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Aging pushes churches to fiscal brink

Some aging congregations are mergering with younger, multi-cultural congregations in order to stay alive. By Jeff Brumley Things were looking bleak for Orange Grove Baptist Church and its aging membership when Greg Shoemaker arrived as its pastor about a year ago. Located just north of Pascagoula, Miss., the congregation and community around it had been […]

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For aging religious leaders, is it still ‘till death us do part’?

By Adelle M. Banks (RNS) When aging religious leaders reach the top echelons of temporal and spiritual power, their followers have a certain expectation: Till death us do part. But Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise resignation has shifted that calculus, prompting introspection about traditional understandings of religions’ senior management and when, if and how to let […]

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The simple act of encouragement

By Sam S. Rainer III Why do people return to church? One myth that could be easily dismissed is that they were too angry at the church to return. In fact, in one of our studies, the rechurched told us in overwhelming numbers that anger at the church was not a factor in their departures. […]

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New program to enhance ministry of executive pastors

By Rez Gopez-Sindac DALLAS – XPastor, a learning network for executive pastors and others in similar roles, is launching a new program to help church leaders get the education and training they need to do their jobs more effectively. “About half of new executive pastors come straight out of business,” says Dr. David Fletcher, founder […]

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Study looks at the impact of denominational reference in church names

When a church does not reference its denomination in the church name, unchurched people tend to see that church as less formal, rigid and old-fashioned, but this also makes them feel more uncertain and wonder whether the church is trying to hide its beliefs. Study findings just released by Grey Matter Research (Phoenix, AZ) among […]

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Report: Megachurches thriving in tough economic times

By Adelle M. Banks (RNS) Despite the tough economy, many of the nation’s largest churches are thriving, with increased offerings and plans to hire more staff, a new survey shows. Just 3 percent of churches with 2,000 or more attendance surveyed by Leadership Network, a Dallas-based church think tank, said they were affected “very negatively” […]

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All eyes on Texas, S.C. church property fights

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald (RNS) When disgruntled congregations have left hierarchical denominations such as the Episcopal Church, they’ve often lost property battles as civil courts ruled buildings and land are not theirs to keep. But outcomes could be different this year, court watchers say, as high-profile cases involving dozens of Episcopal congregations in South Carolina […]

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Book author and former pastor says ‘CEO’ church leadership model unbiblical

Christian Newswire – Glen Newman, author of “Pastors Move Over: Make Room for the Rest of Us,” challenges the modern traditional form of church government, which recognizes the single pastor as the primary leader of the local Christian church. Why is this significant? He says it’s because this is completely unbiblical and “we’ve been doing […]

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House passes bill to give disaster relief to religious groups

By Caleb K. Bell (RNS) The House Wednesday (Feb. 13) overwhelmingly passed a bill to allow places of worship to receive federal aid to repair their buildings damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The bill, which garnered strong bipartisan support, is also expected to pass the Senate, and would address what its sponsors consider a discriminatory practice […]

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