Thursday, January 15, 2009

Denominational Loyalty

A new study released this week by Ellison Research has found that, among people who attend church once a month or more, only 30 percent are completely loyal to the denomination they are currently attending (meaning they would only consider attending church within that specific denomination). Another 44 percent prefer their current denomination, but would be willing to consider others.

Eleven percent have a small number of denominations they would consider, with no particular favorite among them. Six percent don't have any particular denomination they prefer, but they do have certain ones that they would not attend. Finally, nine percent say that denomination does not factor into their decision of what church to attend.

There are relatively few demographic differences within the findings. Denominational loyalty does not vary significantly by gender, household income, age or type of community (rural/small town, suburban or urban). It does, however, vary by race/ethnicity and by region of the country.

The survey sample included those who regularly attend worship services at a church broadly considered to be within the Christian tradition. The survey also asked Americans about their loyalty to specific brands of products, services, stores, automobiles, hotels, pain relievers and airlines to see if there were any correlations in the loyalty shown to these and the loyalty shown to denominations. To see these and other additional results, visit the Ellison research ... CLICK HERE.

Day 15 of a 21-Day Fast

Praise God! We have reached day 15 of this 21 day journey. Be encouraged! You are on your final week. You have completed two out of the three weeks. Don't let up this final week, but rather set aside as much time as possible to spend with the Lord.

Regardless of what you are believing God for, you can have confidence that God is moving on your behalf. During this time of fasting and prayer, find within the scriptures God's promises concerning your need. The word of God provides us with a secure foundation for our requests by informing us of God's will.

As you get into the word of God and find His promises regarding your situation, any remaining hindrances to your faith can be erased. I am reminded of the story of the leper. This man who had leprosy approached Jesus, who is the Living Word, to find out God's provision for his dilemma. "Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, 'if you are willing, you can make me clean.' Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, 'I am willing; be cleansed.' As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed." (Mark 1:40-42).

This leper through approaching Jesus, the Living Word of God, found out God's provision for his need. Jesus informed the man that He was willing and then healed him. Some of you need to reach that level of confidence concerning your situation. You need to know that God is willing. So do what the leper did and go to the word of God. Spend time in the written word of God and find out what God says concerning your need. Time spent in the Word will give you great confidence that God can and will move on behalf of your prayers and requests. "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." (1 John 5: 14-15).

Let the word of God be your confidence. Ask according to what you find in the Word. You will then have assurance that God will hear and if God hears, know that He is moving on your behalf. Also know that in His timing you will receive what you ask of Him. That is a reason for a shout! Come on and praise Him! Let confidence be yours today and in the days to come! Share on the blog the promises you have found that speak to your needs!

[by Pastor Chad Craig]

Today's Prayer

Dear God, Today I want to ask for Your protection and blessing upon Christian leaders around the world. Please give wisdom and guidance, and surround them with guardian angels.

I pray for pastors, missionaries, and other church leaders; for Christian heads of governments; for teachers and parents; for social and relief workers; for every kind of leader that is out there doing Your work, Your will, Your ministry. I lift them up to You, for their tasks are difficult. Block Satan's attempts to harm them or sidetrack them. Help them stay focused on the tasks and the missions to which You have called them.

Thank you, Lord.

In Jesus' name, amen.