A report released by the Southern Baptist Commission this week suggests that the country's largest denomination outside of the Roman Catholic Church is struggling to bring in new members from the Millennials and younger age group demographic.
According to the Pastors' Task Force on SBC Evangelistic Impact & Declining Baptisms, 25 percent of Southern Baptist churches baptized no new members in 2012, while 60 percent reported no baptisms for youth between the ages of 12 and 17. Also indicative of the denomination's struggle to attract Millennials were the 80 percent of churches which reported baptizing one or zero adults between 18 and 29.
Ed Stetzer, the President of the Southern Baptist-linked Lifeway Research, who worked on the team headed by Al Gilbert, the Vice President of Evangelism at the North American Mission Board which created the report, suggested the denomination had not focused enough on intentionally reaching non-Christians. more >>
In the American educational system, from first grade all the way up through high school, we're taught to memorize information, and then take a test. If we pass the intellectual test, then we move on to the next grade.
We've transferred this learning pattern to Christianity. We're trained to learn Bible concepts, principles and doctrines intellectually. And the more Biblical information we know, the greater disciples we are deemed to be.
I think this is killing the church in America, just like it hurt the Pharisees. more >>
Jase Robertson, who's best known for his sarcastic one liners in the reality TV show "Duck Dynasty," gets serious about faith by sharing his life's experiences in hunting, evangelism, marriage and parenting in his new book, Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl.
Much like his Uncle Si, Jase maintains the humorous approach he's known for as he talks about how he managed to save his virginity until marriage, and the bag of pot a young man brought to a Bible study that he and his wife, Missy, hosted at their first home.
In the book, Jase is open about the anger he felt toward his father who had abandoned him and his two brothers; the uniting power of salvation when his father gave his life over to Jesus Christ; how his father's advice to R-U-N came in handy when a girl offered to let him undress her at a time when he was striving to save his virginity until marriage; and how the birth of his daughter, Mia, has enabled him and Missy to help other parents who have a child born with a cleft lip and soft palate. more >>
An organization focused on translating the Gospel into every language, plans to take Bible translation efforts to the Southern African nation of Angola despite dangerous conditions that could impede translators from reaching remote areas.
Hidden land mines cover a vast area of the country making travel extremely dangerous. However, Wycliffe Associates is currently working with linguistic experts to launch their initiative after discovering that 50 groups in the country do not have Bibles.
"These people have been ravaged by brutality and poverty," Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates said in statement. "They live in daily danger of stumbling onto hidden land mines. But worst of all, many have never even heard a word of scripture in their own language." more >>
Nick Vujicic recently gave his message of hope in Jesus during the weekend services at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.
You can hear his message here: http://saddleback.com/visit/locations/onlinecampusmore >>
Here's a question asked often, yet is basically off the mark: "How can we get God to fix America?" Instead we should be asking: "What is holding back the Presence of God which truly can transform America?"
We need to recalibrate our thinking so that our focus is not so much on our comfort or us winning our cities for God as it is the honor of God and hosting His Presence, which ultimately brings the change supernaturally. As Tony Evans once said: "Multitudes want God to bless America. Few truly want one nation under God."
Everything must start with God, not the blessing or our bailout. That's where Nehemiah started in the magnificent rebuilding of the walls of the city in his day. We must follow suit if we are going to see the breakthrough for which we long. more >>