of my life studying, writing, and speaking about the loss to certain age groups in their faith circles. I... Read More »
Posted on 15 Jun 2014

My Father

‘My prayer for my kids is that they will go further in ministry, do more, share the gospel with more people, go places I will never go, and have experiences with God that I never have.’ I heard my own father say that and similar statements many times about my brother, sister, and myself. I know I walk today... Read More »
Posted on 09 Jun 2014

The June Give Away

Before You Say Goodbye was written to be a tool to help young people connect to practices, habits, ministries and online content that can help keep them stay connected to faith. We want to make help you get this into the hands of as many youth as possible that you work with.  As we get near the end of... Read More »
Posted on 09 Jun 2014

Canadian Youth Network Tour Video

In May of 2014 the Canadian Youth Network toured numerous cities in Canada. Every year they take time to invest and encourage youth workers. This year they showed three videos with lessons from Before You Say Goodbye. This is the first which gives a bit of and overview of the project. Enjoy. Canadian Youth Network Tour Video 1 Read More »
Posted on 27 Mar 2014

Haemorrhaging Faith Explanation by...

This is video featuring David Overholt. It is an explantation of what the Haemorrhaging Faith survey is and also why it is so very relevant to your church and ministry. You can purchase a copy of the full study at www.hemorrhagingfaith.com You can also purchase a copy of ‘Transfusing Life – A practical Response to the Hemorrhaging Faith... Read More »
Posted on 24 Mar 2014

Thank God for Science – It Is...

‘Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.’  Carl Sagan Science is built on facts. Or perhaps for some it is the discovery of those facts, ideas, and theories which until this point we have not understood. Science is growing and increasing in knowledge. Discoveries are still being made whether it has to... Read More »
Posted on 22 Jan 2014

Finding Your God Moments

A truth from the Hemorrhaging Faith Survey – Young people who are engaged in the church today are far more likely to say that they have personally experienced the love and acceptance of God, as well as answered prayer, as those who are disengaged. Connection is important. We are all different, thank goodness. Just as we look different, and... Read More »
Posted on 17 Jan 2014

Hasn’t science disproven God? by Andy...

Dr Andy Bannister was one of the people we asked to give some input for the Before You Say Goodbye Project. He was asked this question, ‘Hasn’t science disproven God?’ Here is his response. A common claim made by many of our atheist friends is that science has replaced religion. Atheist authors like Sam Harris claim that “the success... Read More »
Posted on 10 Jan 2014

The Incredible Improbability that there...

It may seem a bit strange to some, however I am part of several online atheist groups and discussion boards.  I’m not there to bash people but to listen to people’s thoughts, perspectives, and reasons why they do not believe in God.  A common theme I’ve discovered is that people believe there isn’t any proof of the existence of... Read More »
Posted on 06 Jan 2014

Lost in Transition – Free Chapter...

Lost in Transition Talk about surprises. It has been a long held belief that most young people walk away from their faith after high school and into young adulthood. While it is true there is a decrease then, it is not the biggest one. The largest decrease in church attendance and faith occurs during the transition into Jr High.... Read More »
Posted on 05 Jan 2014

Find Someone Who Believes in You...

Several years ago, I visited a church in Columbia that had a youth ministry which had grown dramatically into the tens of thousands. I had the opportunity to speak to a few of the young people who were part of this ministry. I asked how many people were in the small group networks (cell groups) they all led. I... Read More »
Posted on 01 Jan 2014

Who do YOU want to EMULATE?

Who do you want to be like? As a skateboarder there are a few guys I have always idolized. I am amazed at the things they can do and wish I had the same skills they do. You likely have your own people to look up to. But beyond their skills or material things, who has goals, ambitions, and... Read More »
Posted on 22 Dec 2013

Ashley Gowenlock – A Young...

In Before You Say Goodbye we have included stories of real Canadian youth and young adults. Ashley’s faith journey is one we could all learn from. Watch her video below. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that causes your muscles to spasm and be very tight all of the time.  I had spinal surgery when I was... Read More »
Posted on 20 Dec 2013

Sendme.ca is Here

Some things change for the better. In the last few years the Gideons have taken huge strides in becoming relevant to the younger generations in Canada. Some people just know them for putting Bibles in hotels. However, they now have one of the best Bible Apps available, some of the most create Bible magazines, and now Sendme. This is... Read More »
Posted on 15 Dec 2013

How can a Christian student THRIVE in...

Sean Cullen is the national director of Power to Change Students. In this blog Sean gives some advice on how to not just survive but thrive in college and university. Their website is www.p2c.com – There you can learn about what universities and colleges have groups that meet, mission trip information, and young adult training events. Question – How... Read More »
Posted on 14 Dec 2013

The Story Behind Before You Say Goodbye

Only 1 in 3 people who attended church as a child still do so as young adults. 1 in 2 young adults continue to identify with the Christian tradition they were raised in. 3 out of 5 young adults who stop attending church will also drop their affiliation with any Christian tradition. These are just a few of the... Read More »
Posted on 12 Dec 2013

Before You Say Goodbye Video

After a year of work we have finally finished putting together a one of kind resource for Canadian Youth and Young Adults. It is a web-interactive magazine style book that is a proactive response to the Hemorrhaging Faith study. The goal is simple, we are trying to help connect youth and young adults to faith habits, practices, ministries, and... Read More »
Posted on 11 Dec 2013

Until Jan 15 – Before You Say...

Before You Say Goodbye is a fully web-interactive book for youth and young adults. It takes on many of the issues that many of this generation are faith destroyers and gives advice on how to navigate through these obstacles. The focus however, is discovering why may churches, ministries, and denominations are not struggling with youth retention, but are in fact... Read More »
Posted on 09 Dec 2013

Where is God when Bad Things Happen?...

Life doesn’t always go as planned. It seems that trouble finds us. If it hasn’t yet, it will. Pain, suffering, sickness, loneliness, and death are all coming. It seems when we go through these things it causes one of two things to happen. We either run to God for strength and comfort or we take it as a sign... Read More »
Posted on 08 Dec 2013

Young People Are Starting Churches All...

There are so many great stories of things our youth and young adults are doing across our nation. Very often there is a focus on why churches are losing this age group. However, did you ever stop to consider where they go? Some go no where, some go searching for new places to connect with, and then some step... Read More »
Posted on 06 Dec 2013

Your Movement – World...

A few weeks ago we asked Cindy, from ‘Your Movement’ as few questions. One of them was, ‘Why should someone do a mission trip with you?’ This was her response. We have designed a unique leadership opportunity that deeply connects you with local community youth leaders in creating meaningful and lasting change on the ground together. This immersive experience of... Read More »
Posted on 05 Dec 2013

What is ‘Not Who I Was?’

One of the highlights of being involved with Before You Say Goodbye was discovering a few of the people across Canada who are producing incredible resources for youth and young adults.  Shauna Jenkins is one of those people.  Her website ‘Not Who I Was’ is full of extremely well done video testimonies. There is a focus on addiction and... Read More »
Posted on 03 Dec 2013

Faith and Short Term Missions

Last year when the Hemorrhaging Faith Survey came out there was a lot of focus on why many Christian faith groups were struggling with keeping their youth and young adults. However, there was also other information that was discovered through this study. For example, several themes came out about the youth and young adults who are very engaged in... Read More »
Posted on 02 Dec 2013

I Am Second and Before You Say Goodbye

There are some incredible resources online these days for youth groups, individuals, churches, and so on. We are pleased to say I Am Second is promoting in Before You Say Goodbye. To be honest I had no idea everything this organization did until I was recently in contact with them. I did know of their very well done testimony... Read More »
Posted on 01 Dec 2013

New Leaders are Changing the Face of...

There will always be change. The message of the gospel is always true and yet the methods we use to share hope, love, and the message of Jesus may take new forms. Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing many of the stories of youth and young adults from across Canada who have found their... Read More »
Posted on 30 Nov 2013

An Incredible Future

Before You Say Goodbye tells the stories of just some of the incredible things happening with youth and young adults across our nation.  Some are in print, but we also have many links to videos, in the print and e-book version, to stories like this one from a Church that recently started in a home of a young family... Read More »
Posted on 29 Nov 2013

Before You Say Goodbye – It Is...

Talk about a panic and lots of misinformation. Over the past years there has been a huge amount of articles, books, videos, and messages about the exodus of youth and young adults from the Church. I personally have been involved with several projects on this issue, and likely have added fuel to this fire, but a few misconceptions must... Read More »
Posted on 01 Oct 2013

Andrew’s Cafe, Not in Vain

I had heard all my life that people learn from their mistakes. That some people have to learn the hard way. There is a level of truth to these statements, but in some cases it is not true at all. One of the places it is definitely false is when it comes to addiction to drugs and alcohol. What... Read More »
Posted on 28 Sep 2013

Why I Believe – Post 7

Last year I had several people ask me this question. ‘Why are you a Christian? There doesn’t seem to be any proof that God exists.’ I know there are endless opinions on faith, God, and life but I don’t believe ‘Faith’ is blind as some suggest. Instead I think people believe because God is there, speaks to... Read More »
Posted on 07 Aug 2013

Why I Believe – Post 6 –...

Good….. You have likely been told to be good.  To do good.  You likely got rewarded for being good when you were kid.  You may have received money for getting good grades in school.  We also like it when others are good to us. It even feels right when we see something that is good. While Youtube has lots... Read More »
Posted on 09 Jul 2013

Why I Believe – Post 5

There has been a long pause between my posts on this topic. We have been in the middle of a fundraising / building project for our church and youth centre the last few months and I put blogging aside for a time.  However, I am back to writing and looking forward to continuing the ‘Why I Believe Challenge.’ Very... Read More »
Posted on 27 Jun 2013

Fighting Over Jesus

Someone recently sent me a story about a lawsuit that recently took place in the States. I must say, sometimes I am happy I live in Canada. Well except for the cold. So sixty years ago the Knights of Columbus put up a memorial for people who died in the war, which included this statue of Jesus. The Freedom... Read More »
Posted on 06 Feb 2013

Today I wanted to write a letter to and about Gail and Dave Sharkey.  Gail is in Hamilton right now battling a second round of cancer and has not been given much time, except for a miracle.  Too often I say things too late so I felt to do this publicly.   To Gail. In Honor. To a life... Read More »
Posted on 07 Oct 2012

Why I Believe – Post 4 –...

Too much evidence. For the past weeks I have been posting thoughts I have on why I believe in God. I know many people who have issues with the idea of a god(s) because they believe they have not seen, or experienced any proof of a god(s). While I know much of these discussions revolve around creation / science... Read More »
Posted on 12 Sep 2012

Turns out Age Segregated/Specific...

For the past several years of my life I have studied, read, and listened to just about every book, research paper, blog, and video that I have been able to about why all young people do not remain in their churches. One of the major topics that keeps coming up, which it should, is what effect have age specific... Read More »
Posted on 08 Sep 2012

The Challenge – Why I Believe...

Several weeks ago I decided to answer a challenge.  How do you know God is real?  People question is it just a feeling?  Is our faith only in the ‘unseen?’ Just Emotions?  Knowledge? All of the above? Or Can we experience God in our day to day lives?  Over the next few weeks I am just telling some of... Read More »
Posted on 05 Sep 2012

Beautiful Hope

Over the past years I have traveled to areas of the world and seen unimaginable poverty in many places.  I have been to countries where lives have been ripped apart by war. I have sat with sick and the dying.  At times life seems so unfair.  There are those born into much, and those born into the world who... Read More »
Posted on 31 Aug 2012

Beautiful Christ Video – Book...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvUFGo-SXBc Promo Video for the new ‘Beautiful Christ’ book. It is subtitled, ‘Why I believe, in an age of skeptics’. There are many objections and questions people have about faith, life, and the Church.  This book includes topics like creation, science, evolution, suffering, science, church failures, difficult issues in the Bible, the evils of religion, can people be moral without... Read More »
Posted on 27 Aug 2012

The Challenge – Why I Believe...

