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 >>
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 >>