Most Americans satisfied with
lifeNearly four out of five American adults (78 percent) are
completely or mostly satisfied with their lives according to a new nationwide
survey by the Barna Research Group. The proportion of satisfied individuals is
highest among those who are highly educated, highly paid, older, religious and
married with children.
When asked to describe the most pressing challenges and difficulties they
face in their life today, the most common difficulties related to finances (28
percent), health (19 percent), career concerns (16 percent) and parenting
struggles (11 percent). Smaller numbers identified problems with family
relationships (7 percent) and accomplishing personal goals (7 percent) as areas
of concern. One out of five adults said they have no such challenges.
Adults were much more likely to identify one or more national issues that
concern them than they were to list personal concerns. The top three areas of
greatest concern were the war and related fears about terrorism (52 percent),
economic issues (30 percent) and the moral decline of the nation (19
Although born-again Christians were more likely than non-born again adults
to cite moral decline as a serious national problem (25 percent versus 15
percent, respectively), a substantial number of non-born again individuals also
mentioned the deterioration of Americas moral foundation and behavior as a
Source: Barna Update, March 26, 2002, www.barnaresearch.com
You dont say!
If Oprah Winfrey can teach about Islam, theres no reason why we cant teach
[children] major world religions.
Gary Knell, president of Sesame Workshop, which produces Sesame
Source: Christianity Today, March 11, 2002, citing The
Journal News [White Plains, New York]
Help for churchesA recent study found three
principles that can help churches prioritize their evangelism efforts. Says
John Yarbrough, vice president of Evangelism at NAMB: It demonstrates the
need to equip Christians to share the gospel and shows the awesome willingness
of Southern Baptists to share Christ in our culture.
1. Witness training substantially increases the comfort level that people
have in sharing their faith and helps them to be more productive as on mission
2. The spiritual development and nurture of children and youth should be the
top priority for Southern Baptist congregations. Leaders should be trained in
the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual development of children and youth
and in developmentally appropriate methods of sharing the gospel. If people are
not reached and discipled when they are young, the likelihood of that happening
in adulthood greatly decreases.
3. A call for commitment should be an essential part of every worship
service. One out of eight people in Southern Baptist worship services has not
made a decision for Christ.
Source: U.S. Congregational Life Survey, Summer 2002
Southern Baptists help refugees settle in U.S.
More than 35 million people around the world have been uprooted from their
homes and communities by war, poverty and natural disaster. More than 1 million
of those people are refugees because they fled to another country. The North
American Mission Board has partnered with Church World Service to assist
Southern Baptist churches that desire to help these refugees make a new life in
the United States. In 2001 Southern Baptists helped 282 refugees from 23
countries settle in the United States. For more information about how your
church can get involved in refugee resettlement, visit www.namb.net/refugee.
Top five countries of origin
Source: Fast Facts, North American Mission Board, April 11,
Are gay men more active in church?The quick answer:
yes. The surprising long answer: A new study found that the percentage of gay
men involved in religious organizations is significantly higher than the
percentage of heterosexual men. The study by Darren E. Sherkat, a professor of
sociology at Southern Illinois University, was published in the latest issue of
the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Sherkat said that gay men
attend church without having to be dragged to services by female partnersas is
the case for heterosexual men. As for possible reasons, Sherkat wrote gay men
may avoid the risk of eternal punishment by gravitating towards religious
consumption. Sherkat also asserts that gay men may find relief in a
male-oriented religion where salvation is attained through devotion to a male
Source: Harvard Institute for Religion Research, April
ILLUSTRATION: MARK HERRON
Seniors are heading back to schoolLasell College in
Newton, Massachusetts, has opened a retirement facility on its campus.
Residents of the retirement village are required to attend 450 course-hours per
year. Instead of tuition, the villagers buy their apartments and pay $2,000 to
$4,000 in monthly fees for meals, health care, nursing-home insurance and
instruction. Spurred by medical research that suggests mental fitness may ward
off dementia, retirees want less time on the fairways and more time in the
classroom. In the last five years, 70 colleges and universities have opened
Source: Newsweek, June 10, 2002
Charitable giving reaches
abroadWhen it comes to charitable giving, Southern Baptists have
huge hearts and deep pockets. Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund reports that
Southern Baptists gave more than $8 million in 2001. More than 3.5 million
meals were served in North America alone because of this gift from Southern
Baptists. There were 13,500 professions of faith directly related to these
meals. Every dollar that is given is divided and sent into the field to help
people who live in poverty. Eighty cents of every dollar goes to the
International Mission Board, and 20 cents of every dollar goes to the North
American Mission Board to help families abroad and here in the United States
and Canada. World Hunger Sunday is October 13, 2002. For more information visit
Southern Baptists are also very involved in Operation Christmas Child, a
project of Samaritans Purse Relief Organization. In 2001, Samaritans Purse
collected more than 5.4 million shoe boxes and hand-delivered them to
underprivileged children in 95 countries. The shoe boxes are filled with
personal gifts, school supplies, candy, necessity items and easy-to-read gospel
literature. This year they expect to receive more than 6 million shoe boxes.
Many Southern Baptist churches have adopted Operation Christmas Child as a
hands-on missions project for Royal Ambassadors, Girls in Action and families.
The official shoe box collection week is November 18-25, 2002. To find the
nearest location, call 800-353-5949.
Source: Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (SBC) and Samaritans
Purse Relief Organization 2001 reports
Worth repeating... Fewer than two percent of
Christians are taking seriously the implication of the question What is the
greatest thing that has ever happened to you? If knowing Christ is the greatest
thing that has ever happened to me then telling others about Him is my only
Bill Bright in his keynote address to the 2002 Southern Baptist
Nine out of 10 Native Americans do not have a relationship with Christ. Were
not reaching native people who live in our cities.
Mark Custalow, church planting strategist for the North American Mission
Board (NAMB) speaking about the need to reach Native Americans at the Womans
Missionary Union Annual Meeting at the Southern Baptist Convention, June
When youre born you get your talent, but when youre born again you get your
Dr. George O. McCalep, Jr., pastor of Greenforest Community Church in
Decatur, Georgia, encouraging listeners at SBCs annual African American
Fellowship dinner not to sit on the sidelines of evangelism
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC