Give It Up Podcast

Give It Up For Millennial Mindsets On Bible Reading, with Manny Arango (Arma Courses Founder)

July 27, 2023 Vance Roush & The Overflow Team Season 1 Episode 14
Give It Up Podcast
Give It Up For Millennial Mindsets On Bible Reading, with Manny Arango (Arma Courses Founder)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We are in an interesting era of the church. The days of "motivational" messages are behind us (thankfully), and we now have the younger generations hungry for scriptural depth and understanding. On this episode, founder of Arma courses and traveling pastor Manny Arango breaks down the millennial mindset when it comes to scripture reading, and how we as the church can better teach and empower Millennials and Gen Z in their quest for Biblical Truth!

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If all I do is I pull out inspirational bits out of the Bible, I'm prostituting scripture to get a men's The goal is to actually help people to learn the Bible. I think right now we're in a church space, where there's a lack of like real accountability, okay that you have a board, but that board is less like a group of your friends. There's gotta be somebody in your life saying, Are you watching your life? And are you watching your doctrine? A pastor turn tech leader and the millennial churchgoer, exploring the intersection of technology, culture and faith, equipping you with innovative strategies to support you as you live out your calling leader churches with confidence to step into the future together. This is the give it up podcast. Welcome back to the give it up podcast. And today, we have to give it up for none other than the man ie the myth, the legend, it's Manny Oh, rango right here. And Manny knows that I love puns, especially with him. He's wearing a rude shirt if you're watching this on YouTube. So I entered by saying I don't mean to be rude, but it looks like you did mean to be rude. So we're having a good time already here on the podcast today. But Manny, you are a dynamic speaker, preacher. You are also a social media Pastor, I would say. In fact, that's how I found you. I'll say that. And you also have a Bible courses online, which I think is a Dynamic Pairing. So today, we want to focus on the topic of millennial mindsets when it comes to reading the Bible, because we couldn't think of anyone better than you to discuss this with. So I first want to know, Manny, how has Bible reading in the concept of it changed through the generations, let's say baby boomers now to Gen X, millennials, and of course, Gen Z coming up as well. Yeah. Good question. Boy, How's it changed? I think that let's so my context for baby boomers are my parents. Okay, like, yeah, my parents are both boomers. And I would say that for for both of my parents, like, there wasn't like a question of like, a separation between what does the text say versus what does the text mean? And I don't know that they that they were asking, like a hermeneutical or exegetical question when it came to the separation between what does the text say versus what does it mean? And I think millennials and Gen Z are asking that question. I think that like, what would normally have been found only in seminary, like for two generations ago, is now like on YouTube. So I think there's an access to information that is a is a blessing and a curse. So let's talk about the blessing and let's talk about the curse. Yeah, the blessing of it is that the potential for millennials and Gen Z to be more Biblically literate is is astronomical, like, we have a we don't have to pay 40 $50,000 a year to go to seminary to become Biblically literate, the access to that information is now you know, at our fingertips, that's the blessing, here's the curse, is that the average person doesn't know how to weed out, like good, healthy. What I would say theologically conservative, historical confessional Christianity from people who just sound smart. So like, there's a lot of people on Tik Tok who sound smart, but they are they, they don't know what they're talking about. And so I'll give you a good example. Right? This may be controversial, we'll see. I always like to tell like the young people at our church, or really their parents, when I was a youth pastor for 10 years, and I would always tell parents, the first person to expose a child to something becomes the expert on that topic. So the very first person to expose them to sex becomes the expert. So you have a decision to make the the eighth grader who's exposing a fifth grader to sexual you know, content could become the, you know, the expert on that, or you as the parent could become the expert. The decision is really up to you. And so, I think that a lot of times passed orally. I think pastors who have gone to seminary No, man, there's some complicated, tough things to deal with in the Bible. And if I expose that to you middle school students and high school students first, then I get to say, Hey, I know that there are I know that there are inconsistencies with these texts. However, I'm still a Christian. And I still believe that Jesus rose from the dead. And these inconsistencies that a tip talker who's deconstructing is going to expose you to is going to lead you to believe that this is a reason to leave the faith. Whereas I'm going to expose you to this, and