Browsing articles in "Ministry Briefing"
Mar
24
2016

What are Visitors Looking for on a Church Website?

Closeup shot of laptop with digitaltablet and smartphone on desk. Responsive design web page on their screen. Modern devices on desk at office.

Just in time for Easter, this week’s Ministry Briefing looks at how to make sure your website is ready to go: Among the 41% of Americans planning to attend Easter services, over two thirds of them own smartphones and will most likely look up information about your church online. Do you have service times and location information in clear, easy-to-find locations? Also check out your website to make sure you have staff information, children’s ministry notes, and […]

Mar
23
2016

Smartphone Use Kills Empathy

cellphone

In this week’s Ministry Briefing, the results of our over-dependence on smartphones: The popularity of cell phones are driving a striking decline in empathy as more regular users are missing out on the benefits of in-person conversations. Couples are writing via text messages rather than conversing in real person, families spend time “together” but on their phones, and job applicants struggle in interviews after writing excellent letters. The use of smartphones isn’t just cutting into our time, […]

Mar
22
2016

Giving Remains Low for a Third of Churches

offering plate

In this week’s Ministry Briefing we take a look at current giving trends: In 20% of Protestant churches their offerings declined in the past year, while a third failed to meet their budget. Among those who were surveyed, 13% shared that the economy had improved giving in their congregations. This shortfall of 32% is better than 2010 when 46% of churches reported that they failed to meet their budget. Larger churches tended to meet their budget more […]

Mar
17
2016

Learning from a Church Shooting

Law Enforcement Professional Man with Holstered Gun Weapon

A sad story from Minneapolis in this week’s Ministry Briefing: Two people were killed outside New Life Church in Colorado Springs in 2007, and in the wake of several recent church shootings, Brady Boyd of the megachurch has set up a 20-member security team for his church that include special forces soldiers. Boyd estimates that over 100 people could have been killed if an armed church member had not killed the shooter in 2007. Source: Christian […]

Mar
16
2016

Former Largest Church in the ELCA to Close

uncertainty

A sad story from Minneapolis in this week’s Ministry Briefing: At one time North Heights Lutheran Church had 7,600 members, making it one of the largest ELCA churches in America. However, the church has broken into contentious factions over the leadership of pastor Mindy Bak. A 2014 membership meeting noted several problems, but some church officials downplayed their seriousness. Today the church is slated to close down and at least one former group of members are […]

Mar
15
2016

Rob Bell and Disruptive Sermons

Rob Bell

This week’s Ministry Briefing highlights an interview with Rob Bell: Former pastor Rob Bell says that he has enjoyed his time away from pastoral ministry because he can preach freely without the burden of “running a church” getting in the way. Bell notes that too many pastors use their sermons to get bigger crowds and buildings, telling people what they want to hear rather than using a sermon for holy disruption. Source: The Christian Post Why does […]

Mar
14
2016

Andy Stanley and Small Churches

Andy Stanley preaches

This week’s Ministry Briefing takes a look at recent comments by Andy Stanley: After Andy Stanley shared in a sermon that those who attend small churches are selfish, he has since shared in an interview that he regrets how five minutes have undermined what he has worked hard to do all of this life. Stanley shared that he supports those in small churches, and he intended to challenge his listeners to prioritize reaching out to their kids […]

Mar
1
2016

The Political Alignment of Denominations

US Republican and Democrat mascots represented by a donkey and an elephant face off in a boxing ring in business suits with red white and blue boxing gloves.

As the 2016 election season continues to move forward, Ministry Briefing highlights the political alignment of different religious groups: A Pew Research study of political views among religious groups found that Mormons are the most likely to vote for Republicans, with 7 in 10 identifying with the GOP, while only 19% identify as Democrats. The African Methodist Episcopal Church is the most likely to vote for Democrats, with 92% voting for Democratic candidates and just 4% voting […]

Feb
29
2016

Americans are Still Unable to Build Savings

Cash

In this week’s Ministry Briefing, a look at the savings rate in America: There are only 52% of Americans who have more in emergency savings than credit card debt, and that number has remained steady since 2011. The only sign of good news is that the number of Americans with no credit card debt and no savings increased from 13% to 21%. Most alarming, 22% of Americans have more credit card debt than savings. Source: Fox Business […]

Feb
25
2016

Pastoral Compensation: Benefits are Decreasing

budget

In this week’s Ministry Briefing more information on the trends behind pastoral compensation: Only one eighth of pastors receive the benefit of a parsonage, and less than half of solo pastors receive any kind of health insurance. Among senior or lead pastors, only two-thirds receive health insurance benefits. However, some of those benefits are being cut. Among worship leaders, three quarters receive health insurance. Most full time church staff received no retirement benefits, including 44% of solo […]

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