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OCTOBER 2011
Evangelism news from the Mission America Coalition (U.S. Lausanne Committee)

The whole Church taking the whole gospel to the whole nation - and to the world.


Make A Commitment to Prayer, Care, Share

 

The Mission America Coalition (MAC) is encouraging Christians to become more active in sharing the love of Christ with those around them. MAC invites you to sign an online commitment that includes three parts:

  • To pray on a regular basis for specific neighbors, friends, work associates, classmates, and others by name.
  • To care for them by loving them as Jesus would.
  • To share the Gospel either personally or by inviting them to church or an evangelistic event.
  • Christians who sign this commitment are joining a growing movement of tens of thousands who are committed to follow Jesus in this prayer-care-share lifestyle based on His Great Commandment (Mark 12:30-31) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

 

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Record Response For National Back-To-Church Sunday
Loving Our Communities to Christ

ImageFifteen churches in the Coachella Valley were among the 7,600 participating nationally in Back to Church Sunday in September. Last year, 3,400 churches participated, resulting in 1.4 million invitations, according to campaign spokesman Philip Nation. Getting people to show up at a church raises the chances they'll attend regularly, Nation said.

"When a person visits a church for the first time, there's a 10 percent chance they'll return," he said. "On the second visit, there's a 15 percent chance they'll return, and so on."

For the past six decades, a steady 42 percent of Americans attend church weekly, according to Gallup poll archives. This year, participating churches represented 34 denominations opening their doors to an estimated 250,000 visitors Sept. 18. Churches responding to a post-event survey welcomed an average of 34 new visitors, an increase of 25.4 percent in weekly attendance. Some churches reported that they doubled in attendance that day. One church plant, "Overflow Church" reporting on Facebook, said its attendance was up 500%.

Nearly 95 percent of pastors surveyed said they would participate again in National Back To Church Sunday, which will be held next on Sept. 16, 2012. A study by LifeWay Research and the North American Mission Board of more than 15,000 Americans found 67 percent say a personal invitation from a family member would be effective in getting them to visit a church; 63 percent say an invitation from a friend or neighbor would likely move them to respond. Next year, National Back To Church Sunday will be held Sept. 16.

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Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

 

November 13, Worldwide 

ImageThe International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), Nov. 13, is a global day of intercession for persecuted Christians worldwide. Its primary focus is to encourage intercessory prayer on behalf of persecuted communities of the Christian faith. Open Doors USA has prepared a number of valuable resources for pastors, church leaders, and individuals for this year's day of prayer. Resources to share the story of the persecuted church with congregations, small groups, classes, or friends and family are available online. Downloads include church leader materials, bulletin inserts and lessons, and videos. In addition, Open Doors USA has an initiative to spread the story of the persecuted church to the American church and beyond. "One With Them" serves as a call to action to unite with persecuted believers, not just for IDOP, but always. One way Christians in the United States can show their support is through One With Them wristbands. The black, rubber wristband looks like barbed wire. It provides an opportunity to explain to others the plight of persecuted believers. One With Them seeks to bridge the gap between American Christians and those around the world who suffer for their faith.

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National Conference Call for Prayer for Evangelism

 

National Conference Call for Prayer for Evangelism

Mission America Coalition hosts a weekly evangelism prayer conference call every Wednesday. As Christians pray for others and care for them with the love of Christ, our Lord opens wonderful opportunities to share with them. These are not contrived or legalistic attempts to do something nice for others. To the contrary, these are natural opportunities that God gives us to help others and to express His love in action. This is a season in which God is on the move in bringing people to Himself, and we want to come into agreement with Him to see every person in America touched by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dial in to: 1-641-715-3300, passcode 416432# at 12 noon CDT.

Evangelism Leaders Conference Call

 

October 27, 10 a.m. Central Time, Nationwide

Join other evangelism leaders around the country for Mission America's monthly evangelism leaders conference call. The call is held the fourth Thursday of every month, 10 a.m. Central Time, on a different issue of interest. To join the call, dial 712-451-6000 and enter passcode 268855# when prompted.

