July 2013 Ministry Briefing

MinistryBriefingCoverBack in January my friend Todd and I started a new project called Ministry Briefing. I realize that I might talk about it a whole lot, but that is because I am incredibly excited about it. I think we have created a fantastic tool for church leaders… a tool that saves leaders time and keeps them up to date on the things that are affecting the ministry world.

I am convinced that informed leaders are better leaders, and Todd and I work hard to create an easy to use (and read) tool that keeps pastors informed. This month’s Ministry Briefing has over 250 stories like these:

Facebook Linked to Relationship Problems

While Facebook can help singles find a relationship and assist with the “getting to know each other” process, it can also be a hazard for relationships. A new study has found that Facebook can lead to jealousy and chance encounters with a former boyfriend or girlfriend. This could lead to physical or emotional cheating.

Soruce: Digital Trends

Church Helps Nearby Congregation Complete Building

Zion Baptist Church in Williamsburg, VA began construction of its 4800 square foot building before a change of leadership and a stalling economy slowed the project to a halt. When the pastor of nearby New Zion Baptist Church saw the stalled project, he helped rally his congregation to assist in raising funds and volunteering to complete various aspects of the project from running electrical wires to dry walling. The new building is due to be done in August.

Source: The Virginia Gazette

Montana Church Works with City to Build Pool

When Pastor Vern Streeter began plans for launching Harvest Church in Billings, MT, he read that the city preferred a business that could provide tax revenue. That’s when Streeter decided his church needed to become more valuable to the community. A particular sore point in Streeter’s poorer part of town was the fact that the city had repeatedly failed to build a pool for community use. Streerter and Harvest Church stepped up to launch a private foundation to raise the money and build the pool for their community.

I’d love for you to check out the July edition of Ministry Briefing. We have worked hard to make subscriptions affordable, and each copy allows you to share it with ten people… so that your team will be in the know as well.

Click here to subscribe to Ministry Briefing now!

So what is in this month’s edition? Here is the listing from the table of contents:

