Despite an increase in offerings at most churches in the United States, pastors are redefining budgets to counter tough economic times, says the director of a research group.
According to a LifeWay Research poll of 1,000 Protestant pastors conducted in May and released Monday, nearly 71 percent of the pastors reported that offerings in 2011 met (41 percent) or exceeded (25 percent) their budget requirements. However, increase in demands from outside the churches, including the rise in the cost of services and products, have caused churches to restructure the way they do things.
“In the same way we are starting to use the term the ‘new normal’ in talking about consumer spending I think we can begin to look at that same kind of new normal in terms of church spending,” Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research, told The Christian Post. “Churches are still trying to figure that out.” more >>
Rob Bell wasn’t misquoted or attacked as he claims. Rather, the Michigan megachurch pastor was the one who threw the “grenade” at evangelicals, said the author of the new book Counterfeit Gospels.
“For a very popular, charismatic, evangelical pastor to come out and call the traditional view of hell as toxic, misguided, and for him to mock the view of his grandmother – which he admits in the book – he has really thrown a grenade at the evangelical count,” said Trevin Wax in an interview with The Christian Post on Thursday.
Wax, who is also the editor of a small group curriculum developed by the Southern Baptist Convention’s LifeWay Christian Resources, said it is “disingenuous” of Bell to portray himself as “under attack, being misquoted, and being maligned” when his book “is very much an assault on the traditional understanding of heaven and hell.” more >>
Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are not anti-Christian or anti-religion, but they are, in general, just not interested in religion, says a new book based on a survey of members of this generation.
An apathetic attitude towards religious and spiritual matters is common among members of this generation, according to The Millennials by Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Research, and his son Jess, a Millennial born in 1985. Members of this generation are likely to care less about spiritual matters than those from previous generations, the Rainers wrote.
Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of this generation rarely or never attend religious services, according to the survey conducted by LifeWay on 1,200 Millennials. And spiritual matters was ranked sixth, below friends and education, in a list based on an open-ended question on what is important to respondents. more >>
ATLANTA – Popular speaker and author Beth Moore said she wished someone had told her when she was younger about the importance of controlling one’s mind.
That’s why she decided to pass on this wisdom to the 22,000 young adults attending the Passion Conference this week.
God created humans to have a mind that is unlike any other creature in its capacity to think and create, said Moore during the Sunday morning session. But people have free will and can choose to use their mind to think either constructive or destructive thoughts. more >>
North American Mission Board trustees will vote Tuesday on naming Kentucky Pastor Kevin Ezell as its next president amid concerns about his church’s mission donation history.
Executives of the Louisiana and Arkansas state convention recently expressed opposition to Ezell’s nomination, pointing out that his church gave funding directly to mission instead of through the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program.
In an open letter last week, David E. Hankins of the Louisiana Baptist Convention wrote that although local churches can do what they want, Southern Baptists who want to lead a denominational entity “ought to have a track record of supporting those entities.” more >>
We often hear about churches closing their doors in the U.S. But some may be surprised to hear that the total number of churches is not in decline anymore.
An important shift happened in recent years, according to researchers Ed Stetzer and Warren Bird. After decades of net decline, more U.S. churches are being started each year than are being closed.
The credit largely goes to the recent increase in enthusiasm for church planting. Stetzer, who leads LifeWay Research, says church planting has become the "it" thing right now and the new evangelism. more >>