Cities and Communities Cityreaching Call
City/Community

 

October 20, 10 a.m., Central Time, Nationwide 

Glenn Smith will be the Mission America Coalition Cityreaching resource conference call guest this month. Addressing "Key Indicators of a Transformed City," Glenn will highlight significant global activity. He is senior associate for urban mission for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. The one-hour call will be held October 20. The third Thursday of each month, the Mission America Coalition's City and Communities Ministries hosts a conference call with a seasoned city-reacher. Watch the cityreaching.com website for more information. Contact info@cityreaching.com to receive the phone number and access code to join the call. Information on upcoming calls and transcripts of previous calls are available.

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La Red Trains for Next Generation in Proverbs Principles
Loving Our Communities to Christ

 

ImageThe 20th Greater Thomasville Marketplace Leader Prayer & Action Summit was held in September with 69 leaders assembled. Keynote speaker, Dr. Jerry Anderson, CEO of La Red Business Network (ministry) and CEO of Digital Dish & Light Speed Wireless Internet (employer of 900) offered La Red materials (free on the internet) and the services of La Red to train facilitators who will train the next generation to live according to godly principles drawn from the Book of Proverbs. Many local leaders from education, government, law enforcement, the marketplace and the church attended. In addition, in October, two key trainers from La Red are offering four hours of training for facilitators.

"We have been praying for years for God to transform our community and society and now it seems He is offering us a "tool" at no cost except time to begin to train young people and others the character traits and principles that lead to God's favor and blessing," reports Doug Silva, one of the Thomaville city leaders.

 

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Cedar Rapids Christian Business Lunch All About "Prayer - Care - Share
Loving Our Communities to Christ

 

In September, nearly 70 Cedar Rapids-area businesspeople listened to retired Quaker Oats executive Steve Jenkins share how the strategy of Prayer - Care - Share was used to communicate the love of Christ to the many construction workers who labored for 15 months in the building of the new facility for New Covenant Bible Church.

"The exciting thing is that many of those workers who helped build our building have been visiting our church because they felt loved during the time they worked on the project," Jenkins reported. Cedar Rapids is a Loving Our Communities to Christ collaborating city through the local partner Serve the City. Over 35 churches in the Cedar Rapids area have been challenged to make "Prayer, Care, Share" a part of their culture.

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Website Offers Hope, Surpasses 5 Million Visitors

 

ImageFive million visitors have now stopped bywww.Iamsecond.com, the website of the I Am Second movement featuring video stories of personal struggle, transformation, and hope of celebrities and everyday people. The Movement's newest initiative is the I Am Second book. Slated to release from Thomas Nelson January 2012, the book chronicles 22 video testimonies, from the website, including 2010 American League MVP Josh Hamilton; former Korn muscian Brian "Head" Welch; surfer Bethany Hamilton; "The Biggest Loser" winner Michelle Aguilar; Ultimate Fighting Championship star Vitor Belfort; Grammy-winning artist Michael W. Smith; and football stars Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford. The website has seen visitors from 217 countries/regions who have viewed over 20 million pages on the site.

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Pastors from Juarez, Las Cruces and El Paso Unite for Prayer and Evangelism
Loving Our Communities to Christ

 

El Paso city leader Barney Field reports that 24/7 prayer continues for the El Paso region - 168 volunteers pray for one hour each from the convenience of their homes; 28 churches each provide a prayer captain and 6 intercessors and a prayer guide is provided. In addition, groups of pastors from Juarez, Las Cruces and El Paso have united for prayer and evangelism. Local pastors, called Pastors for Jesus, continue to gather monthly as it has for 18 years. In addition, Old Testament Nuggets are printed on the Editorial Page of the newspaper each day for free. They cover the entire Old Testament. Last year New Testament Nuggets were featured. El Paso is a Loving Our Communities to Christ partner region.

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Churches, Families Work Together to Address Africa Food Crisis

 

ImageGlobal Aid Network anticipates that more than 4,000 people from around the United States will volunteer to help process and pack as many as 12 tractor-trailer loads of goods including vegetable seeds, rice and beans, clothing, school supplies, oatmeal, and more. From October 10-15, Global Aid Network, the humanitarian aid arm of Campus Crusade for Christ International, will open the doors of its Pennsylvania Distribution Center to hundreds of families, schools, and church groups who want to help needy communities around the world. One focus this year will be sending food and other vital aid to the Horn of Africa, where 10 million people face starvation.

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'The Grandfathers' Traces Martyred Missionaries' Legacy

 

A documentary film that has been more than 50 years in the making now completes the trilogy of movies telling the story of Nate Saint and four other missionaries martyred for their faith in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956. "The Grandfathers" completes a trilogy of movies that includes "End of the Spear" and "Beyond the Gates of Splendor." These first two films, also from award-winning director Jim Hanon and producer Mart Green. tell the unforgettable story of the killing of five missionaries by a native tribe deep in the Amazon jungle.

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Portland Churches Hold Community Event to Minister to Inner City

 

ImageRevolution Foursquare began performing park outreaches with its youth ministry over seven years ago. Through collaboration with other ministries including Luis Palau Association's Next Generation Alliance, the event has grown into an annual full-day festival featuring a growing repertoire of well-known Christian artists and new attractions such as BMX and skate demonstrations. On Labor Day in Portland, Oregon, Next Generation Alliance, Save the City Records and several area churches hosted Day in the Park. The event featured inflatable jump houses, plywood skate ramps and tents of food and activities. Music acts from freestyle hip hop to gospel played as local and visiting Christian artists joined the free event for Portland's inner-city community. Volunteer counselors were available throughout the day to pray and talk with anyone in need. The collaborators expressed a hope that this community-based outreach model would become the norm among churches.

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Georgia Church Follows in Jesus' Footsteps, 'Feeds the 5,000'

 

ImageFollowing in Christ's footsteps, Trinity United Methodist Church in Rome, Ga. provided a week's worth of food to nearly 5,000 people in one day. Organizers of Jesus in the Park, an annual event, saw 1,600 families each take home 50 pounds of shelf-stable free food. In addition, members of the community could also spend a free afternoon at Rome's Ridge Ferry Park listening to concerts, eating hot dogs and cotton candy, and playing games. By 2:30 p.m. about 50,000 pounds of food had already been given away. Organizers estimate that somewhere between 75,000 and 100,000 pounds had been distributed by the end of the event. Any leftover food items were returned to a food pantry to be given away on another day.

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The Meeting of the Waters

 

ImageFritz Kling is a foundation executive who spent the past decade traveling through villages and cities across the world interviewing grassroots workers and high-level leaders. In his new book, Kling identifies seven big trends impacting today's global church and tells compelling stories from his travels that illustrate the themes of mercy, mutuality, migration, monoculture, machines, mediation, and memory. Equal parts travelogue, character study, and global documentary, The Meeting of the Waters interlaces stories and instruction to help Christians understand a rapidly changing world.

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Jersey Church Hands Out $30,000 in 'Reverse Offering'

 

ImageInstead of passing the plate for parishioners to fill with greenbacks, Liquid Church in New Jersey handed out over $30,000 to members in a "reverse offering." Each person received an envelope with the words "God Trusts You!" Inside the envelope were $10, $20 and $50 bills. The initiative took place during a four-part sermon series teaching biblical principles of finance regarding debt and living on budget. The 2,000 member Liquid Church is also investing $60,000 of church offerings into three local recovery projects. Specifically, the funds will be used to bring relief to a Manville, N.J., neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Irene, restoring the Market Street Mission for the homeless in Morristown, and boarding the New York City Relief Bus to feed the hungry in Paterson.

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Most Bible Readers Want Accurate Word-for-Word Translation

 

Most American Bible readers prefer word-for-word translations of the original Greek and Hebrew over thought-for-thought translations and value accuracy over readability. That is the finding of a new study by LifeWay Research. A total of 2,000 Bible readers participated in the study through a demographically representative online panel. To qualify, participants had to read the Bible in a typical month either by themselves or as part of a family activity and not merely in a corporate setting. When asked whether they prefer "word-for-word translations, where the original words are translated as exactly as possible" or "thought-for-thought translations, where the translators attempt to reproduce the intent of the original thought rather than translating the exact words," 61 percent chose word-for-word.