Current Events

  • Defense of Marriage Act Struck Down by Supreme Court
  • Cancer Diagnosis Worsens for Pastor Chuck Smith
  • According to Pastor: Paula Deen Cannot Be Racist
  • Huckabee’s Suggestion to Give Up Tax Exemption Could Hurt Churches
  • Exodus International to Disband
  • Son of Church Deacon Televangelist Asks for Donors to Pay for Jet Repainting
  • Oprah Winfrey Optimistic About Impact of Gay Marriage
  • Deacon’s Son Killed by Police After Fight in Church
  • Religious Leaders Back Immigration Reform
  • Organizations Team Up to Fight Bible Illiteracy
  • New England Poised to Torment Jets with Tebow Signing
  • Friendship Baptist Church Negotiates New Location Deal
  • Christian School Maintains Separate Sports Teams for Each Gender
  • Bob and Larry from Veggie Tales Are Working with Samaritan’s Purse
  • LifeWay Launches Ministry Grid Training Platform
  • Christianity is Most Common Faith Among Homosexuals
  • 50 Years After Prayer Banned in Public Schools, Faith Is Present
  • Ignite Bible for Teens Releases
  • Pastor Calls for Justice for the Incarcerated and Downplays Marijuana
  • Jury Rules Church Was Negligent in Retention of Pastor
  • ”Best Sermon Ever” Series Launches at Mars Hill Seattle
  • Pastor Takes Plea Deal in Car Wash Theft
  • Parents Held in Jail After Refusing Medical Care for 7 Month Old
  • Author of “A Gay Son’s Journey to God” Shares about Exodus
  • U.S. Government Has Failed to Use International Religious Freedom Act
  • Americans Want Same Sex Marriage Defined by States
  • Brothers from Oral Roberts University Win Bible Game Show
  • LifeWay Finds Leading Qualities of Disciples
  • Founders Syndrome Could Hold Your Organization Back
  • Students Learn the Same from Teachers Who Aren’t Charismatic
  • New York Seeks to Fill Foster Parent Gap for Gay Youths
  • Pastor Launches “One Million Men Porn Free” Campaign
  • Royal Rangers Provide Boy Scout Alternative
  • Production of Evangelistic Silent Film Begins
  • Humanist “Church” Meets in Cambridge
  • Nonprofit Journalism Is Growing and Fragile
  • Court Upholds Discipline of Nurse
  • Pennsylvania Recognizes Freedom of Religion in Public Schools
  • Sequester Cuts Impact Affordable Housing in NYC
  • Wedding Guest May Need a Budget
  • Burnett Adapts The Bible Miniseries for the Movies
  • Texas Rangers Owners Branch Out Into Christian Music
  • Thom Rainer Plans to Work on Turnaround Churches for Next Generation
  • Makers Call “Final: The Rapture” the Scariest Christian Movie of the Decade
  • Americans Want a Greater Religious Influence
  • Comedian Embodies New Catholic Approach to Evangelism
  • Louisiana Students Can Assemble for Prayer in Public Schools
  • Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Not Just for Lutherans
  • Holy Ghost Movie Funded on Kickstarter and Sets Records
  • Valedictorian Recites the Our Father at Public School Commencement
  • FBI Steps Up Investigation of Hate Crimes Against Arabs, Hindus, and Sikhs
  • Former Baylor Basketball Star Says School Covered Up Her Sexual Orientation
  • Restrictions on Morning After Pill Temporarily Lifted
  • Cedarville University Announces New President
  • Recovering from Religion Launches Hotline for Doubters
  • White House Calls for Pastor’s Release from Iranian Prison
  • Reading Is Alive and Well in America
  • Catholic Diocese Fires Teacher Over Artificial Insemination, Loses in Court
  • The Brain Can Distinguish Different Types of Laughter
  • Texas Public School’s Bible Class Ruled Unconstitutional
  • Kentucky Church Breaks with Boy Scouts
  • Oldest Torah Scroll Was Written 850 Years Ago
  • Pope Francis Sparks Controversy Over Atheists and Capitalism
  • Platt and Chandler Warn Against Prolonged Adolescence for Young Men
  • Kirk Cameron Criticizes Media After Birthday Picture Goes Viral
  • Dispute Between Pastor and Ex-Wife Further Muddies Foreclosure of Florida Church
  • Evangelicals Join Push for Immigration Reform
  • “Ark Experience” Theme Park Flooded with Delays
  • Fans Vote for TobyMac and Casting Crowns at K-LOVE Fan Awards
  • TCU Recognizes Atheist Student Group
  • Episcopal Church in South Carolina Takes Property Dispute to State Courts
  • Huckabee Questions Value of Tax Exemption for Churches
  • Pope Francis Meets with Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Mexican Mayor Dedicates Her City to God
  • Former Lesbian Professor Speaks of the Difficulty of her Conversion
  • Willow Creek Unveils $10 Million Care Center
  • LifeWay Sells Glorieta Camp
  • Jim Wallis Recovers from Surgery for Prostate Cancer
  • Pastors Keep the Peace at George Zimmerman Trial
  • Reviewing the Rules for Interns and Nonprofits
  • What Role Did Soros and Evangelicals Play in Immigration Bill?
  • After Affair, Pastor Returns to Church He Founded
  • Murder Plot Uncovered in Case of Pastor and Mistress
  • Church Asks Derrick Rose to Resolve Trademark Dispute
  • Superman Movie “Man of Steel” Marketed to Churches
  • Almost Half of LGBT Population Unaffiliated to Religion
  • Fall Out from Both Sides Over Boy Scouts
  • Credit Union Files Foreclosure on Mega-Church
  • Mugger Steals Bible from 92 Year-Old Man in NYC
  • Oral Roberts University President Looks Abroad
  • What Is the Worst Charity in America?
  • Christian University Expels Student Over Lesbian Relationship
  • Pastor Wrote Bad Checks in His Church’s Name
  • Wycliffe Reaches Agreement on Translation with AG
  • Google Unveils Plans to Remove Child Porn Through New Database
  • Former Republican Strategist Attempts a “Marriage” of Republicans and Gay Rights
  • PGA Tour Golfers Say Bible Study and Prayer is Par for the Course
  • New Guidelines for Houses of Worship During Attack
  • Church Helps Nearby Congregation Complete Building