I'm going to tell you, this is not a reason to leave the faith. If you if, if if if pastors are not honest about, you know, issues in Scripture, and I say issues in quotes, then I think what we end up doing is we communicate a couple of things. A, we knew, and we didn't tell, which means we're hiding things, who we don't know, which means we're not, we're not educated enough to actually be preaching and teaching the Word. And so, you know, I used to tell the kids in my youth group straight up, the Bible is not a guide for dating. So we're going to talk about this dating series. And we're not going to use the Bible, because in the, the cultural context of the Bible, was arranged marriage, there is no dating. And so it would actually, really, really, it would be dishonest of me to preach a sermon about Ruth and Boaz. And this is how we can then learn how to date because the reality of the situation is you're not trying to marry your uncle. And, and if all I do is I pull out inspirational bits out of the Bible, then I'm, I'm, I'm prostituting scripture to get a mens. And that's not actually the goal is to actually help people to learn the Bible. Okay, so I'm gonna kind of recap all the things that I said, because I kind of went on a stream of let me let me try. Let me try me. Let me try. So the thing the thread that I'm taking, is this sub theme of credibility. Okay. So something that builds credibility is actually accessibility. And so what you're saying is that with young people, sometimes if a tick tock influencer, got to them first, yeah, because they were accessible. They're building some level of authority and credibility in that young person's life when it comes to things like maybe tick tock theology or whatever. Right. Yeah. What you're saying is one way that we as pastors might be able to counteract that is being intellectually honest about our approach. Yeah. Right. And so providing context context, also can build credibility. I always, I always say this, because I think it's so interesting. It's an interesting phenomenon, right? Where a lot of my friends that are single, they get relationship advice from other people that are single. So, so I guess, I guess context is one way to build credibility historically, when we talk about Boomer, even Gen X Gen X certification. Right? So the same analogy of like going to a married person for maybe relationship advice, being wise, it would be similar to going to a certified individual, whether it's an ordained pastor, or whether it's somebody that's gotten a certification, in theology, whatever that certification looks like, what I'm realizing though, especially for millennials, and Gen Z, is that those certifications are meaning less and less. Exactly. Why is my question to you? And is that trend going to continue? And if it does, is that good or bad? Huh, ha, well, we've got to find credibility somewhere. Yeah, like, and I think we're finding less and less credibility in this certification. Because there's this like, Okay, you like so let's say in my field, right? There's a bunch of people who like, went into debt to get a Masters of divinity. That's right. M div is like the gold standard for like, pastors and preachers and leaders. But then like, you could have an M div, and not lead a thriving church, understand how to evangelize, not know how to do marriage counseling, or like, not know how to talk about finances in a way that actually like prompts generosity in the church. So you could you could do all this and then still, like, not not do and I mean, successful. I'm making sure that we draw a line between faithful and successful. So I want to be both. I want to be both faithful with what God's given me. And I want some metrics that show that I am success For that I am fruitful. Okay. I think sometimes we try to create a false dichotomy. Well, you can either be faithful or fruitful. And actually, I think, in an ideal world, you can be both now that we don't always have ideal worlds. I think that the institution of the seminary, some were along the way, forgot that their primary client was the senior pastor. So not only are they not preparing that person for the ministry well, but then they are not giving any ongoing training to help that person flourish, right? Chuckie Cheese has to realize that the real client is not my two year old that the real client is me, my two year old pay for Chucky Cheese, right? So I'm actually the person they need to like, they need to win over. Which is why I don't know if you've seen all these viral videos that Chucky Cheese were like, you know, they got beer at Chucky Cheese now and parents get drunk and they start fighting. It's actually very, very funny. If you type in like drunk people at Chucky Cheese on like, Twitter, it, you can have a blast, like, okay. But I think what we're saying is that, Hey, okay, there's a now there's a vicious cycle past us of becoming successful without the certification. Certification is becoming less and less relevant. However, at some point, you reach a breaking point. And now we have pastors going viral for saying things on stage that are theologically inaccurate. So now the pendulum swings back to do any of these people have degrees, like who's certified these individuals like so because the institution fail to train pastors, pastors realized, if I'm