Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist

The latest Barna report is based on interviews conducted with a representative national sample of 1,871 adults who described themselves as Christians. The study examined people’s beliefs about spiritual beings, the influence of faith on their life, views of the Bible, and reactions to faiths other than their own.

The findings reveal that Christians have a diverse set of beliefs – but many of those beliefs are contradictory or, at least, inconsistent with other beliefs they possess or with the Bible’s teachings. To find out what people in the American Church believe, read the entire report.

click here

Clergy at Risk

A Texas congressman who is a former judge warns that the "hate crimes" legislation reintroduced in the U.S. House could potentially lead to the arrest of Christian pastors who speak out against sexual immorality.

Representatives John Conyers (D-Michigan) and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) are sponsoring the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913), also known as the "Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act." The bill would add sexual orientation to the list of categories covered under federal hate crime law. When Democrats passed the bill in 2007, they were divided over whether to add "gender identity and expression" to the list.


What can/should denominations do?

As we watch the shift from denominational affiliation to congregational governance in some churches, the question seems to be coming up more and more … what do denominations do? What should they do?

When the Church of God was smaller there was a desire to do more things together, to centralize efforts to evangelize our communities and the world, to care for orphans and provide for ministerial compensation. In fact, at one time within the church, all the tithe and offering receipts were sent to Cleveland and the General Overseer, then A.J. Tomlinson sent back to each pastor his salary and expenses for the church. It was a flawed system that ultimately created a fiasco within the church. That is not practiced any more, but many areas of corporate ministry are still shared through financial giving and participation.

At the present time, the Church of God is undergoing a significant realignment of resources in the denomination and as proposed, local churches will send 33% less funds to state and international offices than previously. This coming adjustment has generated a closer look at how ministry dollars are entrusted to leadership at both office levels. The evaluation is good and will help in being more effective in ministry productivity. The local church will retain more funds, assume more responsibilities and depend less on centralized funding for ministry ventures.

So, the question is – what should people want a denomination to do? How should ministry be funded on a denominational level and what areas are fundamental to the mission?


What do you think?

[from forwardleadership.org by Bill Isaacs]

Putting Your Heart Into Leadership

Here are three tips for developing your leadership heart:

  • Let Others - it takes a team, not an individual, to get things done in God’s Kingdom
  • Give Credit - make sure your team gets the credit, not just you, when things go right or wrong
  • Keep Focus - it is easy to think you are the reason the team succeeds. Don’t build a golden calf for yourself. Keep everyone focused on God not you.

Developing your leadership heart takes effort. It means spending time in God’s Word. It means spending time listening to God. It means spending time doing what God wants us to do (not what we want). It also means spending time helping others develop the same focus.

[from Agile Ministry by James Higginbotham]