Here’s a collection of interesting, thought-provoking articles from around the web from recent weeks. For more links, check out our Flipboard magazines: Leadership Network Today, Leadership Network Deep Trends, and Ideas to Implementation to Impact, where we curate the best in innovative ideas for church leaders.
1. Megachurches Are Rare in Mid-Hudson Region (recordonline.com) There are about 1,650 megachurches in the United States, more than 70 percent of them in the Sunbelt. California, Texas, Florida and Georgia have the highest concentrations, according to Bird. While almost 10 percent of Protestant churchgoers nationwide attend a megachurch, those churches represent only about one-half of 1 percent of the roughly 320,000 Protestant churches in the United States, Bird said.
2. Though Still Conservative, Young Evangelicals Are More Liberal Than Their Elders on Some Issues (pewresearch.org) Millennials are more likely than older adults to take liberal positions on social and political issues. This generation gap exists even among evangelical Protestants – who constitute one of the country’s most conservative religious groups – in areas including same-sex marriage, immigration and environmentalism.
3. 6 Ways to Turn Your Church Inside-Out (churchleadership.com) To connect with people, you need to meet them where they are, says Ben Ingebretson, the director of new church development for the Dakotas and Minnesota Conferences of the UMC. He offers six practical ways you can air out your church by taking your ministry into public spaces.
4. For Many Overbooked Christian Families Wednesday is the New Sunday (startribune.com) As churches across Minnesota try new ways to accommodate the hectic lives of the faithful, Wednesday night services have emerged as a popular option.
5. Flexible Working is Making Us Work Longer (qz.com) Imagine if you could work whenever and wherever you wanted. Would you work less and enjoy more time with family and friends? Or would you end up perpetually working, have work spill over into the rest of your life?
6. Meaningful Metric Conversion Growth (namb.net) There are a lot of factors that can contribute to a church adding to their numbers. For instance, as a church gets healthier, existing Christians are attracted. While it is worth celebrating when a Christian finds a church home where they can truly grow and serve, the celebration is like a family reunion. Members of the family are coming back to where they belong.
7. Mechanic Makes Car Repairs a Ministry in Powder Springs (fox5atlanta.com) David McCoy, a retired Air Force mechanic, knows a lot about cars. He’s set up a garage next to McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church in Powder Springs, and it’s developed over the years. Two days a month, he and a team of 40 volunteers fix cars. For single mothers, cancer patients – anyone in need. “The people who are struggling to put food on the table. Struggling to get back and forth to work. They need that help.”
8. A West Side Resurrection (rimonthly.com) A surprising Christian revival is bringing young people back to church.
9. Ministry Matters Mentor Groups (thegospelcoallition.org) Melissa Kruger said, “One of the ministry questions I get asked the most is: “How do you all do mentoring in your church?” I spent the first three years in my job tossing this question around in my mind. I’ve experienced firsthand the blessings of mentoring relationships—both as the one being discipled and also as the one discipling others. I wanted these life-giving relationships to flourish within our church.”
10. Why Religion Is More Durable Than Commonly Thought In Modern Society (npr.org) Here is a proposition that may seem self-evident to many people: As societies become more modern, religion loses its grip. People separate their religion from their institutions and from parts of their lives. Sociologists have a name for this idea. They call it the “secularization thesis.” Now, research suggests the story is more complicated.