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TOOLS TO USE 
Resources for Accelerating Evangelism

'A Heart for the Community' Examines Cityreaching Trends 
A new book helps you minister in both urban and suburban contexts. A few years ago realities like Islam, gentrification, AIDS and multiculturalism were limited to the cities. Today, this affects both the urban and suburban landscape. Editors John Fuder and Noel Castellanos have gathered together a team of experts to develop the book A Heart for the Community, a rich resource designed to help you reach your community.
More info

Great Tool for Challenging Students in Their Faith 
Research suggests that about 45% of students from high school youth ministries toss their faith aside when they go to college. The Fuller Youth Institute describes this kind of faith like a jacket: easy to take on or off given the situation, as opposed to a faith that becomes integrated into every part of a student's life. Far too often for college students, once faith is tossed on the floor, it is quickly shoved aside amid the competing priorities of college. The websitewww.stickyfaith.org offers a video and discussion questions to foster conversation about faith and the transition to college.
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VisionSynergy Announces New Website 
VisionSynergy has updated its community website dedicated to empowering the leaders of missional networks and partnerships. VisionSynergy is committed to advancing collaboration in Christian ministry around the world. 
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Prayer

FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Dear MAC Partner,

Just a year ago, I had the privilege of joining with some 4,200 Christian leaders from 198 nations of the world for the Cape Town 2010 Congress on World Evangelization which took place in South Africa. It was an outstanding gathering that has so much potential for the mission of Jesus Christ around the world.

The purpose of the congress was to bring a fresh challenge to the global Church to bear witness to Jesus Christ and all His teaching - in every nation, in every sphere of society and in the realm of ideas. I believe that purpose has been fulfilled in many ways in many places in the world including ministries, churches, denominations and individuals.

The Mission America Coalition is a part of the International Lausanne Movement which sponsored Cape Town 2011. We serve as the U.S. Lausanne Committee. As we gathered for our annual gathering in April of this year, we continued the flow of the Cape Town congress as we focused on evangelization in the United States and beyond.

We continue to build on the contributions of Cape Town 2011. As I reflect on those contributions, I believe that one of the most significant is the document entitled The Cape Town Commitment. It is a call to action that all of us should prayerfully consider. You can download the document for your prayerful review by going to our website atwww.missionamerica.org. I pray that you will do it today.

Paul
Paul Cedar
Chairman

 


LET'S CONNECT

  1. Orlando 2011 Ongoing Dialog
  2. MAC on Facebook
  3. Loving Our Communities to Christ Latest Report (.pdf)
  4. MAC-Global
  5. Cityreaching
  6. Lighthouse Movement
  7. KingdomBook Add your city/community group - use voucher: MA2010 for free membership

NEWS AND TRENDS 
for Ministry Decision Makers

Doubt Builds Faith
According to a 3-year longitudinal study of college kids and their faith by Fuller Seminary, the more students felt they had the opportunity to express their faith doubt while in high school, the higher levels of faith maturity and spiritual maturity they had in college. (Citizen Link 9/12/11)

One-Person One-Religion
Americans have drifted from clearly defined religious denominations to faiths fitting their personal preferences. America is a designer society. We want everything customized to our personal needs —clothing, food, education, and now religion, claims researcher George Barna. Barna laments, "People say, 'I believe in God. I believe the Bible is a good book. And then I believe whatever I want.'" A LifeWay Research study of Protestant pastors finds 62% predict the importance of being identified with a denomination will diminish over the next 10 years. Univ. of California Berkeley Sociologist Robert Bellah says, "You lose the capacity to make connections. Everyone is pretty much on their own." (USA Today 9/14/11)

Declining Denominational Brand Loyalty
LifeWay Research finds that, of more than 900 U.S. Protestant pastors polled, 76% personally consider it vitally important to be part of a denomination; however, 62% believe this will decline over the next decade. For example, in recent years church planters have avoided including a denominational affiliation in the church name in an effort to attract new believers. The higher the level of education attained by a pastor, the more they value denominational identification. Overall, the older a pastor, the higher they value denominational identification. (OneNewsNow 9/16/11)