I have found some very interesting challenges online lately. I am presently trying a new weight loss one. I will let you know how that one works out.  I have also challenged myself to try and explain why I believe in God, and specifically Jesus, in the best terms I can. Over the next few months I am going... Read More »
Posted on 23 Aug 2012

Religion and Your Evil Grandmother

Here are a few quotes. ‘Religion is the root of all evil’ – ‘Religion poisons Everything’ – ‘Faith is inherently   Dangerous’. ‘Our only salvation is to promote critical thinking, encouraging a belief in reality over dangerous myths’. It seems there are some people who have a very strong anti-religious or anti-faith message.  Not only are they questioning some aspects... Read More »
Posted on 21 Aug 2012

Why I Believe – Answering the...

I have friends who are Christian, some of other faiths, some who are atheists, and many who find themselves somewhere in between.  Over the past years I have spent a significant amount of time reading, watching, and listening to people of every background talk about issues on faith, religion, science, and the Bible.  I read and listen to several... Read More »
Posted on 08 Aug 2012

The Power of Staying –...

The Power of Staying When speaking to churches and leaders I always emphasize that one of the keys to keeping generations active in their churches is by making constants in their lives. One sad fact is that generational ministers are generally very short term. The average stay for a youth minister in many denominations is eighteen months. Some young... Read More »
Posted on 08 Aug 2012

The Beautiful Church – A Covenant...

Everyone has an idea or definition of what a church is. There are many who don’t want any part of any church because of the experiences they had in one. It seems the actions of many have tainted the true definition of what the Church is. First, the Church is not just a group of people who attend together.... Read More »
Posted on 04 Aug 2012

Why Will This Be Different? A Lesson on...

It was seven years ago my wife, kids, dog, cat, and I moved to Glace Bay to work towards starting a new church. Recently I was asked, ‘Why do I think our new church start would succeed?’ I live in an area where most churches are in serious decline, many have closed, and many more are closing. To further... Read More »
Posted on 02 Aug 2012

A Letter to Senior Pastors

Dear Senior Pastor and Leadership Team, My name is David Sawler. I am senior leader of a Church in Glace Bay, NS. For the past decade of my life I have been studying and speaking on the topic of why a vast number of the children, youth, and young adults who grow up in our churches do not remain.... Read More »
Posted on 24 Jul 2012

Hands – A Small Blog On Suffering

For several years I was lead short term mission teams to areas surrounding Monterrey, Mexico. During most of our trips we stopped by a particular orphanage run by several Catholic Nuns. The children living there were kids that society and families either didn’t want, had abandoned, or just could not care for. Some were blind, mute, others deformed, and... Read More »
Posted on 23 Jul 2012

Why do we go to Church?

Guest Blog by Cultural Rebel, Connie Smith Jakab   On the way to church last week, my five year old asked me, “Mommy, why do we go to church?” Good question. I honestly had a hard time answering. For me, its just something I’ve always done since I was three. Below are a series of answers I thought of... Read More »
Posted on 15 Jul 2012

A Lesson on Discipleship from the Ski...

For most of my life I have be involved with various extreme sports.  If there is something I love it is to go fast.  Whether it has been mountain biking, snowboarding, four wheeling, or being on my motorbike, there is an personal enjoyment in going fast.  This had led to a few injuries in my life, but I wouldn’t... Read More »
Posted on 15 Jul 2012

What is Wrong with this Picture? A...

What is wrong with this picture? A lesson on young people. This picture, or ones like it, are hanging in churches and homes all over the world.  Every time I see one I am slightly annoyed. Not because it is painted poorly, or is crooked on the wall. No, it is because there are some things wrong with it.... Read More »
Posted on 12 Jul 2012

Yes, You can be moral without a belief...

I have heard, read, and followed this argument on many threads, blogs, videos, and debates. ‘Do we need God for us to be good, to be moral?’ I usually have wanted to yell at someone because it is completely obvious people without faith can have morals, love extravagantly, and strive to make the world a much better place. Somehow... Read More »
Posted on 09 Jul 2012

The Upsidedown Kingdom – One of...

There are several times mentioned in the gospels where the disciples argued amongst themselves about which of them would be the greatest.  The fact they they argued over that is not surprising as it seems to be part of human nature.  Churches, as well as, any group have had people lobbying for power and position through out history.  What... Read More »
Posted on 03 Jul 2012

What I Appreciate about the Atheist...

Some may think this would be a strange topic to bring up being as I am a person of Faith, a Christian, a Pastor, and I writer on such issues.  However, no matter how odd you think it may be, I have a real appreciation for several friends, authors, and bloggers who see things much differently than I. I... Read More »
Posted on 30 Jun 2012

Why I Am Proudly Religious

Just a few thoughts from my upcoming book release ‘The Beautiful Christ’ It seems no one wants to be religious anymore.  Christopher Hitchens has called religion, ‘the root of all evil.’  Others have said worse.  There are far too many examples of what people have done, and are doing on planet earth right now, in the name of a... Read More »
Posted on 29 Jun 2012

Who is My Disciple?

Some rambling from my book – ‘The Disciple’ Recently a pastor told me about a difficult time his church had gone through.  A large portion of the church members had left after a series of difficult situations that had occurred.  After the dust settled, they made a remarkable discovery.  They had several hundred people in intentional discipleship groups before... Read More »
Posted on 23 Jun 2012

Things That Are Wrong in the Bible

From the upcoming Beautiful Christ Book – Discussing Christ through the objections people have to faith, religion, and Christianity. Much of the Bible is the history of God’s people.  Just like ourselves, our history includes stories of great memories and events.  It also contains our faults and failures.  In the same way, the Bible does not hide either.  It... Read More »
Posted on 22 Jun 2012

‘The Disciple’ Book...