anointed, and I'm gifted, and if I joined with a phenomenal organization like Ark, like I could get relevant training to actually help me to grow my church, but at what cost? And that cost has become, ah, you know, we're really, you know, where executives and leaders and marketers and fundraisers and building builders, but have neglected, like, Oh, dang, I think we forgot we also have to be like, theologians, and like, we have to be Biblically literate like as, as pastors as leaders. And I think now, I think we're gonna go, Okay, we're who's now going to be? Where's where is the place where we can get certification that's going to do all of the things. So I think it's a constant kind of like, No, this is, this is disruptive thinking, Man, this is really disruptive thinking. And I want to get on the same thing with denominations. People use to find trust in a denomination, if it's Methodist, or if it's Baptist, or if it's whatever, I kind of know that, okay, the, the pastor could go off the rails, but I believe in this Methodist institution, the pastor could lose his mind. But I believe in being Baptist, the Southern Baptist Convention for the very first time in 100 years, had the biggest decline in membership last year. And so I think we're going, Okay, we're seeing a shift from organization trust in organizations to trust in individuals. And and what's going to end up happening? Well, we're one call lengths away from what the pendulum going back to, we need to trust an organization's again, because we've trusted in people and I think what we need to find is that there's actually a healthy, God ordained balance between institutions and people, that that actually, it's not either or, but institution that people have to figure out a way where your personal brand and the brand of the institution can both elicit trust within people and provide that level of certification. Okay, yeah, that's kinda like, no one. I, I like the I like how you put it, you know, it's a balance between faithful and fruitful, right. I mean, storytime really quick. I'm based in the Silicon Valley. And when I started my career at Google, one thing in my head just because, you know, I grew up with Gen X parents, and this was just kind of my mindset is that, well, at one point, I need to get an MBA, because I want to be prolific in business. You may get an MBA, but I remember sharing my ambition to get an MBA with my manager at Google. And he laughed at me. Like, this dude laughed at me. He's like, he's like, if you get an MBA and come back to Google, you're gonna be the laughingstock in the office. Because they, they thought it was like a joke. They're all building, world changing technology. And none of them have MBAs. They're just straight up builders. Right. And that's a similar thing, where in the church space, it seems like pendulum is swung to Hey, no, we're just straight up builders. But then, you know, a decade later, I'm starting to see some issues with some of these founders of like, He's tighten organizations, big tech now that didn't have maybe a values based or moral framework. And now it's getting them into trouble. Right? So in a similar way, in a in a very specific business vein, I'm starting to see the pendulum swing swing towards wanting to see managers that have like governance principles that know how to contextually integrate these new innovative breakthroughs into society in a morally responsible way. Yeah, I mean, the whole conversation on AI right now is you have people super bullish on it. And then you got other big technologists like Elon that's trying to pump the brakes, because he's like, Hey, have we thought about user safety? Yeah, and in the same way, I kind of hear that thread with you is like, okay, hold up. We're in this moment of time, cool. The churches alive, the churches? Well, we're building buildings where we're gaining followers. On social media, we're making a dent in society, we're culturally relevant, you know, all those things. But Hey, is anybody thinking about user safety? Yeah, I am. Okay. So that's what I want to get to you're not just critiquing this, you're contributing towards you with ARMA? What you're doing with AR? Can you talk a little bit about that, in your perspective, your approach? Yeah, so 2020, I realized, man, this vicious cycle between seminary and church is like, this is a broken system, and somebody has to model that they can go to school, even though they don't need it. So I decided to jump into a doctoral program. And that doctoral program has not like somebody, once I'm on a zoom call, said, what doors is your doctoral program opening for you? And I said, Well, I didn't jump into the program for to open doors. For me, that's a terrible way to think about a discipline, I jumped into a doctoral program, to show Pentecostals, that you can do this stop saying that you can't, or that you don't have time, or that you're too busy. Stop making excuses. When when the Holy Spirit asked me to jump into a doctoral program. First, I had to get my master's degree, because I hadn't, I hadn't gotten a master's degree. And so that was two years of my life. And then I jumped into a four year doctoral program. And the Holy Spirit said, this is your act of worship to me, I want you to sacrifice something, and go to school, because there are young people coming up behind