What did YOU do this weekend?
Church attendance is highest in the South (39 percent), followed by the
Midwest (31 percent), then the East (28 percent) and the West (23 percent),
according to a recent Gallup Poll. The poll also found that nearly one third of
Americans claim to attend a place of worship regularly. Respondents were asked
how often they attended their "church or synagogue." The poll found that the
majority (41 percent) attend occasionally while the smallest group (13 percent)
included those who attend almost every week.
Source: Gallup Week in Review, September 12-18, 1999.
"Films and sports are two of the most prominent shared cultural reference
points. Leaders ignore both at their peril."
Source: Aqua Church, Essential Leadership Arts for Piloting Your Church
in Todays Fluid Culture, Group Publishing, 1999. For examples of how both
sports and films can be used evangelistically, see "Super
Bowl party", "Minding
your peas and cucumbers" and the review of
The Prince of Egypt video.
According to a recent study by UCLA, its more important than ever to give
American teensespecially teen girlssome real hope by telling them about Christ.
The study found that girls in their late teens are at a high risk for major
depression and remain vulnerable for several years after high school. The study
followed 155 senior girls for five years after graduation. It found that 47
percent reported one or more episodes of major, clinical depression.
Chad Childress, of the Student Evangelism Unit at the North American Mission
Board, told On Mission: "Depression after high school is no surprise
because many high school students place their whole identity in friendships and
relationships that cease to exist after high school. The realization of
hopelessness then sets in and they become confused about life and the future.
That is where true hope comes in. They must understand hope is found in a
Person not any material, tangible item or any earthly friendship. It is found
only in Jesus Christ."
Source: "Teen girls depression hits hardest away from home," by Karen
Peterson, USA Today, June 24, 1999; Student Evangelism, NAMB.
While parents are extremely anxious about the Internet content their
children are seeing, many lack the time, understanding and tools to help their
children develop discerning Web skills, according to the latest Pathfinder
Study released by Arbitron NewMedia.
A new Gallup poll on education found that recent school shootings have
generated fears among parents. The poll found that nearly half of parents (47
percent) fear for their childrens safety at school. Rural parents are more
likely to be afraid (54 percent) than those in urban (46 percent) or suburban
(44 percent) school districts. Parents in the South are more likely to be
afraid (56 percent) than parents from any other region.
"Every parent has a reason for concern," Richard Leach, manager of the
Family Evangelism Unit at the North American Mission Board, told On
Mission. "But concern doesnt mean we have no hope. For instance, families
in Arkansas have taken to praying around a campus prior to the start of the
school day. Parents must be wise, but their attitudes in their communities and
homes must not be anxiety but confidence in God."
Source: Gallup Week in Review, September 5-11, 1999; Family
Evangelism Unit, NAMB.
More people are becoming missionaries at mid-life. Millions of Baby Boomers,
born between 1946 and 1964, are approaching retirement with a "growing hunger
to do something more significant with their lives" than play golf, said Nelson
Malwitz, founder and chairman of Finishers Project.
Middle age is a "period of disequalibrium" said Malwitz. Aging Boomers "want
their lives to count" and are looking for a second chance to do something
significant. They include men and women who have been successful in their
careers, and wives who have raised children now in college and "are ready to
contribute" to world evangelistic efforts. For more about boomers, see
bout my generation". For more information, contact Missionary Mobilization
Team, North American Mission Board, 770-410-6499.
July 13, 1999.
With 1.99 billion self-professed Christians and a projected 2 billion plus
in the year 2000, more people profess to be Christians than any other religious
Islam came in second with 1.19 billion. Hindus with 774 million were third
followed closely by people who claim to have no religion, 768 million.
Buddhists number 359 million.
Source: "Christians to number more than 2 billion worldwide in 2000,"
Baptist Messenger, May 6, 1999.
Looking for ways to help people realize that science isnt a block to belief
but a stepping stone to point the way. According to contemporary scientists,
the very science that "killed" God is restoring faith as science stumbles onto
signs that the cosmos seems custom-designed for life and consciousness. Listen
to these scientists:
"It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much
more complicated than can be explained by science. It is only through the
supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence."
Allan Sandage, astronomer
"Science may not serve as an eyewitness of God the Creator, but it can serve
as a character witness."
W. Mark Richardson, Center for Theology and Natural Sciences
"When you realize that the laws of nature must be incredibly fine-tuned to
produce the universe we see, that conspires to plant the idea that the universe
did not just happen, but that there must be a purpose behind it."
John Polkinghorne, physicist
Source: "Science finds God," by Sharon Begley, Saturday Evening
Post, January/February 1999.
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