Read More »
Posted on 21 Jun 2012

Before They Say Goodbye – Huntley...

Before They Say Goodbye Interview Read More »
Posted on 20 Jun 2012

The Problem with the Bible

To even bring this up in various settings as I travel it has brought up much emotion.  To openly mention it, and discuss it, seems to be quite offensive, as we certainly hold the Bible in highest regard.  It truly is the Word of God, the Truth, and God breathed.  It is God’s revealed message to us.  Millions, if... Read More »
Posted on 19 Jun 2012

Is the Internet the Next Challenge to...

There has always been challenges to Christianity, religion, and faith throughout history.  Most of the arguments are not new.  However, today, there is a change.  There is actually something new.  This generation growing up right now is dealing with something that no other generation ever has, when it comes to issues of faith.  It is the Internet. For the... Read More »
Posted on 19 Jun 2012

Did Youth Ministry Kill the Church?

Before I start into this I better say, ‘I know nothing can kill the Church.’  However, we certainly can do some things which make it harder for local faith communities to exist long term. Recently, I have been doing seminars about helping churches transition their young adults into the regular church body.  The common belief, or expectation, is that... Read More »
Posted on 19 Jun 2012

Why Not Just Leave?

A friend of mine responded to this question.  ‘If someone you knew was going to leave their church or faith, what would you say to them?’ His response may hold some of the ‘truth’ of why some leave the church, in search of it. “Go ahead and go. If you want to go, then you’ll be miserable staying and... Read More »
Posted on 18 Jun 2012

The Disciple – The Blueprint...

Giving away the ending of a book at the beginning is something you usually don’t want to do. However, ‘The Disciple’ cannot be correctly understood without the subsequent foundation.  All of which is written in this book is simply based on two simple truths which I believe.  First, the life of Jesus is God’s blueprint for producing lasting fruit. ... Read More »
Posted on 16 Jun 2012

Orphan Generation – Free Chapter...

On several occasions I have had the opportunity to visit orphanages in developing countries. I have seen first hand how the love of a few has saved the lives of many. Recently I spent a day at an orphanage run by several Jamaican nuns for special needs children. It upset me to see children and youth with physical problems... Read More »
Posted on 13 Jun 2012

The Radical Balance

When we think of living a balanced life we may thing that sounds awfully boring.  However,  this may be one of the most radical things you ever do.   The following is an exercise we did several years ago in one of the churches I was pastoring at.  We were told to write down everything we did in a... Read More »
Posted on 11 Jun 2012

No More Big Lights

Several years ago as I was working with a team at a YWAM base in Monterrey, Mexico.  Some of the staff told us about a woman we needed to meet.  They drove me and a few of my team to her modest house in a neighborhood where most of us would never consider living.  When we got there, I... Read More »
Posted on 11 Jun 2012

Ways to get a Date, Make Friends, and...

Idea – Buy a Dog Life can be lonely by yourself.  In our own walk to be people who bless those around us it seems sometimes extremely difficult to make inroads with others. We need to find connecting points with other people.  Whether it be our immediate neighbors or those in our community.  The connecting points may be the... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Questioning the Numbers

Some people love stats and some simply hate them.  When it comes to all the statistics on the retention of youth and young adults in our churches, I certainly have a love / hate relationship.  It seems everywhere I go people want to know the numbers.  Some want to be shocked.  Sometimes it is necessary to bring awareness.  Sometimes... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Friends

A small piece from ‘the Disciple’ At the last supper, Jesus says to His disciples, ‘I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.’ John 15:15 (NIV)  Jesus, Himself, looked at these men and... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

When Leaders Fail

While many people list many reasons why they believe people leave the Church, where I live in Nova Scotia, we seem to have one reoccurring theme right now. Most would say it is because of the failings of those in Church leadership. We have had several high profile cases of people charged with different crimes including possession of child... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Fathers

‘There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up.’  1 Cor 4:15 This is a time of year when we celebrate fathers and all that they mean to us. I am thankful for mine,... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

What Do We Do Now?

I still remember the first time I heard the statistics on the number of youth and young adults leaving the church. I was a bit dumbstruck, confused, upset, and of course thought I had all the answers as to why this was happening. Over the years I have heard many people speak about it, read many books, articles, and... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Promo Video for Before They Say Goodbye

Before They Say Goodbye Promo Video Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

The End is Near – Or Not?

Is there any hope? We are living in a day of increasing skepticism.  Atheism is seemingly on the rise. Churches are closing as young people are walking away from the faith of their parents. The voices questioning religious belief seem very convincing and are stirring up questions, few seem to have answers to. Since the end of our faith... Read More »
Posted on 05 Jun 2012

Did Jesus Give Us a Plan?

After speaking and writing about topics on, ‘Why do people leave the Church’ and ‘Why do most Church’s not seem able to bring new people to Jesus,’ I get asked a lot, ‘Ok now what?’  Simply talking about the obvious does not change the circumstance.  Over the centuries, and even now, churches and ministries all over the world have... Read More »
Posted on 27 May 2012

Do We Believe?

  Our direction, choices, future, actions, and entire lives are affected by what we believe.  In that past three years I have made a discovery which I believe has, and will, change the face of what Christianity looks like in the western world forever.  That is quite a bold statement, but I am making it anyway. The majority of... Read More »
Posted on 19 Jun 2012   Goodbye Generation, Youth Ministry

Did Youth Ministry Kill the Church?

Before I start into this I better say, ‘I know nothing can kill the Church.’  However, we certainly can do some things which make it harder for local faith communities to exist long term. Recently, I have been doing seminars about helping churches transition their young adults into the regular church body.  The common belief, or expectation, is that... Read More »
Posted on 09 Dec 2013

Where is God when Bad Things Happen?...

