Catholic Losses Are Baptist Gains

Hmmm… an interesting research report today suggests that the real winners in the Catholic sexual abuse scandal over the past few years were… wait for it… BAPTISTS! This paper considers substituting one charitable activity for another in the context of religious practice. I examine the impact of the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal on both Catholic and non-Catholic religiosity. I find that the scandal led to a 2-million-member fall in the Catholic population that was compensated by an increase in non-Catholic participation and by an increase in non-affiliation. Back-of the- envelope...
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The Principal Duty of Pastors

“The first and principal duty of a pastor is to feed the flock by diligent preaching of the Word…This feeding is of the essence of the office of a pastor, as unto the exercise of it, so that he who doth not, or can not, or will not, feed the flock is no pastor whatever outward call or work he may have in the church.” John Owen Via A Word for Preachers   Doest thou agreeth or disagreeth? What is the principal duty of a pastor?  Has it changed in the days since John Owen? Todd
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Beyond Relevance

Tom Arthur has an interesting post this morning over at Faith and Leadership.  He talks about whether all this talk about ‘relevance’ is really necessary; and makes a case for moving BEYOND relevance and being who we really are.  See what you think: What I really want is to move beyond relevance. What do I mean by this? I’m not sure, but here are some initial thoughts. The question of being relevant is actually a first-generation missional one. It’s the question that a missionary who comes from another context asks his or herself when entering into a new and different one and is...
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Dobson: We deserve what’s going to happen to us

Take a look at this short video from James Dobson: Do you agree or disagree? Is THIS election cycle more important than others (I remember every election of my lifetime being the MOST important). Why would God bless or not bless us as a country NOW? Is God REALLY ticked now (much more than He was in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, or 00s) with us? I’m just finding, personally, that this getting a little old. (Please don’t read that I think our society is headed in the right direction). What I’m saying:  offer up some solutions rather than chiding.  What Dobson offers is a position of...
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Catholics Still Want Crystal Cathedral

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has filed a petition in bankruptcy court to block the sale of the 40-acre Crystal Cathedral campus to Chapman University, stating that the plan will not pay creditors in full and will set up the ministry for failure predicting that the cathedral, under that plan, could run out of cash by next May. The diocese’s offer for $53.6 million is the better and more superior bid for the Crystal Cathedral property compared to the $50 million offered by Chapman University, its attorneys argue in the petition filed Friday. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has filed a...
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69% say Porn Affects Churches

Most pastors believe pornography has adversely impacted the lives of their church members, but almost half cannot estimate what percentage of their congregation views porn. That is the finding of a newly released survey by LifeWay Research of 1,000 American Protestant pastors. When presented with the statement, “Pornography has adversely affected the lives of our church members,” 69 percent of pastors surveyed agree. That includes 42 percent who strongly agree and 27 percent who somewhat agree. Nine percent somewhat disagree and 8 percent strongly disagree. Fourteen percent do not know or...
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Join me for connectLIVE tomorrow! (Thursday)

I hope you’ll join me and my Leadership Network crew for connectLIVE tomorrow.  It’s all online, free, and LIVE!  We’ll start at 11:00 Eastern.  Here’s the lineup: You can register now (it’s free, but you do need to register) right here: http://connectlive2011.tv
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How Character Erodes

Character is built choice by choice, decision by decision. And it is eroded the same way. We often don’t stop to think about how each choice builds on the last until it’s too late. It is a worthwhile practice to think about your choices and where they are leading you on a daily basis. Ralph Waldo Emerson put it well: “The force of character is cumulative.” In a October 2002 Fast Company article—The Secret Life of the CEO: Is the Economy Just Built to Flip?—Jim Collins, explains how character erodes: These were the people who, in the presence of an opportunity to behave differently, got...
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New Denomination Challenges PC(USA)

Everything is in place to create a new Presbyterian denomination comprised of conservative congregations and led by First Presbyterian of Orlando. The only thing missing is churches. “It’s kind of like an empty warehouse,” said First Presbyterian Pastor David Swanson. That empty warehouse denomination called the Fellowship of Presbyterians will start filling up in January when a convention of Presbyterian churches meets in Orlando, Fla. The churches are dissatisfied with the Presbyterian Church (USA), which voted last year to allow the ordination of gay ministers, deacons and elders. “We feel...
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He Said She Said

Here’s an interesting info-graphic that shows the difference between what men and women share online. What implications (if any) does this have for your ministry (either in-person or on-line)?
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