Religious Decline
The percentages of Americans who know God exists (64%), say they've had a born-again experience (36%), and who pray several times a week (69%) have remained steady since the '80s. The percentages who read the Bible at least weekly (31%), watch religious TV (28%), feel extremely close to God (31%), consider themselves very or extremely religious (26%), or believe in heaven (86%) or hell (73%) have remained fairly static during the 17-year period measured, says Dr. Mark Chaves of Duke Univ. But, in 1957, 3% of Americans had no religious affiliation vs. 17% in '08. Weekly church attendance is closer to 25% than the 35%- 40% often reported. The percentages who never attend services rose from 13% in '90 to 22% in '08. The percentage who grew up with religiously active fathers fell from 70% for those born before 1900 to 45% for those born after '70. Since'80 the percentage who believe the Bible should be taken literally fell from 40% to 30%. The percentage who have a great deal of confidence in leaders of religious institutions has slipped from 35% in the '70s to 25% today.(American Religion: Contemporary Trends, Mark Chaves, Princeton Univ. Press 2011)

Pastors Concerned
82% of American Protestant pastors agree (55% strongly) with the statement, "I am concerned that the emerging generation of children, teens, and young adults is not embracing the Christian faith to the same degree as their parents." (Facts and Trends, Spring 2011)

Commitment
On the one hand, 81% of self-identified Christian adults say they've made a personal commitment to Christ that is still important in their life today. 78% strongly agree spirituality is very important to them. 22% of self-identified Christians claim to be "completely dependent upon God." These figures help explain why a 52% of self-identified Christian adults believe there is much more to the Christian life than what they have experienced. Without a full determination to live like Christ and for Him, the path to complete transformation is blocked.(Maximum Faith by George Barna, Metaformation/SGG/WHCP, 2011)

Free Speech in the Pulpit
A new survey by the Alliance Defense Fund and LifeWay Research has found 86% of U.S. Protestant pastors believe the government should not regulate their sermons. "Pastors and churches shouldn't live in fear of being punished or penalized by the government," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. "Keeping the gospel central to what is preached is not in conflict with addressing the subject of political candidates when warranted. These results show that the desire to keep the gospel central does not mean that pastors want the IRS to regulate their sermons under the threat of revoking their church's tax-exempt status. No government-recognized status can be conditioned upon the surrender of a constitutionally protected right." (Church Report 9/12/11)

Collegiate Faith Crises
Millions of college freshmen are overwhelmed trying to make new friends, adjusting to more rigorous schoolwork, and learning to live away from home. Whether they also find time for church during their first two weeks on campus will set the mold for the rest of their college years, writes George Barna in his latest book, Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids. 61% of 20-somethings who regularly attended church as teenagers later left the pews. 40% of freshman had difficulty finding a church in college. Only 1 in 7 students surveyed said they were well-equipped for college, and less than 50% of seniors with doubts talked about them with others.(Pastor's Weekly Briefing 9/16/11)

Men & Faith
Church attendance among U.S. men declined from 42% to 36% between '91 and '11 claims George Barna in his book, Futurecast. At the same time, Sunday school attendance declined from 21% to 13% and volunteering at a church slipped from 24% to 18%. In addition, the proportion of men who believe the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches fell from 43% to 33% and having personal responsibility to share their religious views with others dropped from 28% to 23%. Yet, regular Bible reading remained unchanged, (41% in '01 and 40% in '91). (Barna Update 8/1/11)

Focus on the Family
laid off 49 people on 9/16 due to revenues failing to meet budget expectations. The family ministry's staff is now 650, down from 1,400 just a few years ago. (Foster Network 9/11)

Combined Attendance
of 2011Outreach 100 Fastest-Growing Churches is 638,693. These churches added 97,168 people over their combined previous year's attendance, an average of more than 970 per church These 100 churches include 246 worship sites. (Outreach 100, 2011)

Educated More Religious
A new Univ. of Nebraska study challenges the notion that the more educated a person becomes, the less religious they become. Although education does influence Americans' religious beliefs and activities, the effects are more complex than conventional wisdom suggests. The study found higher levels of education eroded Americans' viewpoints that their specific religion is the "one true faith" and that the Bible is the literal Word of God. Education was also positively associated with belief in the afterlife. And while more highly educated Americans were somewhat less likely to definitely believe in God, it's because some of them believed in a higher power, not because they were particularly likely to not believe at all. Also disaffiliating, or dropping religion altogether, was not a popular option for highly educated Americans, in fact, having a greater level of education was associated most often with converting to mainline, non-evangelical Protestant denominations. (Church Report 8/11/11)