Life doesn’t always go as planned. It seems that trouble finds us. If it hasn’t yet, it will. Pain, suffering, sickness, loneliness, and death are all coming. It seems when we go through these things it causes one of two things to happen. We either run to God for strength and comfort or we take it as a sign... Read More »
Posted on 19 Jun 2012

Did Youth Ministry Kill the Church?

Before I start into this I better say, ‘I know nothing can kill the Church.’  However, we certainly can do some things which make it harder for local faith communities to exist long term. Recently, I have been doing seminars about helping churches transition their young adults into the regular church body.  The common belief, or expectation, is that... Read More »
Posted on 10 Jan 2014

The Incredible Improbability that there...

It may seem a bit strange to some, however I am part of several online atheist groups and discussion boards.  I’m not there to bash people but to listen to people’s thoughts, perspectives, and reasons why they do not believe in God.  A common theme I’ve discovered is that people believe there isn’t any proof of the existence of... Read More »
Posted on 20 Jun 2012

The Problem with the Bible

To even bring this up in various settings as I travel it has brought up much emotion.  To openly mention it, and discuss it, seems to be quite offensive, as we certainly hold the Bible in highest regard.  It truly is the Word of God, the Truth, and God breathed.  It is God’s revealed message to us.  Millions, if... Read More »
Posted on 12 Jul 2012

Yes, You can be moral without a belief...

I have heard, read, and followed this argument on many threads, blogs, videos, and debates. ‘Do we need God for us to be good, to be moral?’ I usually have wanted to yell at someone because it is completely obvious people without faith can have morals, love extravagantly, and strive to make the world a much better place. Somehow... Read More »
Posted on 23 Jun 2012

Things That Are Wrong in the Bible

From the upcoming Beautiful Christ Book – Discussing Christ through the objections people have to faith, religion, and Christianity. Much of the Bible is the history of God’s people.  Just like ourselves, our history includes stories of great memories and events.  It also contains our faults and failures.  In the same way, the Bible does not hide either.  It... Read More »
Posted on 30 Jun 2012

Why I Am Proudly Religious

Just a few thoughts from my upcoming book release ‘The Beautiful Christ’ It seems no one wants to be religious anymore.  Christopher Hitchens has called religion, ‘the root of all evil.’  Others have said worse.  There are far too many examples of what people have done, and are doing on planet earth right now, in the name of a... Read More »
Posted on 24 Jul 2012

Hands – A Small Blog On Suffering

For several years I was lead short term mission teams to areas surrounding Monterrey, Mexico. During most of our trips we stopped by a particular orphanage run by several Catholic Nuns. The children living there were kids that society and families either didn’t want, had abandoned, or just could not care for. Some were blind, mute, others deformed, and... Read More »
Posted on 27 May 2012

Do We Believe?

  Our direction, choices, future, actions, and entire lives are affected by what we believe.  In that past three years I have made a discovery which I believe has, and will, change the face of what Christianity looks like in the western world forever.  That is quite a bold statement, but I am making it anyway. The majority of... Read More »
Posted on 06 Feb 2013

Today I wanted to write a letter to and about Gail and Dave Sharkey.  Gail is in Hamilton right now battling a second round of cancer and has not been given much time, except for a miracle.  Too often I say things too late so I felt to do this publicly.   To Gail. In Honor. To a life... Read More »
Posted on 07 Oct 2012

Why I Believe – Post 4 –...

Too much evidence. For the past weeks I have been posting thoughts I have on why I believe in God. I know many people who have issues with the idea of a god(s) because they believe they have not seen, or experienced any proof of a god(s). While I know much of these discussions revolve around creation / science... Read More »
Posted on 18 Jun 2014

The End of Faith is Near – And...

I love stats at times. I use them all the time when talking about youth and young adult rentention in the church today. Sometimes I believe people think I must be quite depressed as I have spent a significant part of my life studying, writing, and speaking about the loss to certain age groups in their faith circles. I... Read More »
Posted on 29 Nov 2013

Before You Say Goodbye – It Is...

Talk about a panic and lots of misinformation. Over the past years there has been a huge amount of articles, books, videos, and messages about the exodus of youth and young adults from the Church. I personally have been involved with several projects on this issue, and likely have added fuel to this fire, but a few misconceptions must... Read More »
Posted on 24 Mar 2014

Thank God for Science – It Is...

‘Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.’  Carl Sagan Science is built on facts. Or perhaps for some it is the discovery of those facts, ideas, and theories which until this point we have not understood. Science is growing and increasing in knowledge. Discoveries are still being made whether it has to... Read More »
Posted on 23 Jul 2012

Why do we go to Church?

Guest Blog by Cultural Rebel, Connie Smith Jakab   On the way to church last week, my five year old asked me, “Mommy, why do we go to church?” Good question. I honestly had a hard time answering. For me, its just something I’ve always done since I was three. Below are a series of answers I thought of... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Questioning the Numbers

Some people love stats and some simply hate them.  When it comes to all the statistics on the retention of youth and young adults in our churches, I certainly have a love / hate relationship.  It seems everywhere I go people want to know the numbers.  Some want to be shocked.  Sometimes it is necessary to bring awareness.  Sometimes... Read More »
Posted on 19 Jun 2012

Why Not Just Leave?

A friend of mine responded to this question.  ‘If someone you knew was going to leave their church or faith, what would you say to them?’ His response may hold some of the ‘truth’ of why some leave the church, in search of it. “Go ahead and go. If you want to go, then you’ll be miserable staying and... Read More »
Posted on 29 Jun 2012

Who is My Disciple?

