WASHINGTON — Christian ethicist Russell Moore has said that congregations too afraid of being political to speak out against acts of immorality, like abortion, are similar to churches in the 1800s that remained silent on the issue of slavery.
As the featured speaker at the Institute on Religion and Democracy's fifth annual Diane Knippers memorial lecture, Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, criticized mainstream Christian congregations that have relaxed their teachings on key issues of sexual morality and other social issues in order to blend in with the "ambient culture" and appeal to today's society.
Moore explained that religious conservatives need to "preserve" the biblical truth for future generations. Although secular society likes to claim that Christian conservatives are on the "wrong side of history," Moore told the audience that Christian conservatives should not be afraid to have their biblical convictions conflict with mainstream society and that they should really embrace the distinctive Christian message. more >>
In many circles, the church bulletin or worship folder is perceived to be old school, the tool of staid and traditional churches. Leaders with such a perspective are missing an incredible opportunity to put something in the hands of guests that, at least anecdotally, increases the chances they will return.
It is for that reason that I see the church bulletin to be first for guests. While church members can benefit from it, the most effective use comes from those who are new to your church.
I thus note nine essentials for church bulletin with the guest in mind. more >>
The Episcopal Church continues to experience losses in both church attendance and membership, according to recently released numbers from the denomination's Office of the General Convention.
From 2013 to 2014, active baptized members in domestic dioceses went from 1.866 million to 1.817 million, representing a loss of nearly 50,000 members.
On November 1, 2014, I wrote a blog post about ten ways churches drive away first-time guests. You can read the article here. Those top ten ways came from an informal Twitter poll. I was surprised by the number of responses we received for both the poll and the blog post.
Of course, there were many more responses than the original ten. I have saved the other responses for nearly a year. The ten items I list below actually represent the second ten most frequent responses.
From my perspective, these second-tier responses are somewhat of a surprise. They might be, nevertheless, helpful to you and your church. more >>
Prolific author and pastor Max Lucado has released a book meant to help guide Christians who might be feeling stagnant in their walk of faith. Titled Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now, the book centers on helping to address this faith crisis within American churches.
Out of 1,000 churches only 11 percent of Christians feel driven by their faith, Lucado wrote in the opening chapter, according to a survey by REVEAL Research.
During an interview with The Christian Post, Lucado said that such studies prompted him to write Glory Days. more >>
I've written posts for ThomRainer.com and my own blog that describe some of the negatives our church consulting teams and "spies" have found in churches. The goal of this post is to show some of the positives we've seen in different churches. The topics vary, but perhaps something will help you in your church.
1. Greeters at every door.
It doesn't happen often, but occasionally every one of our team members is greeted when each of us intentionally enters a different door. Those churches are ready for guests. more >>