Are you a member of your congregation? Are you a customer of the services provided by your pastor and church staff? Are you an owner? Who really owns a ministry? Who has the last word?
Those questions rarely come up when everybody is happy, but when there is conflict, suddenly people start looking around the constitution and bylaws (if they exist). Does it surprise you to know that all real estate, buildings, and furnishings in a Catholic church belong either... Read More
Last week I blogged about the conclusions from some Christian observers that membership and attendance in Christian churches is in serious decline. I offered my own “top five” list of attitudes in congregations that can help growth. The 5th was this:
“You aren’t really ready to welcome new people unless you are willing to let them change your style and congregational culture.”
That comment drew some questions and pushback, and so I would like to expand on what I... Read More
Those challenging words are in the title of a new book by Joani and Thom Schultz. Researchers at the Hartford Institute might concur. Here are some of their current stats on religion in America:
Only 40% of Americans say they attend worship services in a given week, but the actual numbers are far worse. Half of the “churchgoing” respondents are lying—the real number is only 20%.
In the three years from 2010 to 2012, half of all churches in America... Read More
On my last two plane flights I was trapped near families that were traveling with very small children. Flying is unpleasant enough these days for grown-ups, and so I am not surprised that a toddler would find the noise, cramped conditions, flight turbulence, and changing cabin air pressure very stressful and would use the ancient response of screaming to demonstrate displeasure. I was trapped. Everyone was trapped. The screeching ricocheted around the narrow walls of our flying tube. I fantasized... Read More
We have six chickens. Just a few weeks ago we bought four chicks. At the beginning of summer we have plans to add some more.
I was raised in the suburbs, so this has been quite the learning experience for me. I’ve turned to the wealth of all knowledge—the Internet—to learn all the ways we have to prepare our current hens to get used to the new ones. Apparently chicken psychology is involved.
There is, literally, a pecking order. If... Read More