you that think that school is irrelevant. And the problem is that you actually need the discipline of a professor reading over your sermon and saying, Yeah, I think you're a little right on this, I think you're a little left on this. Here's the center line, I gained professors along the way that have become allies, for me, that have that watch me preach, and will hold me accountable. I think right now we're in a church space, where there's a lack of like, real accountability, okay, that you have a board, but that board is less like a group of your friends. And like, who can really say, hey, like, the person, the random person on YouTube isn't the person to hold you accountable. You know, I hate these people who like review people's sermons on YouTube, um, like, get a life, you know, the person because there can't be accountability without relationship. So there's, there's got to be somebody in your life, who's just like Paul saying to Timothy, watch your life and doctrine closely. Because if you excel in them, you'll save both yourself and your heroes. I think there's got to be someone saying, Are you watching your life? And are you watching your doctrine? I'll give a shift. I think that has taken place like a generational shift. I actually learned this in my master's program. So before World War Two, prior to World War Two, if you went into any pastors, if you went to any church, and you got a meeting with the pastor, the Secretary would usher you into that pastors study. Every pastor had to study because the pastor was the public theologian, the pastor's job is to study is to is to make sure that they are preaching doctrine that is Presbyterian or doctrine that's Baptist, or doctrine, that's Methodist, or doctrine that's based on whatever denomination they're in? Well, the World War Two hits America becomes a superpower. And the number one most, you know, admired person in the public space becomes the CEO. And so every pastor goes from having a study to having an office, and why do I have an office because I'm a CEO, I'm the Chief Executive Officer. I go from being a theologian to being an officer. And if we look at church now, there's a lot of there's there's a lot of positives that have happened because of this. This is not Only a negative thing. I want to talk with nuance, you know what I mean? Like, there's a lot of positives that have happened because of this church becomes irrelevant. All the things that you kind of mentioned before, like, churches are thriving, they're growing, they're culturally relevant. Like, hey, we're building buildings in cash, like, we're debt free. We're doing all kinds of phenomenal things. And I'm going okay, we can't go back to the past. So what does the future look like? And I think the future has to be some kind of, I would call it a studio. It's a study, but that is tech infused. It's it's back to, hey, we're gonna be theologians again. We're gonna be we're gonna be like, we got to know what the doctrines of the church are we we can't let 2020 hit and waves of millennials, deconstruct, and there's no response. There's no, we're all just mad at the kids deconstructing. It's like, we're all just pointing our fingers at people deconstructing. And to me, you know, Paul says to the Corinthian church, I laid a foundation of none other than Christ. And then the fire will revealed what we've all built. That some build with gold, some with silver, some with classy stones, some with wood, some with hay. And what happens when you build with wood and hay, the fire, burns it up and consumes it. What happens when you build with gold, silver, and cost the stones the fire refines it and makes it better? So Paul is saying that if somebody can deconstruct what you built, maybe the issue is not the person deconstructing. Maybe the issue is that you built it wrong. Maybe the problem is with the church, maybe the problem is with the pastor who built it on cultural assimilation to cultural values in our church, and not on like, hey, the Nicene Creed, like when's the last time you cracked open the Nicene Creed and read it and, and maybe we shouldn't be building it on, hey, we vote for this political party. Or maybe we should be building this on. Hey, there's actually just some, like, foundational, and when I say historic confessional Christianity, I mean, hey, there's the Nicene Creed as Christians have all agreed since 325. AD, hey, this is what this is what defines a Christian. And so I kind of go, Ah, there's some ancient paths that I think we kind of need to like, go back to, but not to glorify the past, but to go okay, like, what, what does it mean for us to create credibility? How do we create credibility? We can't just point it people deconstructing, and being like, you're, you're y'all are idiots we gotta go, though. I'll give you a good example. Right? Tick tock is youth group kids. They're like, and I learned, it's funny because I actually I say more than one thing. Okay, here's the first issue. My issue is not with deconstruction, there's no problem with deconstructing not at all. If you're not deconstructing your faith, then you're not constructing your faith. Faith is not is a process of deconstructing and reconstructing no issue of deconstructing. Here's the issue with detaching yourself from the church and deconstructing in your room by yourself. We're