I was troubled to learn about a survey study in 2015 showing that “kids raised in religious homes were less generous and kind than those raised in non-religious homes.” They “tended to be more judgmental, less altruistic, and more punitive than kids raised without religion.” Yikes!
Everybody wants strong muscles, right? Well, your physical muscles aren’t the only ones you have. People shouldn’t just exercise their physical muscles but also their intellectual, emotional, and definitely their spiritual muscles. Just like lifting weights, doing sit-ups, and going for runs make us physically stronger and fit, we should also monitor and exercise our faith…
We are very blessed to live in a free country, where we are free to worship without fear for our lives. But what if we didn’t? What if we lived in a country where religious minorities suffered abuse and persecution? Most people would just worry about surviving. But is there any way to have an active, effective witness for the love of Christ amidst such hostility? (Hint: YES!)
The truth of Genesis 1:27 is that we are made “in the image of God.” We forget that sometimes, so it’s good to remind ourselves: we are made in the image of God. (Even early on a Monday morning, if you can believe it.) What we forget even more often, and in fact rarely ever think about at all, is that everybody else is made in the image of God too. So what difference should that make? Well, a lot, actually.
One of the more popular laments these days is that the country/culture/society/people just aren’t as good as they used to be. There’s usually a line like, “People these days just don’t ________ like they used to.” One example among Christians is, “People don’t go to church like they used to.” Whether you think the way society has changed is good or bad, what isn’t debatable is that church attendance in America has indeed been declining drastically since the ’90s. Should that bother us? And if so, how?
Sermons are nice but not near as important as the things people share with each other during regular times of life, in the middle of the day, sitting at work, or visiting at home. Some of those listeners will never walk into a church, so the words they hear about how God loves them, coming from their friends and neighbors, are the most important words that they will hear. That means you’ve got a big job to do!
As a concerned parent who worries about my young kids, we talk about “stranger danger,” because I don’t want them to get hurt. But as a devoted Christian who wants to do what God wants me to, I remember that the Bible says to welcome strangers because you might be welcoming angels (Heb. 13:2). Is there a middle ground between those two extremes?
I recently learned about a conference in England last summer intended to help people think about how churches can enable disabled people to be more involved in the life and mission of the church. The speakers were disabled themselves or worked closely with people who were–areas like physical disabilities, the deaf, autism, blindness, and learning disabilities, for […]
A recent psychological study suggests that people “who are more actively religious are more likely to report low levels of anxiety, depression, and fatigue–and feel that they cope with stress better and that their lives have meaning.” This is one of those things that church-goers have known for a long time, but it’s just nice to have scientific proof of now. It supports a ministry motto I like to use: “Church is good for the soul.”
Folks who go to church all the time their whole life will be fluent in churchy lingo, but others won’t be, so we don’t want to use insider language they don’t understand, especially if it sends a wrong message. New perspectives are very helpful, because they force us not to use hollow language just by habit. Is there a better way we can talk about issues of faith? The main thing young adults don’t like is hollow clichés. So here is a helpful list (I love lists!) of “churchy phrases that are scaring off millennials.”
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