Best Practices for Growing Churches

March 20, 2013 ...

In getting answers to these questions, researchers have studied hundreds of churches to discern effective practices of growing churches. Here are some observations: Growing churches see adding new believers to the body as one of the primary purposes of the church, and they dedicate resources toward that end. Most churches believe evangelism is important, but …

A Church Planting Generation

March 20, 2013 ...

There are many reasons why young pastors opt to start new churches. For one, the environment has changed. “It’s not the extreme sport of ministry that it used to be,” said Michael Binder, who planted Mill City Church in Minneapolis when he was 31. Church planting assessment and training centers have popped up, and there …

Citizen Evangelist

December 21, 2012 ...

Should Christians concentrate on evangelizing the lost or advocating for justice? Should we focus on building houses of worship or homes for the poor? Should we lobby for laws protecting marriage or work on preventing divorce among Christians? These are false choices, of course. Christians are called to bear witness to the kingdom of God …

Children and Families

December 21, 2012 ...

Shortly thereafter, I accepted an invitation from the Obama administration to attend a symposium on fatherlessness. My worldview may be different from President Obama’s, but we were both raised without a father, and we both see the rising rate of fatherless homes as a sad cultural epidemic. Two presidents — agreeing that fathers need to …

Peace

December 21, 2012 ...

The administration should partner with Muslims against violent extremism, applying “faith-based diplomacy,” and should review human rights abuses related to the U.S. response. We must protect people from the threat of terrorism while respecting human rights both at home and abroad. U.S. foreign aid should be contingent on a country’s record of human rights. The …

Human Rights

December 21, 2012 ...

The changing demographics of the United States and its impact on politics present stark realities to both parties. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner spoke out quickly after the November election to support comprehensive measures, but it will take concerted leadership from President Obama to work out a bipartisan solution. Immigration …

Sanctity of Life

December 21, 2012 ...

And among the vulnerable, the most easily dismissed human being is the embryo. How we describe, respect, or exploit the embryo is a telling marker of the health of our society. The embryo (or “pre-embryo,” as some have re-defined him or her) is at risk in three particular circumstances that should be the focus of …

Chemicals and Creation Care

December 21, 2012 ...

During almost 20 years in the pastorate, I noticed an increasing number of women stricken with breast cancer. Just a few years ago, one in 30 women contracted breast cancer. Now the number is one in eight. Doctors have linked three chemicals to breast cancer: benzene, 1,3-butadiene and ethylene oxide. All three are found in …

A Christian Case for Affordable Prison Phone Rates

November 30, 2012 ...

Persons who are incarcerated face severe constraints on their mobility, communications and potential for developing healthy relationships. In part, this is by design: Prison is a form of punishment, and is meant to be a deterrent to unlawful behavior. But being sentenced to serve time behind bars does not erase the human dignity that derives …