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Culture Watch

  • Centers for Disease Control Says Half of Americans Will Have Mental Illness
  • “Tweet” Added as ‘real word’ in Oxford English Dictionary
  • Self-Employment Grows Dramatically
  • America’s Growing Sex Addiction Problem
  • Majority of Americans Favor State Decisions on Same Sex Marriage
  • The Fast Growing Cities in America
  • News Coverage Leans Toward Support for Same Sex Marriage
  • Immigration Adds Over 600,000 Christians Every Year
  • The Surprising Story of Young Atheists
  • Online Dating Is Popular and Leads to Lasting Relationships
  • Blurred Nudity Keeps Parents from Clear Cut TV Decisions
  • Homeschooling Grows Rapidly in the U.S.
  • College Graduation Rate Increases Among Americans
  • Do You Live in a “Fit” City?
  • House Sizes Grow as Families Shift
  • Connected Millennials Still Read Print Books
  • Not Getting Enough Sleep Could Literally Kill You
  • Is Caffeine Withdrawal a Disorder?
  • We Value Accuracy Even Though We Like to Skim the News
  • Boomers Have Looming Fear and Uncertainty About the Future
  • FCC Considers Nudity and Profanity on Network Television
  • Television Viewing Increases Among Americans
  • Marriage Rate Declines During Recession
  • More Adults Providing Care at Home
  • Bono Talks About David Singing the Blues and “Punk Rock” Jesus
  • Transgender Elementary School Student Discriminated Against
  • Louisiana “Pastor” Launches Atheist Church
  • Scout Pack Finds New Home in Presbyterian Church
  • MTV Adapts to New Generation of Viewers
  • Baptists Leave Boy Scouts After Vote Removes Homosexual Ban
  • Geneva College Granted Injunction for Contraception Mandate
  • Religious Services Not Permitted in Homeless Shelters


  • ECLA Elects First Openly Gay Bishop
  • Methodists Fight Over Ordination of Lesbian Pastor
  • Baptist Church in Houston Sells Property and Renovates
  • Fred Luter Elected as President of SBC Again
  • Fred Luter Calls SBC to Evangelism, Not Debates
  • Slight Decline In SBC Members with Rise in Churches
  • Southern Baptists Concerned Over Growth of Calvinism
  • Russell Moore Takes New Post at SBC
  • Southern Baptists Pass Non-Binding Sex Abuse Resolution
  • Dramatic Departure of Churches from PCUSA in 2012
  • Southern Baptist Women Take Stand Against Pornography
  • Christian Reformed Church Declines but Optimistic
  • Catholics and Lutherans Join Together to Remember the Reformation
  • Most Catholics and Americans Open to Multiple Paths to Heaven
  • Second Miracle Attributed to Pope John Paul II
  • Pope Francis Confirms Covert Gay Lobby Exists in Vatican
  • Dolan Tells Muslims, “We Worship the Same God”
  • Church of England Backs Off Same Sex Marriage Fight


  • LifeChurch.tv Involved in Tornado Relief in Oklahoma City
  • New Study Challenges Churches to Reach Out to Divorced Families
  • Montana Church Works with City to Build Pool
  • Indiana Church Can’t Meet Demand to Feed the Hungry

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Personalities – Deaths

  • Longtime Organist for Graham Crusades Dead at 94
  • Former Porn Star Who Converted to Christianity Passes Away
  • Novelist and Priest Andrew Greeley Dead at 85

