A new Pew survey of 44 countries reiterates what other surveys have shown for years: Americans are more religious and Americans are more hopeful about their ability to improve their future than are other wealthy countries.
Americans are more prone to think hard work will uplift, to reject thinking that outside forces control their destinies, to be happy and to prioritize religion. Over half of Americans say religion is very important to them, twice the rate found among Canadians, Australians, British and other wealthy nations.
In fact, Americans have more confidence that hard work will uplift than any other country. And Americans reject fatalism more than any country than, interestingly, Venezuela, which is perhaps Venezuelans subversively rejecting the nonsense rhetoric of their socialist regime. more >>
Although snow is burying cities from Nantucket, Massachusetts, to Nashville, Tennessee, many churches are finding ways to connect to their congregations through technology. According to The Boston Globe, those who could not attend services during the latest snowfalls were able to avoid isolation through live-streamed sermons, posted prayers via Facebook and emailed hymns and readings ahead of time so people could worship at home. Congregants responded by posting pictures of worshiping in their homes and messaging friends who also could not attend.
Outreach to members is not the only way churches are embracing technology. Congregations are also using social media for outreach and evangelistic efforts. One survey done by ROAR, a religious social media organization, said 98 percent of the churches it polled use Facebook, and 77 percent use Twitter. Blogs, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ are less popular, but are still used by some churches. This shows that more people are communicating and discussing their faith online.
Leading pastors and even everyday ministry leaders have Twitter, Instagram and Facebook followers. These advancements — eagerly embraced by the church — mean the message of the church is passing far outside the four walls of the building. more >>
Although multiple real estate interests were in the running to purchase the prime urban Seattle property owned by the now-defunct 15,000-member megachurch Mars Hill, the Ballard neighborhood church facility will remain a sanctuary, as a nearby congregation won the bidding on Tuesday with a $9-million offer.
After Mars Hill, which owned 15 properties across five states, announced its plans to dissolve into a number of independent churches last fall, after controversy sounded the leadership of its head pastor, Mark Driscoll, the congregation put up for sale nearly $25 million worth of its properties in late October.
The real estate company Colliers International announced Tuesday that nearby Quest Church won the sale of the 40,000 square-foot property with a $9-million bid, even though the facility in the bustling Ballard shopping district was bid on by nine different real estate developers. more >>
A Canada-based Baptist church had the burden – not to evangelize, but to encourage, empower and equip Filipino pastors in their respective missions and ministries in the Philippines.
Solid Rock Baptist Church, a local and independent church in Alberta, Canada recently held its fourth Pastor's School conference last week from February 23-27 at the Tagaytay Mission Camp, in Tagaytay City, Philippines.
With the theme "Rebuild: We Are Not Retreating; We Are Building Lives," the conference addressed some issues that hinder Filipino Baptist churches from experiencing the power of God, and being used by God to carry out His plan. more >>
LOS ANGELES – Together L.A., a three day conference featuring close to 50 speakers primarily discussing how churches and ministries can effectively collaborate to show the love of Christ to the city, concluded with best-selling author and pastor Tim Keller speaking about individual identity before 2,000 people in attendance last Saturday.
"Christianity doesn't just give you a new identity it gives you a radical way of forming an identity," said Keller, pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York. "It gives you a unique, liberating and infinitely better identity than the one the culture is imposing on you right now."
Throughout the conference, Keller and other speakers discussed practical steps and gave examples of how the Christian community is tackling hard social issues. However, Keller's closing message was more about how Christians walking in faith can overcome skewed expectations from society. more >>
The Church wastes too much time waiting for a word from God, says New York Times bestselling author and popular pastor Francis Chan. Christians should instead be more active in translating the knowledge they have into action rather than languishing in fear and indecision.
The You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity writer lamented, "We've created a church culture in America where we assume we do nothing until we hear a voice from Heaven. And so if I go to church on Sunday, the pastor's going to preach a sermon [and] we pretty much assume we're not going to do anything radical in response to it unless he gives a really great sermon and gives us steps right afterwards, or this or that or really, really, think that we hear a voice from the Lord."
As a result many Christ followers live selfishly while listening to Bible teachings every Sunday, said the Crazy Love author. more >>