Friday, June 13, 2014

All Around the Web - June 13, 2014

John StonestreetThe Good Dad
When I was a kid, Republican Vice President Dan Quayle decried the glamorization of single-parent families on popular television shows such as “Murphy Brown,” and he was mocked, on air, by Murphy Brown herself.

Well, today, a lot more people are listening, and a lot fewer are mocking. The statistics are just too clear.

In large parts of America, we have two or three generations of boys raised without their dads. In fact, 15 million kids in America live apart from their biological fathers—or one in three American children. A whopping 44 percent of children in mother-only households live in poverty, compared with just 12 percent living in intact homes. Further, 85 percent of prisoners have no relationship with their dads, while 63 percent of teen suicides come out of situations in which father is not at home.

It’s no wonder, then, that 92 percent of those polled by the National Center for Fathering say that dads make a “unique contribution” in their children’s lives, and that 70 percent see absentee dads as the biggest family or social problem in America. So what do we do about it?

Thom Rainer - Seven Reasons Why Most Church Outreach Programs Fail
  1. They are seen as an end instead of a means. As a consequence, some will be a part of an outreach ministry as a sense of legalistic obligation. Most church members, especially Millennials, refuse to participate in something unless they know the “why” behind it.
  2. Most outreach programs are not addressed in front-end membership classes. The best time to help shape expectations and responsibilities of members is when they first become a part of the church. Rarely is the issue of becoming outwardly focused addressed.
  3. Many outreach programs do not feel natural. Though it is cliché, the best way to share the love of Christ is in the natural overflow of our love for Him. The best outreach ministries should teach us how to channel that overflow.
  4. When a church has an outreach program, it can be perceived as a ministry for the few. So the majority of the members can say it’s “someone else’s” ministry. The Great Commission is not a multiple choice question.
  5. Most outreach programs fail to explain that sharing the love of Christ is a vital part of spiritual growth. Instead it is often seen as a “check list” among other obligations at the church.
  6. Outreach programs can offer excuses for people not to be outwardly focused. I used to conduct church surveys when I was a church consultant. A common theme I heard was: “I do this ministry, so I don’t have to be involved in evangelism and outreach.”  In other words, being an outwardly focused Christian becomes an option among many. And it’s usually not chosen.
  7. Outreach programs can put the responsibility of evangelism on institutions. So if a church is not evangelistic, it’s because the denomination or other resource providers are not doing their jobs. Local churches and local church members shift accountability to an institution.

Thabiti Anyabwile - Spoken Word Monday: “Thank God for Evolution” by Micah Bournes

Eric Geiger - 3 Challenges of Being a Pastor’s Wife
1. Dealing with criticism of my husband
2. Dealing with expectations
3. Time with my husband

Gigaom -
Survey says: we are a Netflix nation.

Forty-seven percent of all U.S. households subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or a combination of these services, and 49 percent of all households have at least one TV connected to the internet, according to a new study from the Leichtman Research Group about emerging video services. Four years ago, only 24 percent of all households had an internet-connected TV.

That combination of connected TVs and internet video subscriptions is increasingly shaping what we are watching. Forty-nine percent of all Netflix subscribers watch online video programming on a connected device every week, compared to only eight percent of viewers who don’t subscribe to Netflix. And 78 percent of all Netflix subscribers watch their videos on a TV.

Thirty-four percent of the people quizzed for this study said that they watch online video every day, and 61 percent do so every week.

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