Personalities in the News

  • Mark Driscoll Disagrees with Cecassionists on Gift of Tongues
  • T. D. Jakes Partners with Regent University
  • Richmond Outreach Center Turns to Jonathan Falwell
  • John MacArthur Calls Charismatic Movement Into Question
  • Carman Sets Out on Comeback Tour
  • Billy Graham Prepares for Final Campaign
  • Boz Tchividjian Criticizes Evangelical Leaders’ Response to SGM Allegations
  • Rick Warren Takes a Break After the Death of His Son
  • Suspected N.T. Wright Forgery Resolved
  • Josh Duggar Joins Family Research Council
  • Greg Laurie Prays After Paris Jackson Suicide Attempt


  • Google Glass Bans Pornographic Apps
  • Facebook Linked to Relationship Problems
  • Internet Is More Important Than Food and Shelter in U.K. Study
  • Controversy Over Facebook Users Under 13
  • Reddit Atheism Page Has New Moderators
  • YouVersion Approaches 100 Million Downloads
  • Speech to Text Causes Safety Concerns in Cars
  • Tablet Ownership Booming
  • Computer Screens Linked to Sleeping Patterns
  • Facebook Is No Longer Fun for Millennials
  • AdWords Help a Church Grow Online “Campus”
  • Texas Bible Add On Adds Clarity to Scripture
  • Facebook Bug Causes Security Breach
  • Social Networks and Smart Phones on the Rise Globally
  • Mormons Turn to Facebook and Text Messages
  • Should Tablets and Phones Integrate with Television? Probably Not
  • Majority of Parents Aren’t Worried About Children’s Screen Time
  • Social Media Still Gets Workers in Trouble
  • Snapchat Passes Instagram
  • Children and Teens Have a Steady Diet of Social Media

Trends in the Church

  • Christian Bookstores Face Uncertain Future
  • Declining British Evangelicals Are Optimistic
  • Evangelicals Aren’t the Only Group Reading the Bible
  • Small Nonprofits Struggle to Increase Giving
  • Seminary Grads with an MDiv Less Likely to Work in Full Time Ministry
  • “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” Speaks Against Same Sex Marriage
  • Ministry to Children of Divorced Couples Is Essential
  • Evangelicals in U.K. Overwhelmingly Support Women in Ministry
  • Reports on Churches and Scouts Emphasize the Negative
  • Catholics and Evangelicals Among Less Welcoming to Homosexuals
  • Global Church Shifts Dramatically in 20th Century
  • Study Finds Texting Kills More Teens Than Drunk Driving
  • Majority of Americans Over 65 Go Online
  • Same Sex Marriage Spreads Since 2010
  • Financial Resources Firm Advocates for Church Health Plan Act
  • The Advantages and Pitfalls of Church Mergers
  • Portable Churches Meet in Public Schools
  • Matching a Housing Allowance with the Primary Residence
  • Barna Study Finds Christians Widely Use Digital Reading Devices
  • How to Pay Teens for Childcare at Church
  • Evangelical Adoptions Face Unseen Pitfalls
  • Natural Disasters Bring Interest in Relief Work and God
  • Pastors Continue to Adopt Facebook and Twitter

World Watch

  • Nigerian Redeemed Christian Church Opens $15.5 Million Pavilion
  • Pastor Murdered As Nigeria Declares State of Emergency
  • Deaf Christians in Japan Create Video Bible
  • Pope Francis Answers School Children’s Questions
  • Acceptance of Homosexuality Divides Nations Around the World
  • Iranian Churches Shut Down as Baptisms Increase
  • Egyptian Coptics Are Suspicious of President Morsi’s Approval for Church
  • New Archbishop of Canterbury Does Not Support Same Sex Marriage
  • Human Trafficking on the Rise in Europe
  • Religion Divides Europe
  • City Harvest Church Leader Resigns Over Differences
  • Christian Charity in New Zealand Deregistered

Weird but True

  • Noah’s Ark Story Inspires “Gay Wedding Cruise” Painting
  • Petition Calls for Ban on Straight Male Drivers
  • Judge Denies a Teacher’s Tuesday “Sabbath”
  • Man Runs Out of XBox Games and Chooses Jail
  • Bank Worker Makes Enormous Money Transfer While Asleep

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About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through MinistryBriefing.com and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.