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What’s the Difference?


Excellent video that begs the question, “What’s the difference” between all of us? Rich, poor, weak, strong–we are all the same in God’s eyes. This is also a fantastic way for your church to spread the love of Jesus.

“There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

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Top Bible-Minded Cities in 2015

Each year, the Barna Group and the American Bible Society rank the top Bible-minded cities. The 100 largest cities are ranked according to their levels of Bible engagement. Bible-mindedness is determined by how often people read the Bible and how accurate they consider the Bible to be. The latest results are shown in the graphic below.

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As you can see, the top five Bible-minded cities are in the South. The most Bible-minded city is Birmingham, Alabama, with 51 percent of the population qualifying as Bible-minded. Chattanooga, Tennessee, Tri-Cities, Tennessee, Roanoke, Virginia, and Shreveport, Louisiana round out the top five.

At the other end of the spectrum, Providence, Rhode Island is the least Bible-minded city, with 9 percent of the population qualifying as Bible-minded. Albany, New York, Boston, Massachusetts, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and San Francisco, California comprise the rest of the five least Bible-minded cities. New York fell to the bottom 10 this year.

From this study, it is clear that the “Bible-belt” of the South remains to be an accurate designation. The least Bible-minded cities are generally in the Northeast, but also include a scattering of some cities in the West—San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

What other observations can you make from the state of Bible-minded cities in the United States?

Barna Group also has information on individual cities.

 

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What Attracts Millennials Most

What leadership trait attracts Millennials most? A sense of purpose. This is according to a recent study by Deloitte.

The study, which surveyed 7,800 Millennials across 29 countries, revealed that 6 out of 10 Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) said a sense of purpose was part of the reason they chose to work for their current employer.

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As far as the individual traits of leaders, Millennials admire the ability to inspire, strategic thinking, decisiveness, interpersonal skills, passion, and someone who is a visionary. The graphic below illustrates these findings.

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What are the implications for ministry from this research? We need to pay attention to how we communicate our mission and vision. If we come across as wishy-washy or indifferent, we will not attract the younger generation. We must communicate our passion for our spiritual beliefs. This does not mean giving lip service; it means being authentic from the inside out. We can only attract Millennials when they know that we are committed to walking the walk.

What other implications can you draw from this research?

You can download the full report here.

 

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Learning From the “Dones”

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Who are the Dones? They are the “dechurched”—Christians that no longer go to church. Once the most active members of their own congregations, 2.7 million Christians leave the church each year.

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In their upcoming book, Church Refugees, sociologists Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope submit that one of the best strategies in reversing the trend of people leaving the church is for churches to prevent them from leaving in the first place. Easier said than done? Thom Schultz, founder of Group Publishing, recently wrote that churches need to spend more time listening to long-time church members before they leave. He said that we need to ask them questions, such as:

  • Why are you a part of this church?
  • What keeps you here?
  • Have you ever contemplated stepping away from church? Why or why not?
  • How would you describe your relationship with God right now?
  • How has your relationship with God changed over the past few years?
  • What effect, if any, has our church had on your relationship with God?
  • What would need to change here to help you grow more toward Jesus’ call to love God and love others?

These are insightful questions that we should continually ask. It is our role, as churches—and individual Christians—to listen intently to those with whom we are in relationship. There is much we can learn from them. We should never stop discipling and guiding others in the faith.

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