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.
- We Can Be Hopeful For Houston The Church Is There (TheGospelCoalition.org) The devastating floodwaters have displaced thousands of Texans. But volunteers are also flooding into Houston, as Americans link arms and demonstrate already a remarkable spirit of resilience and grit. Those of us watching are in awe at the catastrophe, but also at the character of ordinary people who inspire us with acts of heroism and kindness.
- The Quiet Comeback Of The Middle Class (TheWashingtonPost.org) On this Labor Day, the American middle class survives. Indeed, it’s expanding. That’s not the conclusion of some arcane scholarly study. It’s the judgment of Americans themselves, though it hasn’t received much attention from politicians or the media. Most Americans have moved beyond the fears bred by the Great Recession. The middle-class comeback may be the year’s most underreported story.
- Mythbuster Louisville pastor triples attendance in 6 months by knocking on doors (Kentuckytoday.com) Mark Bishop has knocked on about 200 doors a week since he arrived six months ago at Highview Baptist Church – Valley Station Campus. In that time, he has baptized 37 new believers and has seen attendance triple to nearly 300 people.
American Churches Have a Better Reputation Than Higher Ed or the Media (ChristianityToday.com) According to Pew Research Center, Americans view the impact of religious institutions more positively than colleges, labor unions, banks, or the media, and their reputation has changed little during the political shifts over the past few years.
A Study Finding a Huge Increase in Alcoholism May Have Been Seriously Flawed (Vox.com) According to several researchers, the survey data behind the study is seriously faulty.
The Changing Face of Adoption in the United States (Ifstudies.org) The racial and ethnic composition of the adopted child population in the U.S. has changed dramatically in less than a generation. This IFS research brief compares adopted children in two large national studies of kindergarten students conducted a decade apart by the federal Department of Education. The proportion of adopted kindergartners being raised by a mother of a different race or ethnic group rose by 50% between 1999 and 2011. The proportion of adoptees with Asian backgrounds nearly tripled over the same time period. Paradoxically, the fraction of adopted students who are African-American seems to have fallen. What has not changed is that a large majority of adoptive parents are white, older, well-educated, and relatively affluent.
Pastoring: Giving It the Personal Touch (Joemckeever.com) This pastor gave a personal touch to reaching portions of the congregation on another level.
- Five Leadership Axioms That Shape Your Ministry (Christianitytoday.com) Here are five leadership values that help make more effective leaders.
Here’s How Wealthier Americans Spend Their Free Time Compared to Those Who Earn Less (Cnbc.com) The size of your Friday paycheck can have a big effect on how you spend your weekend. According to the American Time Use Survey produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans who earn $50,000 per year or more disproportionately spend their free time doing activities like playing racquet sports and attending performing arts events. On the other hand, Americans who make less than average are more likely to spend time watching television and listening to the radio.
10 Mistakes Churches Make in Evaluating Pastors (Chucklawless.com) Here are some mistakes churches make regularly in this process of evaluating pastors