deconstructing with your boyfriend who's not really saved, or deconstructing with a group of friends in college that are not a part of the church. You can deconstruct all you want, as long as you stay connected with your pastor, and small group leaders and deacons and elders, as long as you stay attached to the church, the church is a great place to answer your questions and to ask hard questions, or I should say, church should be a great place to ask hard questions. And to explore some difficult topics out there, I learned this my freshman year of my undergraduate degree. And it's crazy how I learned something as a 17 year old and the context in which I learned it did not cause me to deconstruct. But then I'm like, 33, we're going through a pandemic, and my kids that their kids in our youth youth ministry, in young adult ministry at our church that are getting exposed to you the exact same information, and for them, it's crumbling their faith, and here's what it is freshman year Bible college, I learned that feet is can be not all the time can be a euphemism for genitalia and the Bible. Okay, well, this is, this is like, there's not very hard to even learn this. And so, you know, there's a couple of different ways to read Ruth's interaction with Boaz on the threshing floor. Okay. You know, one interpretation, which is a big, you know, people who want to push purity culture are like, you know, they Ruth and Boaz were pure and, and they didn't do anything before marriage, and I'm like, okay, sure, but there's another way to read The text that when she lies at his feet, that maybe something sexual did happen. Now, I learned this my freshman year in Bible college and here's the takeaway. The takeaway was, the reason that the story of Ruth is in the Bible is to show us the lineage of David and to show us who the Messiah is in the show us that the that even in Jesus's lineage, there was always a multicultural and multi ethnic vision that God had that although Ruth was not an Israelite, she is grafted in, because Gentiles are not an afterthought, Gentile who are a massive part of God's vision. That's why this book is in the Bible. Therefore, if Ruth and Boaz did something sexual, before they were married, I don't really care. Because this book is not here to teach me how to date in the 21st century. This book is to teach me about Jesus, because Jesus is way more important than me in my dating life. Now, my kids hear this, they're like Ruth and Boaz did something sexual that I have the other than I have the right to do something sexual. And there I go. This is the difference between baby boomers and carrying the Bible and millennials and carrying the Bible. Baby Boomers could not go on YouTube and find out that feet is a euphemism for genitalia. They're not YouTube doesn't exist, they don't have access to that information, unless their pastor is gonna get up and say that on a Sunday. And most times, the pastor is not going to say that. I think we people leading the church right now have to realize that hoof we have to be more intelligent, and the in the, in the defense of the Bible that we give, and and how we preach. If we preach self centered messages, then we'll always take the Bible and say, What can I help you to learn about your life, which is really just a lot of self help. I think we really need to return to a place where we say, yeah, the story of Ruth isn't in here to help you navigate your life. The story of Ruth is in here to show you God's plan of salvation to the Old Testament. That's why it's here. And so you're not here on Sunday for self help talk. You're here on Sunday, to actually like, learn what the Bible teaches. And if I'm here for self help talk, then guess what I'll deconstruct, when I figure out that the stuff I thought was a short Foundation was actually not what I should have been building on in the first place. So I think that we have to acknowledge, I think that, you know, when I was when I was growing up, right, if my parents got like a bishop, Jake's DVD, or like, or like a CD or DVD, like, they would like, go back to my home church, and like, tell our pastor, like, my pastor was big on like, my senior pastor at the church I grew up it was like, Hey, if you're gonna eat other grass, just let me know what the grass is. So I could tell you whether or not it's like, you know, like, healthy, you know what I mean? And so I remember my parents coming back from a trip and they got like, some cassette tapes and some DVDs. And like, they showed it to like one of the Deacons of the church, like, hey, like, we got this stuff. What do you think? And my pastor kind of gave the thumbs up, like, yeah, that stuff's great teaching to listen to, like, go for it. I think that if we're looking at millennials and Gen Z, sheep herders eating grass from everywhere, they're eating poison grass, they're eating grass on Tik Tok, you're eating grass there, you know, I was sitting down with a young adult at our church, and I'm giving them like, Biblically sound, relevant relationship advice. I'm like, Hey, dude, like, here's the deal. Like, I've known you for years. I've known the girl you're dating. I've got I'm at coffee with you. Like, I love you. I'm your Shepherd. I'm your pastor. Yeah, here's some relationship, like direction. This man quotes my talk to me. He said, Well, Mike