Some rambling from my book – ‘The Disciple’ Recently a pastor told me about a difficult time his church had gone through.  A large portion of the church members had left after a series of difficult situations that had occurred.  After the dust settled, they made a remarkable discovery.  They had several hundred people in intentional discipleship groups before... Read More »
Posted on 03 Jul 2012

What I Appreciate about the Atheist...

Some may think this would be a strange topic to bring up being as I am a person of Faith, a Christian, a Pastor, and I writer on such issues.  However, no matter how odd you think it may be, I have a real appreciation for several friends, authors, and bloggers who see things much differently than I. I... Read More »
Posted on 02 Aug 2012

A Letter to Senior Pastors

Dear Senior Pastor and Leadership Team, My name is David Sawler. I am senior leader of a Church in Glace Bay, NS. For the past decade of my life I have been studying and speaking on the topic of why a vast number of the children, youth, and young adults who grow up in our churches do not remain.... Read More »
Posted on 08 Sep 2012

The Challenge – Why I Believe...

Several weeks ago I decided to answer a challenge.  How do you know God is real?  People question is it just a feeling?  Is our faith only in the ‘unseen?’ Just Emotions?  Knowledge? All of the above? Or Can we experience God in our day to day lives?  Over the next few weeks I am just telling some of... Read More »
Posted on 11 Dec 2013

Until Jan 15 – Before You Say...

Before You Say Goodbye is a fully web-interactive book for youth and young adults. It takes on many of the issues that many of this generation are faith destroyers and gives advice on how to navigate through these obstacles. The focus however, is discovering why may churches, ministries, and denominations are not struggling with youth retention, but are in fact... Read More »
Posted on 12 Dec 2013

Before You Say Goodbye Video

After a year of work we have finally finished putting together a one of kind resource for Canadian Youth and Young Adults. It is a web-interactive magazine style book that is a proactive response to the Hemorrhaging Faith study. The goal is simple, we are trying to help connect youth and young adults to faith habits, practices, ministries, and... Read More »
Posted on 05 Jun 2012

Did Jesus Give Us a Plan?

After speaking and writing about topics on, ‘Why do people leave the Church’ and ‘Why do most Church’s not seem able to bring new people to Jesus,’ I get asked a lot, ‘Ok now what?’  Simply talking about the obvious does not change the circumstance.  Over the centuries, and even now, churches and ministries all over the world have... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

The End is Near – Or Not?

Is there any hope? We are living in a day of increasing skepticism.  Atheism is seemingly on the rise. Churches are closing as young people are walking away from the faith of their parents. The voices questioning religious belief seem very convincing and are stirring up questions, few seem to have answers to. Since the end of our faith... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Promo Video for Before They Say Goodbye

Before They Say Goodbye Promo Video Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

What Do We Do Now?

I still remember the first time I heard the statistics on the number of youth and young adults leaving the church. I was a bit dumbstruck, confused, upset, and of course thought I had all the answers as to why this was happening. Over the years I have heard many people speak about it, read many books, articles, and... Read More »
Posted on 16 Jun 2012

Orphan Generation – Free Chapter...

On several occasions I have had the opportunity to visit orphanages in developing countries. I have seen first hand how the love of a few has saved the lives of many. Recently I spent a day at an orphanage run by several Jamaican nuns for special needs children. It upset me to see children and youth with physical problems... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Fathers

‘There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up.’  1 Cor 4:15 This is a time of year when we celebrate fathers and all that they mean to us. I am thankful for mine,... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

When Leaders Fail

While many people list many reasons why they believe people leave the Church, where I live in Nova Scotia, we seem to have one reoccurring theme right now. Most would say it is because of the failings of those in Church leadership. We have had several high profile cases of people charged with different crimes including possession of child... Read More »
Posted on 08 Jun 2012

Friends

A small piece from ‘the Disciple’ At the last supper, Jesus says to His disciples, ‘I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.’ John 15:15 (NIV)  Jesus, Himself, looked at these men and... Read More »
Posted on 11 Jun 2012

Ways to get a Date, Make Friends, and...

Idea – Buy a Dog Life can be lonely by yourself.  In our own walk to be people who bless those around us it seems sometimes extremely difficult to make inroads with others. We need to find connecting points with other people.  Whether it be our immediate neighbors or those in our community.  The connecting points may be the... Read More »
Posted on 11 Jun 2012

No More Big Lights

Several years ago as I was working with a team at a YWAM base in Monterrey, Mexico.  Some of the staff told us about a woman we needed to meet.  They drove me and a few of my team to her modest house in a neighborhood where most of us would never consider living.  When we got there, I... Read More »
Posted on 27 Jun 2013

Fighting Over Jesus

Someone recently sent me a story about a lawsuit that recently took place in the States. I must say, sometimes I am happy I live in Canada. Well except for the cold. So sixty years ago the Knights of Columbus put up a memorial for people who died in the war, which included this statue of Jesus. The Freedom... Read More »
Posted on 13 Jun 2012

The Radical Balance

When we think of living a balanced life we may thing that sounds awfully boring.  However,  this may be one of the most radical things you ever do.   The following is an exercise we did several years ago in one of the churches I was pastoring at.  We were told to write down everything we did in a... Read More »
Posted on 18 Jun 2012

The Disciple – The Blueprint...

Giving away the ending of a book at the beginning is something you usually don’t want to do. However, ‘The Disciple’ cannot be correctly understood without the subsequent foundation.  All of which is written in this book is simply based on two simple truths which I believe.  First, the life of Jesus is God’s blueprint for producing lasting fruit. ... Read More »
Posted on 19 Jun 2012

Is the Internet the Next Challenge to...

There has always been challenges to Christianity, religion, and faith throughout history.  Most of the arguments are not new.  However, today, there is a change.  There is actually something new.  This generation growing up right now is dealing with something that no other generation ever has, when it comes to issues of faith.  It is the Internet. For the... Read More »
Posted on 21 Jun 2012

Before They Say Goodbye – Huntley...

Before They Say Goodbye Interview Read More »
Posted on 22 Jun 2012

‘The Disciple’ Book...

