Thursday, March 20, 2014

All Around the Web - March 20, 2014

HT: Everyday Theology

Pastor's Today - 10 Important Discoveries from Multisite Churches
  1. An impressive 85% of surveyed multisite churches are growing—and at the strong rate of 14% per year.
  2. Churches typically go multisite in the 1,000 size range, though almost half say they could have become multisite at a smaller size.
  3. Campus viability starts at 75-350 people, depending on your model.
  4. The typical multisite church is just 4 years into the process, and 57% plan to launch an additional campus in the next 12 months.
  5. One in three (37%) multisite churches started a new campus as the result of a merger.
  6. The vast majority (88%) of churches report that going multisite increased the role of lay participation.
  7. The vast majority (87%) of campus pastors are found internally—trained and hired from within the church.
  8. Multisite campuses grow far more than church plants, and likewise multisite campuses have a greater evangelistic impact than church plants.
  9. Nearly half (48%) of multisite churches directly sponsor new churches.
  10. The recommended distance between campuses is a travel time of 15-30 minutes.

The Gospel Coalition - 'Non-Shepherding' Pastors: Option or Oxymoron?

Denny Burk - Why the GOP is embracing gay marriage
The Pew Research Center recently conducted a poll on support for gay marriage. Among those who identify as Democrats, there are no surprises. A solid majority supports gay marriage. But opinion among Republicans is quite divided at the moment. The division is not regional (red state vs. blue state) but generational. While only 39% of Republicans support gay marriage overall, a whopping 61% of Republicans under the age of 30 favor legal gay marriage.

What does this mean? If demographics is destiny, it is very clear what is going on here. The Republican party’s future will be no different from the Democratic party’s present on the issue of marriage. It also means that social conservatives who insist on public policies supporting traditional marriage will be increasingly alienated from the party. There won’t be a place at the GOP table very much longer for social conservatives who care about this issue.

Tim Challies - The False Teachers: Ellen G. White
Ellen Gould Harmon was born on a small farm near the village of Gorham, Maine, on November 26, 1827. Only a few years after her birth, her parents Robert and Eunice Harmon gave up farming to move to the nearby town of Portland where her father became a hat maker. When Ellen was nine she was permanently disfigured when a fellow student maliciously hit her in the head with a rock. The rock put her into a coma that lasted several weeks and forced her to miss a long period of schooling.

When Ellen was twelve, she and her family attended a Methodist camp meeting in Buxton, Maine, and there she had a formative religious experience in which she professed faith in Jesus Christ. In 1840 and 1842 she and her family attended Adventist meetings and become devotees of William Miller. Miller had dedicated himself to the study of biblical prophecy and was convinced that Christ would return on October 22, 1844. When Christ did not return, a non-event that would become known as The Great Disappointment, most people abandoned Adventism. But in the resulting confusion, Ellen claimed to have received visions that were soon accepted as God-given revelation. The small Adventist movement that remained was split by many rifts and much infighting, but Ellen was believed to have a gift that could reunite and guide the movement. Her dreams and visions continued and she quickly became a leader among them.

Joel Willitts - Listening to Scripture and Telling You What I Hear
I came across a great story about Karl Barth. During one of Barth’s seminars in the 1950′s a debate arose among students in the class about his method in Church Dogmatics. This debate, as it was recounted, was heated and lasted for over an hour. During the debate Barth remained silent; he puffed on his pipe, sipped his wine and listened [I wish I could smoke my pipe and sip Pinot  in my classroom!] As the debate was moving into the second hour, it occurred to one of the students that Barth was sitting in the room. Funny how something like this can happen. So the student turned to Barth and posed to him the original question that set off the debate in the first place. Barth didn’t respond immediately. Perhaps a full minute of awkward silence went by before he respond with this:
If I understand what I’m trying to do in the Church Dogmatics, it is to listen to what Scripture is saying and tell you what I hear.

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