Todd said in his last sermon, done it. And I was like, bro, let me tell you right now. Like, I know Mike Todd personally. And if I told him that you did this to a pastor, he'd be pissed, like, bro, I'm speaking in generalities. It's only your pastor who can speak and specificities. And I think that if you're going to lead in the space that we're in today, then you've got to be the kind of leader who knows how to like, know, the grass that your sheep are friggin eating like that, like I can't operate from the assumption that they're not getting grass elsewhere. I've got to operate from the assumption that like, yeah, there is calm tip that is accessible to you because of the internet. And now I have to train you not. I can't just say this is where you eat grass, I have to give the sheep enough discernment to know what's bad grass and what's good grass. And that means I have to help them to be Biblically literate. So they can like steer themselves away from bad grass, because I can't helicopter parent, all the people in our church, I can't be I can't micromanage what everybody listens to, I have to give them a better diet so that they go out about that. Okay, so that's a lot of thoughts at once. That's, that's awesome. I feel like oh, it's it. It's so good. It's so good. It reminds me that I love that idea that we can't micromanage everything, we can't helicopter mom, everything, right, so to speak. And it reminds me of just even just the tenant of free speech, right? The anecdote to promoting free speech is not actually censorship. It's not actually trying to reduce speech, that the anecdote to promoting free speech is more speech. Right. And so part of me and the whole premise of this podcast really is you have person that sits in the seat of executive pastor, that's also a technologist that's passionate about innovation. And then XO being a millennial churchgoer on maybe the higher end of the millennial age spectrum xos on the lower end, so we kind of create that type of diversity there. But when I think about from a technology perspective, what this means it does kind of actually mean, a training, like you said, many of bringing back orthodoxy, into our study and into our scripture, and into our preaching, but also a leveling of the playing field in terms of technological distribution of that study. Right? Yeah. And so so even I just had this thought with a friend, I was talking to the other day of like, hey, at the end of the day, any local local church pastor that wants to show up digitally, every local church pastor should have an opportunity for a podcast, separate from what they're preaching on a Sunday. And in another context to pastor there people, even if they only have 300 views, only if they have like 150 views or listens, a week at best your congregation, it's going to be a lot more contextual than somebody that's just broadcasting, like you said, generalities. Right, I guess so as, as a younger millennial churchgoer? What are other things that produce credibility? And I mean, you're, you're a local active church member? Yeah, I mean, I think the thing I just keep hearing is, this concept of the future doesn't belong to the Creator, as much as the future belongs to the curator. And so it's this whole concept of, if you don't provide us the answers, we're looking for, guess what we're going elsewhere, which means you're going to the buffet, and nothing is the same, nothing makes sense. It's just this whole smorgasbord of who knows what's here. I'm just eating because I'm hungry. You know. And so I love this idea, many where you're seeing, there's a wide open space, literally the example of a pastor of I need to put something here to show people, Hey, what's here is good. Yeah. And it will satisfy you in the same way that the church should be. And you know, I love the parallel because Vance, what we're building it overflow is ultimately creating a hub for people to be able to give anything. So Manny's here creating resources for people to get the answers to all their questions. And I, it's just as it's just this really perplexing idea, and I love how this conversation has gone because it has really revealed to me that even as churchgoers, of course, this whole deconstruction element, that's it's big, we have to be so mindful of what we are consuming, where we are putting our time and where we are putting our efforts and our thoughts like it really is a call to action for me to not even speaking as a church leader. Because I really, it's everything you're saying is really landing for me and it's actually making me so encouraged because yeah, many you have such a boldness about you. That seems to be few and far between the fact that you're you're standing here and you're like, Hey, I'm one of these people, and I'm going forward into this unknown territory and creating the resources and saying the stuff that people are afraid to say, because I want to provide people answers and help them to be well fed. I just want to commend you for that because it's a beautiful work and It's so necessary. I'm like, somebody's got to do it. Somebody's got to like, I feel like in a way I am like, a probably this is the first moment. And we're witness, we're documenting this moment, like, you know, on cameras, like, of me realizing, Oh, I'm innovating. I didn't realize I was innovating until