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Posted on 09 Jul 2012

The Upsidedown Kingdom – One of...

There are several times mentioned in the gospels where the disciples argued amongst themselves about which of them would be the greatest.  The fact they they argued over that is not surprising as it seems to be part of human nature.  Churches, as well as, any group have had people lobbying for power and position through out history.  What... Read More »
Posted on 15 Jul 2012

What is Wrong with this Picture? A...

What is wrong with this picture? A lesson on young people. This picture, or ones like it, are hanging in churches and homes all over the world.  Every time I see one I am slightly annoyed. Not because it is painted poorly, or is crooked on the wall. No, it is because there are some things wrong with it.... Read More »
Posted on 15 Jul 2012

A Lesson on Discipleship from the Ski...

For most of my life I have be involved with various extreme sports.  If there is something I love it is to go fast.  Whether it has been mountain biking, snowboarding, four wheeling, or being on my motorbike, there is an personal enjoyment in going fast.  This had led to a few injuries in my life, but I wouldn’t... Read More »
Posted on 04 Aug 2012

Why Will This Be Different? A Lesson on...

It was seven years ago my wife, kids, dog, cat, and I moved to Glace Bay to work towards starting a new church. Recently I was asked, ‘Why do I think our new church start would succeed?’ I live in an area where most churches are in serious decline, many have closed, and many more are closing. To further... Read More »
Posted on 21 Aug 2012

Why I Believe – Answering the...

I have friends who are Christian, some of other faiths, some who are atheists, and many who find themselves somewhere in between.  Over the past years I have spent a significant amount of time reading, watching, and listening to people of every background talk about issues on faith, religion, science, and the Bible.  I read and listen to several... Read More »
Posted on 08 Aug 2012

The Beautiful Church – A Covenant...

Everyone has an idea or definition of what a church is. There are many who don’t want any part of any church because of the experiences they had in one. It seems the actions of many have tainted the true definition of what the Church is. First, the Church is not just a group of people who attend together.... Read More »
Posted on 08 Aug 2012

The Power of Staying –...

The Power of Staying When speaking to churches and leaders I always emphasize that one of the keys to keeping generations active in their churches is by making constants in their lives. One sad fact is that generational ministers are generally very short term. The average stay for a youth minister in many denominations is eighteen months. Some young... Read More »
Posted on 31 Aug 2012

Beautiful Christ Video – Book...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvUFGo-SXBc Promo Video for the new ‘Beautiful Christ’ book. It is subtitled, ‘Why I believe, in an age of skeptics’. There are many objections and questions people have about faith, life, and the Church.  This book includes topics like creation, science, evolution, suffering, science, church failures, difficult issues in the Bible, the evils of religion, can people be moral without... Read More »
Posted on 23 Aug 2012

Religion and Your Evil Grandmother

Here are a few quotes. ‘Religion is the root of all evil’ – ‘Religion poisons Everything’ – ‘Faith is inherently   Dangerous’. ‘Our only salvation is to promote critical thinking, encouraging a belief in reality over dangerous myths’. It seems there are some people who have a very strong anti-religious or anti-faith message.  Not only are they questioning some aspects... Read More »
Posted on 27 Aug 2012

The Challenge – Why I Believe...

I have found some very interesting challenges online lately. I am presently trying a new weight loss one. I will let you know how that one works out.  I have also challenged myself to try and explain why I believe in God, and specifically Jesus, in the best terms I can. Over the next few months I am going... Read More »
Posted on 05 Sep 2012

Beautiful Hope

Over the past years I have traveled to areas of the world and seen unimaginable poverty in many places.  I have been to countries where lives have been ripped apart by war. I have sat with sick and the dying.  At times life seems so unfair.  There are those born into much, and those born into the world who... Read More »
Posted on 12 Sep 2012

Turns out Age Segregated/Specific...

For the past several years of my life I have studied, read, and listened to just about every book, research paper, blog, and video that I have been able to about why all young people do not remain in their churches. One of the major topics that keeps coming up, which it should, is what effect have age specific... Read More »
Posted on 09 Jul 2013

Why I Believe – Post 5

There has been a long pause between my posts on this topic. We have been in the middle of a fundraising / building project for our church and youth centre the last few months and I put blogging aside for a time.  However, I am back to writing and looking forward to continuing the ‘Why I Believe Challenge.’ Very... Read More »
Posted on 07 Aug 2013

Why I Believe – Post 6 –...

Good….. You have likely been told to be good.  To do good.  You likely got rewarded for being good when you were kid.  You may have received money for getting good grades in school.  We also like it when others are good to us. It even feels right when we see something that is good. While Youtube has lots... Read More »
Posted on 28 Sep 2013

Why I Believe – Post 7

Last year I had several people ask me this question. ‘Why are you a Christian? There doesn’t seem to be any proof that God exists.’ I know there are endless opinions on faith, God, and life but I don’t believe ‘Faith’ is blind as some suggest. Instead I think people believe because God is there, speaks to... Read More »
Posted on 01 Oct 2013

Andrew’s Cafe, Not in Vain

I had heard all my life that people learn from their mistakes. That some people have to learn the hard way. There is a level of truth to these statements, but in some cases it is not true at all. One of the places it is definitely false is when it comes to addiction to drugs and alcohol. What... Read More »
Posted on 09 Jun 2014

Canadian Youth Network Tour Video

In May of 2014 the Canadian Youth Network toured numerous cities in Canada. Every year they take time to invest and encourage youth workers. This year they showed three videos with lessons from Before You Say Goodbye. This is the first which gives a bit of and overview of the project. Enjoy. Canadian Youth Network Tour Video 1 Read More »
Posted on 03 Dec 2013

Faith and Short Term Missions

Last year when the Hemorrhaging Faith Survey came out there was a lot of focus on why many Christian faith groups were struggling with keeping their youth and young adults. However, there was also other information that was discovered through this study. For example, several themes came out about the youth and young adults who are very engaged in... Read More »
Posted on 08 Dec 2013

Young People Are Starting Churches All...

