Saturday, August 17, 2013

All Around the Web - August 17, 2013

John Stonestreet - Self-Inflicted Tyranny: What NSA and IRS Scandals Say About Us |

Christianity Today - Why Fewer Churches Offer Vacation Bible School

If you attend a church that has more than 250 Sunday worshipers, or an annual budget of $500,000 (or more), or a pastor between 30 and 48 years of age, odds are good that your congregation offers Vacation Bible School (VBS) during the summer months.

Your church, however, would be in an increasingly selective group, according to a recent Barna Group study. VBS programs have declined 16 percent in the last 15 years, from 81 percent of American churches in 1997 to 68 percent in 2012.

Summer church education "isn't going away anytime soon," notes Barna, given that the current two-thirds of churches hosting VBS has been stable in recent years. But what has changed is the reasons why churches choose to drop such programs.

The biggest change: busyness. "In 2001, only 5% of churches who did not offer VBS stated their reason as not having enough time, or wanting to devote such time to more pressing needs," writes Barna. "In 2005, this number of time-pressed churches more than doubled (13%), and nearly quadrupled just last summer (19%)."

Thom Rainer - 2013 Update: Largest Churches in the Southern Baptist Convention |

1 Second Baptist Church — Houston, TX 25,892
2 Woodlands Church — The Woodlands, TX 18,524
3 Saddleback Valley Community Church — Lake Forest, CA 18,000
4 Fellowship Church, Grapevine — Grapevine, TX 17,418
5 NewSpring Community Church — Anderson, SC 17,367
6 Prestonwood Baptist Church — Plano, TX 15,318
7 Thomas Road Baptist Church — Lynchburg, VA 13,500
8 Potential Church — Fort Lauderdale, FL 12,300
9 The Village Church — Flower Mound, TX 10,500
10 Higher Dimension Church — Houston, TX 9,000
10 The Fountain of Praise — Houston, TX 9,000
12 Lake Pointe Church — Rockwall, TX 8,811
13 Cross Church — Springdale, AR 8,029
14 Sagebrush Community Church — Albuquerque, NM 7,906
15 Pinelake Church — Brandon, MS 7,734
16 Bay Area Fellowship — Corpus Christi, TX 7,600
17 Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, Inc — Palmetto Bay, FL 7,367
18 Shepherd of the Hills — Porter Ranch, CA 7,280
19 Shadow Mountain Community Church — El Cajon, CA 7,220
20 Voices of Faith Ministries — Stone Mountain, GA 6,800
21 Bellevue Baptist Church — Cordova, TN 6,564
22 Long Hollow Baptist Church — Hendersonville, TN 6,453
23 Elizabeth Baptist Church — Atlanta, GA 6,401
24 First Baptist of Woodstock — Woodstock, GA 6,110
25 Hope Community Church — Raleigh, NC 6,060

The Blaze - ‘Thank You, Jesus!’: One of the World’s Most Famous Porn Stars Finds God, Leaves the Sex Industry | Grace is greater than all our sin.

Variety - ‘Duck Dynasty’ Premiere Shatters Cable Records With 11.8 Million Viewers

A&E had the competition ducking for cover Wednesday, as its redneck reality smash “Duck Dynasty” kicked off its new season with a whopping 11.8 million viewers — the largest audience ever for a non-fiction cable series.

The show about a Louisiana family also set an A&E record as the biggest telecast in the network’s history in all key demos.

In adults 18-49, “Duck Dynasty” did a huge 5.0 rating (roughly 6.3 million viewers in the age group), up 26% from last year and a higher same-night rating than any series telecast on television since an April 15 episode of NBC’s “The Voice.”

The only cable reality show to ever draw more adults 18-49 was TLC’s “Jon & Kate” in June 2009 (6.5 million).

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