This Week in Ministry

Each week, Todd Rhoades and Matt Steen look at the top stories affecting pastors and ministry leaders across the country.
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Now displaying: September, 2016
Sep 23, 2016

Digital Revolution Has Exposed Our Addiction to Activity

Russell Moore writes that the greatest threat to the Christian faith isn’t hedonism, it’s distraction. Christian leaders have made the mistake of thinking that the church needs to shout more into our busy world and make more noise, but the true need is for the church to be a refuge.

Source: Washington Post

Where Do the Religiously Unaffiliated Come From?

A closer look at the trends driving the growth of the unaffiliated may suggest that the trend is in part a result of those with a low religious commitment being more comfortable stating they are not religious, as those with that commitment level shifted by 9% toward unaffiliated. In addition, the overall growth of the nonreligious, including atheists and agnostics has grown from 10% of Americans to 23% of Americans.

Source: Pew Research

What Will Healthy Churches Look Like in 10 Years?

Thom Rainer speculates that the most important factors in determining a healthy church over the next 10 years will be an emphasis on outreach and stability. Pastors need to think long term and help the congregation invest in their community so that they can meet the needs around them and begin to reflect the diversity of their surrounding area.

Source: Church Central

Sep 16, 2016

Pastor Pete Wilson Resigns from Cross Point Church

Pastor Pete Wilson of Cross Point Church has resigned after founding the church in 2002 and seeing it grow to 7,500 attendees in six locations. Wilson noted in his resignation address that he has been leading on empty for a long time and that he is fully confident in the elders and leaders of the church. The elders commented that his resignation was 100% his decision.

Source: The Tennessean

ESV Bible Translation Finalized

After making changes to 52 words in 29 verses, the English Standard Version has been declared “finalized” by Crossway publishing. The particularly literal translation aims to offer a word for word reading rather than capturing the general sense of each passage. However, one of the changes included a rewording of Genesis 3:16, implying male dominance in marriage that has proven controversial.

Source: Christianity Today

Churches in Washington D.C. Reach Millennials

Over 600 attendees at District Church in Washington D.C. are primarily millennials, who value living their faith with actions in the community, serving others, working toward racial reconciliation, and tutoring at local schools. While they would not call themselves evangelical, they remain committed to the core values of teaching the Bible and sharing their faith.

Source: Washington Post

Sep 9, 2016

Christians Resist GOP Calls to Ban Refugees

Among the 10,000 Syrian refugees who have settled in America in 2016, over 1,000 churches partnering with the Christian group World Relief have played a critical role in providing what these families need. While Republican governors in the south who are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention continue to resist Syrian refugees, their own denominations are providing groceries, logistics support, and household items.

Source: NY Times

Mondays Are the Most Challenging for Small Church Pastors

Karl Vaters shares that the search terms used to find his website on small church ministry are particularly bleak on Monday morning. Search terms include questions about failure, quitting, and problems with growth or rough times in general. He encourages these pastors to seek community and support for their ministries.

Source: Christianity Today

Man Chooses Jail over Wife

Federal authorities say Larry Ripple chose a life behind bars over another minute at home with the wife. On Friday afternoon, according to a complaint filed in federal court, Ripple, 70, walked into the Bank of Labor in downtown Kansas City, Kan., handed over a note to a teller which said, “I have a gun, give me your cash,” and was given $2,924 in currency from the drawer...

Source: The Washington Post

Sep 2, 2016

Inside the Social Media Rules of Teens

Instagram and Snapchat dominate the social media habits of teens, and they have developed rules and practices for interactions. For instance, all teens tend to keep their accounts private, but some teens have also set up second Instagram accounts under a different name to post party pictures. In addition, teens must at least “like” a friend’s selfie and, typically, post an emoji offering support. Vague comments like “nice” are overanalyzed. Oversharing is termed, “awkward.”

Source: Wired

Location and Service Determine How Americans Choose a Church

A survey of Americans who have looked for a new place of worship found that 83% place a high priority on the sermon and 74% prioritize the style of the worship service. In addition, 79% valued being welcomed by leaders and lay members, and 70% valued the location. Less than half prioritized volunteer opportunities.

Source: Pew Research

Russell Moore Warns That We Have to Live with Our Witness in the Future

At the Southern Baptist Convention’s  Religious Liberty Commission’s National Conference, Russell Moore shared that evangelical Christians are in danger of making politics a religion that is creating cynicism and disillusionment. Moore warned against putting too much stock in election cycles and focusing on witnessing to the truth in a way that today’s generation can live with when looking back in the future.

Source: Christian Today

Sep 1, 2016

Facebook Live Videos Adopted by Churches

A reported 70% of churches are using social media in order to connect with their members, and today many churches are using live video broadcasts on Facebook in order to stream services or to recap their sermons during the week. Crossway Baptist Church has 70,000 subscribers who view sermons through Facebook Live.

Source: Ozy

Bibles Will Be Dropped into Iraq by a Swedish Church

After being approach by Middle Eastern Christians in need of Bibles, Livets Ord (Word of Life) church in Uppsala, Sweden has provided the funds in order to send an airdrop of thousands of small, electronic Bibles into the ISIS controlled areas of Iraq. The church will uses drones to drop digital Bibles that are roughly the size of a pillbox and cost $15 each to create.

Source: Christian Today

Most Pastors Won’t Be Asked to Perform Same Sex Weddings

Only 11% of Protestant pastors have been asked to perform same sex weddings. Only 1% of Baptists were asked to perform same sex weddings and 9% of Methodist pastors were asked the same. The most likely to be asked to perform a same sex wedding were Presbyterian pastors, 26%, and Lutheran, 19%.

Source: Christianity Today