EIGHT MAJOR CHANGES IN CHURCHES THE PAST TEN YEARS
Sermon Content Is What Appeals Most to Churchgoers
Court Says Disaffiliated Church's Property Belongs To Local Congregation, Not PCUSA
Will Livestreaming a Worship Service Hurt a Church’s Attendance?
Southlake-based Gateway Church confirms it will cut staff by 10-15 percent
Has Lying Become Normal and Acceptable in American Society?
What The Tech? Bible in virtual reality
Less than half of German Christians believe in heaven
Neuroscience of religion reveals hidden cultural trends
Special report: 1 in 4 Americans don't think one-night stands count as cheating
A quarter of Christians do not believe in the resurrection
Number of U.S. adults cohabiting with a partner continues to rise, especially among those 50 and older
What Would Jesus Disrupt?
5 things churches lose when they give up hymnals
Todd's Favorite Hymn Verse (See verse 5!)
The Other Billy Graham Rules
10 Commandments to Help Church Staff Maintain Moral Integrity
Churches should drop Easter, Christmas extravaganzas and get out more, experts urge
Survey: Evangelical leaders really don’t want to endorse politicians
New research identifies a ‘sea of despair’ among white, working-class Americans
Attendance, giving down at Cross Point Church 6 months after pastor resigns
They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Drinks
Poor communities have the greatest need of religion’s benefits, since it creates stronger social ties, offers hope, and keeps younger community members out of trouble. However, the decline in religion throughout America is the greatest in the poor communities who need it the most. Where there is greater affluence and education, religion is more likely to be declining at lower numbers and rates.
Source: Washington Post
Young adults and teens today are more likely to share social media contact information rather than their phone numbers. In 2015, 62% of teens reported sharing a username from Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or Skype rather than sharing a phone number. Only 13% relied on phone numbers as the primary form of communication.
Source: NY Post
In a compromise reached in consultation with Rev. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, Princeton Theological Seminary president Rev. Craig Barnes announced that Keller will deliver the Kuyper lecture on April 6, but he will not receive the Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Witness. Keller had been chosen for the award, but many within the Princeton community opposed Keller because of his teachings about female submission and opposition to same sex marriage.
This week, we discuss a recent trip Matt took to Greece to help a group of local church planters.
As a direct result of the recent decision by the Trump Administration to dramatically reduce the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. throughout fiscal year 2017, World Relief has been forced to make the difficult decision to layoff 140+ staff members across its U.S. Ministry and close local offices in Boise, Idaho; Columbus, Ohio; Miami, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; and Glen Burnie, Maryland. Collectively, these five offices have resettled more than 25,000 refugees over the past four decades.
When Adrien Koch retired last summer from her job with FEMA in the Bay Area, she and her husband resettled in the wooded mountains of north Idaho. They had visited only a few months before on a vacation but had quickly fallen in love. For Koch, Idaho reminded her of the California she knew in the 1970s.
Many pastors are satisfied in their work, they admit that it takes a toll on their family life, according to a recently released study by the Barna group. As a matter of fact, an impressive 70% of US pastors claimed to have happy marriages and healthy family lives. However, when asked if their church work has been hard on their family life, 40% admitted that it certainly has.
Source: PJ Media
The use of lay leaders for preaching, teaching and organization is becoming increasingly more common across the United States. Research shows that the number of congregations led by part-time clergy rose from 29 percent to 38 percent from 2010 to 2015. If you’re on paid staff this might seem alarming but many congregations who rely heavily on lay leadership and preachers report increased ownership, faith and engagement.
Source: Christian Science Monitor
The Barna Group has released a new study entitled “The State of Pastors, 2017” which shows that the age of most Senior Pastors is increasing, often due to a struggle to find a suitable, younger replacement. In fact, 69% of pastors report that it's “becoming more difficult to identify promising pastoral candidates" due to a number of factors including delayed spiritual maturity of millennials and financial struggles.
Source: Christianity Daily
Pastor Caught in Bed With Parishioner's Wife Won't Resign Because God Has Already Forgiven Him
Mosque case prompts IMB policy tweak
Most religious groups come out against Trump refugee order
In an editorial for Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer writes that the truth will set us free, but Christians have been among some of the most likely to share fake news, with a popular Christian news site providing one of the clearest examples of bad reporting. Stetzer encouraged readers to consider sharing true, factual news as part of their Christian witness and reliable Gospel messengers.
Source: Christianity Today
Churches are allowed to host Super Bowl viewing parties regardless of screen size, but there are several key restrictions. For starters, a church cannot charge admission, although donations to cover food costs are permitted. Churches also cannot use official logos for the NFL or the teams playing in promotional material.
Source: Facts & Trends
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In the list of the top 20 stories from Christianity Today, a number of pastoral missteps and removals topped the news in 2016, including Andy Stanley’s regret that he said it’s selfish to attend a small church and the resignation of Darrin Patrick from Acts 29 and his St. Louis church The Journey. However, the charismatic renewal of Bethel Church continues and former atheist Nicole Cliffe wrote about how God messed up her “happy atheist life.”
Source: Christianity Today
Why this story matters for church leaders:
People will always want to know about pastors who failed or overstepped their boundaries in some way, so church leaders should have clear accountability and restoration plans should a misstep happen.
Is there one particular lesson or action step your church can take based on this story?
A LifeWay poll asking Americans who they look to in order to solve the problems in America found that only 23% relied on the U.S. president to solve their problems. Only 11% trusted in preachers and 10% looked toward college professors. However, 33% choose “none of the above” in their response.
Thom Rainer has noticed three key trends that are leading to healthier churches throughout America. For starters, he’s seeing longer pastoral tenures, and he hopes that will continue since longer tenures tend to correlate with more effective ministry. Rainer also sees renewed emphasis on practical ministries and a commitment to ongoing learning within the ministry context.
Source: Facts and Trends
All of the children available to be sponsored through Compassion International in four countries, El Salvador, Indonesia, Rwanda, and Tanzania, were sponsored at a recent event, making it the largest surge in sponsorships to date. Roughly 14% of the 50,000 conference attendees at a Passion event signed up to support children with education, healthcare, food, and the gospel for $38 a month.
Source: Christianity Today