Homeschooling
A new Concordia Univ. and Mount Allison Univ. study finds structured homeschooling may offer opportunities for academic performance beyond those typically experienced in public schools. Though numerous studies have shown the benefits of homeschooling, this was one of the first "nonpartisan" studies to investigate home education vs. public schooling. Structured homeschoolers outperformed public school students from a half-grade advantage in math to 2.2 grade levels in reading. (LifeSite News 9/13/11)

Fathers Needed
Research at Montreal's Concordia Univ. shows fathers who actively engage in raising their children make important contributions to their children's cognitive abilities and behavioral functioning. Compared with other children with absentee dads, kids whose fathers were active parents in early and middle childhood had fewer behavior problems and higher intellectual abilities as they grew older, even among socio-economically at-risk families. Girls whose fathers were absent during their middle childhood had significantly higher levels of emotional problems at school than girls whose fathers were present. (LifeSite News 9/9/11)

Generation X Married Couples prefer monogamy to divorce, finds Univ. of Virginia's National Marriage Project. The number of divorces in the U.S. has been in decline since it peaked in '80. The decline is particularly true among highly educated couples, only 11% of whom divorce during their first 10 years of marriage vs. 37% of the rest of the population. Religious practice is an even better predictor than a college degree of happiness in marriage and low risk of divorce.(Baltimore Sun 8/1/11)

Marriage Marginalized
Brookings Institute scholars are concerned about the marked decline of marriage among those who have graduated from high school, but have no college degree. This cohort comprises 58% of the adult U.S. population. Although marriage is still highly regarded across U.S. social classes, in recent years, moderately educated Americans have become less likely to form stable, high-quality marriages, while college-educated Americans (30% of the adult population) have become more likely to do so. High school-only grads are markedly more likely than college grads to have 3 or more sex partners in a lifetime. Although many college grads cohabit before marriage (however, fewer than non-college grads) 94% marry before having their first child. Among high school-only grads, just 56% marry before their first child's birth. Divorce rates among college grads have fallen to 1970 levels in recent years, while rising slightly for high-school grads. (Pastor's Weekly Briefing 8/25/11)

Divorce Costs
On average a divorce costs a couple $2,500 on the front end. But the costs of government support for single-parent families, can cost taxpayers anywhere from $20-30,000/year. America has had 1 divorce for every 2 marriages for 36 years, says Michael McManus. Our divorce rate is triple that of Britain or France. After 5 years, 23% of Americans have divorced vs. 8% in Britain or France, and 10% in Canada. (LifeSite News 8/22/11)

Background Checks Work
More than 25,000 background checks conducted by churches or organizations on prospective workers in the past three years have turned up more than 1,600 felony offenses, with the number of organizations conducting background checks having risen 27% in the past year, according to LifeWay Christian Resources. (Baptist Press 9/12/11)

Prime of Life
During a recent study 350,000 Americans of all ages were asked what season of their lives produced the greatest amount of happiness. It was discovered that after age 50, not all but most people are happier, less anxious, less stressed, and have less hostile emotions. (My Next Book-Year7-Chapter 15, Bob Buford)

Want a Job, Get an Education
In March '11; the national unemployment rate was 12% for people with only a high-school diploma, 4.5% for college grads, and 2% for those with a professional degree. (Atlantic Magazine 9/11)

Downward Mobility
Nearly 1 in 3 Americans who grew up middle-class has slipped down the income ladder as an adult, finds a new Pew Charitable Trusts report. Downward mobility is most common among middle-class people who are divorced or separated from their spouses, did not attend college, scored poorly on standardized tests, or used hard drugs. Being married helps people avoid the worst economic outcomes. Education, particularly going to college, is another crucial factor in economic stability. African American men have a particularly hard time clinging to middle-class status.(Washington Post 9/6/11)

Don't Leave Home Without It
Based on a recent LSU Agricultural Center study. Nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames stated, "With breakfast, students think faster and clearer and have better recall. Breakfast eaters also score higher on tests and have better concentration and muscle coordination." Most studies show children who eat breakfast are more alert and perform better on school tests than children who do not eat breakfast. They are also more creative and energetic. (Christian Post 6/24/11)

