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Social media is more than a tool
Christian Century    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The biggest question about social media and the church is not how the church can harness the power of social media for good ends while safeguarding against bad ones (useful as such discussions may be). It's how social media is changing what it means to be church. The rise of social media brings up ecclesiological issues that challenge the very assumption that it is a tool for a separate entity called the church to control in any particular way. More

School Kids Help Design Their New Playground

When Denver Public Schools’ Force Elementary School learned that they would be getting a completely new playground under the city’s “Learning Landscapes” program, they asked students to help design it. PLAYTIME transformed the kids’ drawings into playground-size climbers, tunnels and slides. MORE


Green fever at US churches
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The "going green" movement isn’t just attracting hippie tree huggers. There is fresh evidence that church congregations around the country are moving toward a more environmentally friendly plan to save money and mother earth. From a religious perspective, some congregations believe that global climate change is a moral crisis. U.S. congregations are examining their habits and asking what their faith demands of them in response to the mounting concerns of global warming. More

Study: Education liberalizes religious views
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The old wisdom: The more educated you are, the less likely you will be religious. But a new study says education doesn't drive people away from God — it gives them a more liberal attitude about who's going to heaven. Each year of education ups the odds by 15 percent that people will say there's "truth in more than one religion," says University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Philip Schwadel in an article for the Review of Religious Research. Schwadel, an associate professor of sociology, looked at 1,800 U.S. adults' reported religious beliefs and practices and their education. More

Building A Thriving Volunteer Ministry
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Can technology usher in another Pentecost?
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas Baptists are partnering with a non-denominational ministry to harness online language-translation technology that advocates say could be the best tool for cross-cultural evangelism since Pentecost. Called Hope Chat, the tool harnesses the power of ABBY, an advanced online artificial intelligence translation platform developed at Carnegie Mellon University. It allows people to converse across languages in real time about spiritual matters, and the technology contextually translates what people type, allowing cross-language conversations to take place. More

6 trends in staffing
Church Executive Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Churches are being forced to think about how to maximize the impact of their staffing dollars. Probably the most common question the author of this article gets from senior pastors and executive pastors at client visits is, “What’s everyone out there doing?” There’s not a new idea under the sun, but here are a few staffing strategies God seems to be using to really help big churches reach more and more people. More
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Clergy play key role in veterans' care
Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pastor Elizabeth M. Krentz-Wee says that as many as 10 of the 50 worshippers who attend Sunday services at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Norwich, Conn., are veterans. But like many clergy, Krentz-Wee acknowledges that she has had little experience dealing with mental health problems that plague many of those who have served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other conflicts. Now, the military and psychiatrists are engaging spiritual leaders in the region, like Krentz-Wee, saying they are pivotal as first responders in helping soldiers and their families cope with issues like post-traumatic stress. More

5 must-know facts about first-time guests
ChurchLeaders.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Healthy and growing churches pay close attention to the people they count as members, as well as those people who are not yet a part of the flock. These churches know that new people are the lifeblood of a growing church. Like a spigot, they want to keep the valve open for the flow of new people, and most importantly, they want to ensure that nothing impairs or cuts off the flow of new people to the church. With that in mind, pastors need to be aware of five significant facts about first-time guests looking for a church home. More

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Partnership to reach beyond walls of church
Akron Beacon Journal via The Kansas City Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There is something new - and unusual - going on at Mount Olive Baptist Church. It's called a Kingdom Partnership. It is focused on what the church needs to do to remain relevant in today's society and its goal is to help the struggling community around it."The majority of churches that were full 20 years ago are half full or less today. Most are having church to do two things - pay the bills and pay the pastor's salary," said the Rev. Kenneth Paramore, pastor of Christ Centered Church. "Some pastors would rather preach to 20 people and have their names on the (church) sign rather than do real ministry. We can either come together or die a slow death." More

Innovative funding initiative offers grants to ministries
Worship Facilities    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two dynamic ministry organizations have joined forces to launch Giving of Life, a unique web-based initiative for ministries to apply for financial grants. Dan Maclellan and Russell Courtney, founders of The SoulCare Project, and Kerry Bural, principal and founder of The Resonate Group, are working together to see vital Christian ministries receive a financial and promotional boost. The SoulCare Project offers retreat and a source of support for leaders—whether in ministry, the marketplace or at home—to step out of the “white noise” and find an intentional place for rest and solitude with Christ. The Resonate Group, Inc., helps ministries, churches and leaders resonate, gain momentum and enlarge their footprint through strategic and creative thinking, branding and communications. More



10 reasons why church leaders should take screening seriously
Reducing the Risk    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Proper screening costs very little but increases safety a great deal. It helps to safeguard the church and its members; provide vital information to church leaders; identify important qualities and characteristics of applicants; and reduce the risk of negligent selection if a problem should occur later. Here are 10 reasons your church or ministry should take screening seriously. More

How to develop a compelling, Gospel-centered tagline for your church
Church Central    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sometimes conversations that mix marketing and ministry don’t go well. This article does not deal with a biblical basis of branding or marketing, but discusses the biblical integration with one branding tactic- the development of an effective tagline. More

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Louisiana Baptists send hay to drought-weary Texas farmers
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Donated bales of hay are making their way from southeastern Louisiana to drought-stricken Texas. It's a mission project started by a member of Woodland Park Baptist Church in Hammond, who asked that his name be withheld. "I was at home, watching the news, and you could see how bad it [the drought] was out there [in Texas]," the mission project catalyst said. "I love missions and wanted to help. Then I left my house and as I was driving I saw leftover hay from last year in a barn. That's when it hit me: Why don't I find out how many barns have leftover hay they'd donate?" Most everybody did, he found out. "From there it just took off. I started calling Baptist churches in Texas to see who had need, and that's how it started." More



New Noah's Ark in Kentucky aims to prove truth of Bible
The Associated Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tucked away in a nondescript office park in northern Kentucky, Noah's followers are rebuilding his ark. The biblical wooden ship built to weather a worldwide flood was 500 feet long and about 80 feet high, according to Answers in Genesis, a Christian ministry devoted to a literal telling of the Old Testament. This modern ark, to be nestled on a plot of 800 acres of rolling Kentucky farmland, isn't designed to rescue the world's creatures from a coming deluge. It's to tell the world that the Bible's legendary flood story was not a fable, but a part of human history. More



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