Mission trips and volunteer tourism (“voluntourism”) tend to make the mistake of providing life changing experiences for those who go on the trips rather than providing the best needs for communities. For instance, short term missionaries who build schools overseas are taking jobs from local workers, most likely doing inferior work, and taking away money that could go toward investing long term in education and operation of the school.
Source: NY Times
If you make it easy for guests at your Easter service to find a welcome area, to fill out cards, and to share their information, the follow up should be personal and simple. Don’t bombard them with generic emails or spring surprise visits on them. Make a personal contact and offer a simple next step that fits your church and community.
Source: Paul Alexander
While online learning isn’t an option for those without access to high speed internet, learning online remains the choice of most adults. A survey of 3,000 adults found that 74% are personal learners and only a third of them use online classes. Classes at schools and libraries remain popular, while online learning is only being used by a segment of adults who have a bachelor’s degree.
What Visitors Look for on Your Church Website
Tullian gets fired by new church
Losing Conversation: The Price We Pay for Smartphones
When a Pastor Falls, is Restoration Possible?
After Andy Stanley shared in a sermon that those who attend small churches are selfish, he has since shared in an interview that he regrets how five minutes have undermined what he has worked hard to do all of this life. Stanley shared that he supports those in small churches, and he intended to challenge his listeners to prioritize reaching out to their kids rather than maintaining their own comfort.
Source: Christianity Today
Former pastor Rob Bell says that he has enjoyed his time away from pastoral ministry because he can preach freely without the burden of “running a church” getting in the way. Bell notes that too many pastors use their sermons to get bigger crowds and buildings, telling people what they want to hear rather than using a sermon for holy disruption.
Source: The Christian Post
Former 7,500-Member ELCA Church Will Close
At one time North Heights Lutheran Church had 7,600 members, making it one of the largest ELCA churches in America. However, the church has broken into contentious factions over the leadership of pastor Mindy Bak. A 2014 membership meeting noted several problems, but some church officials downplayed their seriousness. Today the church is slated to close down and at least one former group of members are meeting at a local hotel.
Source: Star Tribune
Why the Monthly Church Business Meeting Needs to Go
Majority of Denominations Register Decline in Attendance
Israeli and Palestinian Christians Pledge to Work Together