right now I'm in cars. Yes, it is always just felt like, Man, when I'm in like, church space. I'm like one of the only people that's like, really pursuing education. And when I'm like, with my classmates, and when I'm at school, I'm like, one of the only people who's like, really trying to like, push church forward. And so it just feels like I'm a loner, you know, it just feels like, oh, well, we don't really we say anywhere. Yeah, we say this, you can always tell a pioneer by the arrows on their back. Right? And so it is, it is a little bit of that journey. And you're, you're totally an innovator, you're totally a disrupter. And the reason why we started this podcast to talk about innovative ideas and to start to talk about disruptive thinking specifically in the church context. Because Bozo and I, our whole company is passionate about serving local church is because if you look at certain tectonic shifts, in evangelism, certain tectonic shifts in the gospel being unleashed on this planet, certain tectonic shifts of where faith has been integrated, and contextualized. Deep within communities. It's been because of innovation. If you go like way, way back to even the way that they constructed the original cathedrals, and a lot of them are empty now because they stopped innovating. But back in the day, it was the hub, the epicenter of society, even just the way they told the Gospel story, through the windows and through the way that light refracts off these different angles and things like that was architectural genius. You fast forward to the Gutenberg Press, and unleashing text so that it can be democratized to people, right. It's a similar thing we're trying to do in regards to finances and mixing it in with your faith and understanding the importance of the tithe and how to unlock generosity above and beyond the tithe, and how that can lead to a flourishing life biblically speaking, and things like that all the way to what you're now seeing, in terms of what needs to be disrupted, what needs to be innovated with Bible literacy. I think that's where it kind of boils down to right is, you know, there's some, there's some good things, there's some there's some appetite in the atmosphere right now, it just needs to be directed. Right? Yeah. I would say the Reformation doesn't happen without the printing press. It just doesn't like and, and it, there's no, obviously there's no way to historically prove that right. I'm making a bold claim. But there were reformers prior to Martin Luther who said the same things. But the innovation, the technology, the tech, like of there being a print printing press, and him being able to actually like spread his ideas. When John and when John and Charles Wesley invented the track, like that was tech, it was innovative. It was mind blowing. You know, if you hand out a track today, people think you're a Jehovah's Witness, or just weird, right? And so I think sometimes it's like, there's all these moments where the churches innovated. But there's all these moments where the church like, hesitates to innovate. And, obviously, we're at another one of those crossroads, and we gotta go, man, we we, we 100% need to innovate. And innovation doesn't mean we're always going to get it right. No, I think sometimes we're scared to experiment and get it wrong. And I think sometimes as pastoral leaders, one of the best advice somebody gave me, like, a couple years ago, was like, Hey, man, don't just as your default, don't always say God told me to do this. Yes, yes. But as a leader, you're going to have to eat those words. He's like, your, your employees and your crew. Sometimes they just need to hear you say, I think this is a good idea. And I think this is wise. And I, I think we should innovate in this way. I'm not about to add godly authority and godly pressure to like make you buy into the vision. I just have to like, and sometimes I think when when pastors want to innovate, the default is I heard from God, and God told us to do this. And then there's all this pressure for that innovation to work out. You're afraid to fail. You're afraid to fail. Right? Exactly, exactly. There has Be space within an innovative culture is a space where failures, okay? And and I think sometimes in church because there's that pressure of like, we just need to do what God told us to do. We don't innovate. And I'm like, man, like, I'm all about obeying God don't Don't get it twisted, but God has also given you creativity, and like, like he's giving you like agencies, and he's giving you ideas. So that's good. If I could give some kind of language to like, the crossroads that I think a lot of like church leaders get to, and why they don't innovate, or why they're scared to innovate. I think if we could just give people permission to like, hey, like, just because you're a pastor doesn't mean that your experimental days are behind you. Like, you got to experiment. Go for it. And you Yeah, yeah, by all means, do what God is telling you to do. But there are some times where I think God goes, Hey, like, you know, there's this moment in the Exodus, where Moses is at the Red Sea, and he's crying out to God, and gods like, What's in your hand? And he's like, Oh, the staff. He's like, put the staff into the water, like I've already given you, like, you're, you're looking to me for permission. But