There are so many great stories of things our youth and young adults are doing across our nation. Very often there is a focus on why churches are losing this age group. However, did you ever stop to consider where they go? Some go no where, some go searching for new places to connect with, and then some step... Read More »
Posted on 30 Nov 2013

An Incredible Future

Before You Say Goodbye tells the stories of just some of the incredible things happening with youth and young adults across our nation.  Some are in print, but we also have many links to videos, in the print and e-book version, to stories like this one from a Church that recently started in a home of a young family... Read More »
Posted on 01 Dec 2013

New Leaders are Changing the Face of...

There will always be change. The message of the gospel is always true and yet the methods we use to share hope, love, and the message of Jesus may take new forms. Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing many of the stories of youth and young adults from across Canada who have found their... Read More »
Posted on 02 Dec 2013

I Am Second and Before You Say Goodbye

There are some incredible resources online these days for youth groups, individuals, churches, and so on. We are pleased to say I Am Second is promoting in Before You Say Goodbye. To be honest I had no idea everything this organization did until I was recently in contact with them. I did know of their very well done testimony... Read More »
Posted on 05 Dec 2013

What is ‘Not Who I Was?’

One of the highlights of being involved with Before You Say Goodbye was discovering a few of the people across Canada who are producing incredible resources for youth and young adults.  Shauna Jenkins is one of those people.  Her website ‘Not Who I Was’ is full of extremely well done video testimonies. There is a focus on addiction and... Read More »
Posted on 06 Dec 2013

Your Movement – World...

A few weeks ago we asked Cindy, from ‘Your Movement’ as few questions. One of them was, ‘Why should someone do a mission trip with you?’ This was her response. We have designed a unique leadership opportunity that deeply connects you with local community youth leaders in creating meaningful and lasting change on the ground together. This immersive experience of... Read More »
Posted on 06 Jan 2014

Lost in Transition – Free Chapter...

Lost in Transition Talk about surprises. It has been a long held belief that most young people walk away from their faith after high school and into young adulthood. While it is true there is a decrease then, it is not the biggest one. The largest decrease in church attendance and faith occurs during the transition into Jr High.... Read More »
Posted on 14 Dec 2013

The Story Behind Before You Say Goodbye

Only 1 in 3 people who attended church as a child still do so as young adults. 1 in 2 young adults continue to identify with the Christian tradition they were raised in. 3 out of 5 young adults who stop attending church will also drop their affiliation with any Christian tradition. These are just a few of the... Read More »
Posted on 15 Dec 2013

How can a Christian student THRIVE in...

Sean Cullen is the national director of Power to Change Students. In this blog Sean gives some advice on how to not just survive but thrive in college and university. Their website is www.p2c.com – There you can learn about what universities and colleges have groups that meet, mission trip information, and young adult training events. Question – How... Read More »
Posted on 20 Dec 2013

Sendme.ca is Here

Some things change for the better. In the last few years the Gideons have taken huge strides in becoming relevant to the younger generations in Canada. Some people just know them for putting Bibles in hotels. However, they now have one of the best Bible Apps available, some of the most create Bible magazines, and now Sendme. This is... Read More »
Posted on 22 Dec 2013

Ashley Gowenlock – A Young...

In Before You Say Goodbye we have included stories of real Canadian youth and young adults. Ashley’s faith journey is one we could all learn from. Watch her video below. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that causes your muscles to spasm and be very tight all of the time.  I had spinal surgery when I was... Read More »
Posted on 01 Jan 2014

Who do YOU want to EMULATE?

Who do you want to be like? As a skateboarder there are a few guys I have always idolized. I am amazed at the things they can do and wish I had the same skills they do. You likely have your own people to look up to. But beyond their skills or material things, who has goals, ambitions, and... Read More »
Posted on 05 Jan 2014

Find Someone Who Believes in You...

Several years ago, I visited a church in Columbia that had a youth ministry which had grown dramatically into the tens of thousands. I had the opportunity to speak to a few of the young people who were part of this ministry. I asked how many people were in the small group networks (cell groups) they all led. I... Read More »
Posted on 17 Jan 2014

Hasn’t science disproven God? by Andy...

Dr Andy Bannister was one of the people we asked to give some input for the Before You Say Goodbye Project. He was asked this question, ‘Hasn’t science disproven God?’ Here is his response. A common claim made by many of our atheist friends is that science has replaced religion. Atheist authors like Sam Harris claim that “the success... Read More »
Posted on 22 Jan 2014

Finding Your God Moments

A truth from the Hemorrhaging Faith Survey – Young people who are engaged in the church today are far more likely to say that they have personally experienced the love and acceptance of God, as well as answered prayer, as those who are disengaged. Connection is important. We are all different, thank goodness. Just as we look different, and... Read More »
Posted on 27 Mar 2014

Haemorrhaging Faith Explanation by...

This is video featuring David Overholt. It is an explantation of what the Haemorrhaging Faith survey is and also why it is so very relevant to your church and ministry. You can purchase a copy of the full study at www.hemorrhagingfaith.com You can also purchase a copy of ‘Transfusing Life – A practical Response to the Hemorrhaging Faith... Read More »
Posted on 09 Jun 2014

The June Give Away

Before You Say Goodbye was written to be a tool to help young people connect to practices, habits, ministries and online content that can help keep them stay connected to faith. We want to make help you get this into the hands of as many youth as possible that you work with.  As we get near the end of... Read More »
Posted on 15 Jun 2014

My Father

‘My prayer for my kids is that they will go further in ministry, do more, share the gospel with more people, go places I will never go, and have experiences with God that I never have.’ I heard my own father say that and similar statements many times about my brother, sister, and myself. I know I walk today... Read More »