Hoping to provide useful data to help settle the Southern Baptist Convention’s dilemma on whether to change the Christian denomination’s name, a research group released a study Wednesday on how Americans view the SBC along with other faith groups.
The majority of Americans have a favorable impression of Southern Baptists, according to the LifeWay Research study. However, 40 percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of the denomination and more than a third strongly assume an SBC church is not for them.
The negative viewpoint is slightly higher (44 percent) among the unchurched, according to the study. more >>
The charges of child sexual assault and the alleged cover-up revolving around the Penn State University football team are pushing Christian leaders throughout the U.S. to respond with warnings and advice to pastors and congregations on how to protect children.
One such response came from evangelical leader Dr. Thom Rainer, who is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. Rainer addressed pastors, youth leaders, and lay leaders in a post published on his website Thursday that outlined five “absolutely necessary steps that will avoid problems before they occur” while protecting children from sexual predators.
The LifeWay publishing executive, who describes himself as an avid college football fan and devoted family man, also wrote that “the university’s sexual abuse scandal has saddened and angered me, because it is everyone’s job to protect our children.” more >>
Although a majority of Protestant pastors consider themselves privileged to be in ministry, many also feel then can be prone to discouragement and loneliness, according to a study released by LifeWay Research earlier this week.
More than half (55 percent) of the 1,000 U.S. Protestant pastors surveyed by the faith-based research group said they agreed with the statement, “I find it easy to get discouraged.” The same percentage of pastors also said that being in pastoral ministry makes them feel lonely at times.
However, a full 98 percent agree with the statement, “I feel privileged to be a pastor,” with 93 percent strongly agreeing. Only about a half-percent of the pastors disagree with the statement, according to the survey. more >>
Americans who make Bible reading a part of their everyday life prefer word-for-word translations of the original Greek and Hebrew over thought-for-thought translations, according to a new study released by LifeWay Research.
In the study using 2,000 Bible readers, people were asked whether they prefer “word-for-word translations, where the original words are translated as exactly as possible” or “thought-for-thought translations, where the translators attempt to reproduce the intent of the original thought rather than translating the exact words.”
Sixty-one percent chose word-for-word, according to Nashville-based LifeWay Research. more >>
Amid ongoing debate over whether pastors should be allowed to preach on political candidates and issues, a new survey reveals that most pastors do not want the government regulating their sermons.
Seventy-nine percent of surveyed Protestant pastors said they strongly disagree with the statement: "The government should regulate sermons by revoking a church's tax exemption if its pastor approves of or criticizes candidates based on the church's moral beliefs or theology."
Another seven percent "somewhat" disagreed, according to the survey, which was sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund and conducted by LifeWay Research. more >>
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A majority of pastors with denominational affiliation believe it is vital to be part of a denomination, but a majority also believe that the importance of identifying with a denomination will diminish over the next 10 years.
That is the finding of a survey by LifeWay Research of more than 900 American Protestant pastors. The survey, conducted in March 2010, excluded pastors of non-denominational churches.
In response to the statement, “Personally, I consider it vital for me to be part of a denomination,” three-quarters of pastors (76 percent) agree. That includes 57 percent who strongly agree and 19 percent who somewhat agree. Ten percent somewhat disagree and 14 percent strongly disagree while 1 percent don’t know. more >>