I've already set you up with the very thing that you need for this miracle to come to pass. So and I think I think that's part of leaders, we need to hear that. So good. I think that's part of it, too, right? Is where, and I totally agree with you, we actually say this in the Silicon Valley fail, fast and fail forward, right? It's this culture that has been embraced here that's led to a lot of breakthrough innovation. There's this mentality that, hey, nine out of 10 things that we're going to try is statistically going to fail, but that one thing is going to be breakthrough. I also think that some of the mindset, like what you just said about Moses, right? Where sometimes when you only have a staff, it's easier to quote unquote, risk. It's easier to experiment, right. But if if you had like, if you had like the Mercedes Benz of staffs, and it was like, super valuable already, right? And you're like you like, oh, I don't know, like, I don't want to put this out there. Because it's, I have like, it's, it's too much to fail. Right? And you took it to the, to the extreme example of we just, we keep putting God on everything, we keep putting the divine on everything. And it locks us up, to actually innovate and have that permission that hey, not everything is going to work out, hey, let's close. Let's close out with this because I want to end on vision. I feel like the theme of this conversation has been innovation and innovation, a lot of times it's birth with a very distinct vision, right? You think about like some somebody like Steve Jobs, he had a vision of a future that did not exist yet that he endeavored to create. And that's what we believe we're doing at overflow. Our vision for overflow is to build the infrastructure that makes generosity frictionless, across every major asset class, the way that you can buy anything on Amazon, the way that Amazon has all made us bigger spenders. We want you to be able through overflow to be able to give anything through overflow in the same way that overflow makes people more generous. Talk to me, Manny, everything you're doing personally with ARMA all your different endeavors, give us give the listeners just to close out a vision of what the future looks like for you. The future looks like a world where we, it's it's funny, we bring Sunday school back. Like, Hey, I like that. It's funny, like a youth pastor picked me up from the airport, and we were going to church and he was like, Man, I'm sorry. Like, my church is kind of old school. Like we still do Sunday school. And I went if you ever apologize again or like, Sunday school, bro, like, actually, that's kind of what sustained a whole generation was, like, Sunday school and and I would say making biblical literacy accessible to everyone everywhere. It's like my vision, like making high seminary level, you know, biblical literate, like biblical content. Super, super accessible. Yeah, and that's accessible to black people. It's best accessible, accessible to low income neighborhoods, like I've been in Christian schools my entire life. So from kindergarten to my doctorate, I've been educated in Christian environments, and I've never had a black Bible professor. So accessibility is is age, its gender, its ethnicity. Its, you know, its cost. It's like how do we how do we how do we create like seminary level Bible resources for the average person and make it super, super accessible and part of accessibility. Really, I think that the people who make the Bible the most accessible in society today are pastors. And so we've got a big vision to like help pastors to make the Bible more and more accessible. So yeah, it's a world where biblical literacy super, super accessible. I love it. So this was one of the most amazing conversations we've had. Manny, thank you so much. Thank you for joining us on the podcast rudest, you're the rudest. Thanks, man. Thanks so much for listening to the give it up podcast if you want to receive even more insights on church innovation, culture, and giving. Now you can sign up for free to be an overflow insider where you'll receive exclusive content discounts direct access to Vance Roush to get your questions answered, and also invite only access to our monthly fundraising leadership forums, head to backslash insider, or just click the link in our bio to sign up for free today. In order to get this podcast in the ears of even more church leaders. Could you please subscribe and leave a review for the show? This tells the podcast players what people are enjoying and want to hear more of and we are adamant about providing maximum value to even more church leaders. Thanks so much. We'll see you next time.

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the blessing and curse of so much access online
a way for pastors to know when to address a certain subject
how to build credibility
why certification is meaning less and less
what Manny Arango is doing to solve this “vicious cycle”
a generational shift that’s occurring
Manny’s innovative thoughts on deconstruction
what shepherding your flock should look like for the younger generations
how technology plays a vital role in this
a millennial churchgoer’s thoughts on credibility
How Manny is innovating in the faith space
why the church needs to continue innovating
a breakdown on Manny’s vision for the future of the church