What Do Do With the Nones?

What will ministry look like in an increasingly post-Christian age? James Emery White, a pastor and researcher, joins the fray with a fascinating new book, The Rise of the Nones. If you are not familiar, "Nones" describe the increasing number people refusing to affiliate themselves with any faith group. There is a lot of conjecture about how big this group is, what the date says, etc. James has a very thoughtful perspective. I had the chance to interview him this week for Parse, the Leadership Journal ministry blog. I asked him what Christian leaders should do with all of this data: As pastors and church leaders survey the data on "nones," how would you counsel them to approach their ministries in this new era? Too many churches are taking an Acts 2 approach in an Acts 17 world. Well, the entire second half of the book delves into this question, but here's an overarching...

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The Four Types of Media: How Christians Should View Them

A few weeks ago we finished a major event at ERLC for pastors and church leaders. We invited in the media to cover the event for a couple of reasons: a) the media were going to cover it anyways, so we wanted to allow them the most context to cover it fairly and well b) we want to establish good relationships with the media and giving them access to our events is one way to help them do their jobs and allow us to do ours. In my few months in this communications roll, I've made some observations about the media that I thought might be helpful as Christians think through their attitudes about media and as organizations think through their strategies. I hope this is helpful to you. We tend to look at "the media" as one amorphous whole. While mainstream news organizations can often be slanted one way or another, I've...

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Misunderstanding Forgiveness

Leslie Leyland Fields had a painful relationship with her father, a journey of pain, healing, and forgiveness she outlined in a beautiful piece for Christianity Today. This was part of a brand new book, Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers, Finding Healing from Hurt and Hate. This is such an important book for many who endure difficult relationships with their parents. I had the chance to interview Leslie for Leadership Journal about her own story and about forgiveness. Here is one of my questions: Do you think many of us have a misunderstanding of what forgiveness is? Yeah, there are a lot of misconceptions out there. Here are two of the biggest I see: People expect forgiveness to be a one-time event rather than a process and rather than a daily practice I think there's a reason Jesus teaches us to pray "And forgive us our debts as we forgive out debtors" right after "give us this...

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Our Snarky Eye-Rolling Might Actually Be Sinful

My pastor has been preaching thru 1 Corinthians. He's a terrific expositor, always providing the nuance and thrust of the text at hand. Lately we've come upon 1 Corinthians 8, the well-known "meat offered to idols" text that helps inform the way we treat each other when disagreeing over the gray areas of the Christian life. (By gray areas, I mean areas of liberty not clearly outlined in the text of Scripture, not fake gray areas brought about about newer, suspect interpretations of Scripture). Andy took this in three installments, first giving an overview of this and what it is saying. This series of messages ministered to my soul in so many ways, but I learned three important things: Legalism and self-righteousness is not a sign of holiness, but a sign of weak faith.  Flaunting freedom and wounding consciences of our brothers and sisters in the Lord is a sin.  We shouldn't value our preferences...

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