Builder & Senior Generations
Among Builders (1927-1945) and Seniors (born prior to 1927), Sunday school attendance dropped by 8 points, from 28% in '91 to 20% in '11. Weekly Bible reading also declined by 8 points, from 54% to 46%. Unexpectedly, this group has had a 12-point increase in attending a church of 600 or more people. Their proportion of unchurched has climbed 8 points to 29% since '91. There has been a 10% increase in the number of Elders who have made a personal commitment to Jesus that is still important in their life today to 76%. Their percentage of Born Agains has risen by 11 points to 49%. 71%today vs. 80% in '91 believe God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe who continues to rule today. (Futurecast by George Barna, Barna Books, 2011)

Web Surfing Helps Work
According to a new study, surfing the Web actually refreshes tired workers and increases their productivity, compared to other distractions like personal calls, texts or emails. "Browsing the Internet serves an important restorative function," a Nat'l Univ. of Singapore study. However, personal emailing was particularly distracting. When browsing the Internet, people usually choose to visit only the sites they like. "It's like going for a coffee break. It is pleasurable and rejuvenating," wrote Don J.Q. Chen and Vivien K.G Lim, study authors. (WSJ 8/22/11)

Multi-site Mergers
A recent Leadership Network survey of churches who had participated in a merger revealed that multi-site churches rated their experiences higher than churches that consolidated into one location. Multi-site churches also reported greater growth after a merger. (Advance 8/23/11)

Fast Facts:
  • 25 million copies of the Bible are sold in the U.S. annually.
  • 9 out of 10 homes in America have a Bible.
  • Only 16% of churchgoers read the Bible daily and 25% don't read it at all reports LifeWay Research.
  • Only 37% of regular church attenders say reading and studying the Bible has made a significant difference how they live their lives, finds a recent LifeWay Research study.
  • U.S. white adult weekly church attendance declined from 48% in '91 to 39% in '11.
  • U.S. white adult Sunday school attendance fell from 23% in '91to 14% in '11.
  • U.S. white adult Bible reading slid from 42% in '91 to 37% in '11.
  • Volunteering at a church dropped from 26% in '91 to 18% in '11.
  • The proportion of white adults who qualify as "unchurched" rose from 25% in '91 to 40% today.
  • U.S. white adults likely to have an orthodox view of God slipped from 72% in '91 to 66% inn '11.
  • U.S. white adults who believe the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches fell from 43% in '91 to 36% today.
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
  • 59% of parents of children 17 or younger living at home say their child has a TV in their bedroom.
  • 52% of parents of children 17 or younger living at home say their child has their own personal computer.
  • 63% of teen suicides come from fatherless homes. That's 5 times the national average.
  • Europe's population was 6% Muslim in '10 and projects that Muslims will represent 8% of the population by '30.
  • It is estimated U.S. publishers sold 2.6 billion books in '10, including 114 million e-books.
  • Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.

News and Trends information compiled and edited by Gary Foster, President of Gary D Foster Consulting, a firm that assists Christian ministries and product companies in solving management, marketing, donor/customer service and product development problems. Contact Gary at: 419.238.4082, GFosterCns@rmi.net or go towww.GaryDFoster.com.


COLLABORATIVE CALENDAR

Cityreaching Conference Call - Nationwide
October 20, 10 a.m. CDT

National Prayer Conference Call for Evangelism - Nationwide
October 5, 12, 19, 26, Noon CDT
(641) 715-3300, passcode 416432#

National Prayer Conference Call for Evangelism Leaders - Nationwide October 28, 10 a.m. CDT 
(712) 451-6000, passcode 268855#

CCDA National Conference-Innovate at Indianapolis 2011 - Indianapolis
October 12-16

CCDA National Student Leadership Intensive-Indianapolis 
October 13-15

NACSW 2011 Convention - Pittsburg 
October 20-23

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church-Worldwide
November 13

National Youth Leaders Conference - Atlanta
November 18-20

Pacific Northwest City Impact Roundtable - Vancouver, Wash. 
December 6-7

MAC National Leadership Consultation on Evangelism - Colorado Springs
October 15-17, 2012


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If you would like to support the Mission America Coalition,
including initiatives like Loving Our Communities to Christ, donate online.

www.missionamerica.org | info@missionamerica.org 
Mission America Coalition | P.O. Box 13930 | Palm Desert, CA 92255

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