Sunday, January 28, 2007

CARE ~ New Book Church@ Community Proposes Paradigm Shift

Church@Community: Strategic Core Values that Engage Faith in Culture

Author Ed Delph challenges traditional mindsets about the church and its relation to the neighboring community in his new release, Church@Community. Dr. Delph proposes a paradigm shift in the way churches relate to the community at large. Instead of disengaging itself from secular activities, the church should be a sphere of influence in business, government, education, and entertainment. In this unique book on community reformation, Delph challenges conventionalism and the status quo. Based on the Book of Nehemiah, Church@Community addresses the need for Christian entrepreneurialism, diversity in the church, and strategic prayer. Written for pastors and leaders as well as anyone desiring to see transformation, church@Community raises a new standard for the body of Christ.

Click Here For Sample Chapter

About the author:

Ed Delph, D.Min., who has traveled to or ministered in over 160 countries, has been a pastor for over 25 years. He is currently the founding pastor of an exciting new church called Church@Community built on the principles of this book. Ed received his Doctorate of Ministry in Faith in Culture from the Phoenix University of Theology. He also devotes himself to the call of NATIONStrategy, an organization that unleashes the potential of communities through the strategic alliance of church, business, government, and media. A noted speaker, author, and an apostolic figure to many churches globally, Ed serves, “the Church” as well as “a church.” He is Dean of Faith in Culture at Phoenix University of Theology as well as serving on the National Council of Ecclesiology.===>Click headline for more information . . .


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Sunday, January 21, 2007

LC2C - How Do You Measure Success?

JOEL NEWS


"One New Year's Eve I asked my pastor a very straight forward question: 'How many adults came to faith in Christ at our church this year?' The pastor, a very diplomatic man, said, 'I am not sure. I'll have to get back to you on that.' But he and I knew the answer. It was zero. I added it up. That year our church conducted 104 regularly scheduled worship services, 7 special services, some 250 adult classes, 600 committee meetings and 1,000 small-group meetings and ran through a $750,000 budget to produce exactly zero new adult followers of Jesus Christ. We gathered. We worshiped. We loved each other. But we produced no crop. Our church was a contraption worthy of Rube Goldberg: lots of sound, motion, fury to produce a tiny amount of fruit."

Steve Hill quotes 'Why Men Hate Going to Church' by David Murrow, page 164, and adds his 2 cents: "What is interesting is the demand for results when a church gives several hundred dollars to a mission project in the second or third worlds. The unspoken reality is no results, no more money (and that is perhaps as it should be!). Yet that same group will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on themselves without any results and think nothing of it!"

==>Click headline to access Marc van der Woude's blog . . .

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Changing The Culture of the Church - 5 Imperatives

FIVE CHANGES THAT COULD REVOLUTIONISE THE CHURCH

by Eric Swanson advisor to CitiReach International

For some, it may be a small prophetic cloud on the horizon, for others, it is the Holy Spirit's quiet working: all around the world, Christians are beginning to wonder whether God didn't really mean Church to be completely different from how we know it. It's no longer about success, size, seeker sensitivity, gifts of the Spirit or the number of small groups. It's about making a significant and sustainable difference in the lives of people around us - in our communities and in our cities.


There is an attitude change sweeping through the Church, headed up by leaders who feel at home in changing times and a changing Church. Here are just five points of significant change that are emerging in the Church across the world.

1. BUILD BRIDGES, NOT WALLS

If Christians are 'the salt of the Earth', how do we see ourselves as a church? Are we standing outside society, inviting people to 'come to us', or are we willing to leave our isolation, entering our communities and transforming them? Robert Lewis, pastor of the Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, was content with his 'successful, growing mega-church' until he realised how little influence it had on the city. He asked the mayor how the church could help the community. The answer was a list of challenges facing the city. The church then faced the question of what they could do "that would cause people to marvel and say, 'God is at work in a wonderful way for no one could do these things unless God were with them!'"? And so it came to be that over 100 churches and 5,000 volunteers help their communities in the Little Rock area in very practical ways. The relationship of Christians to the city has been revolutionised.

2. EMPHASIS IMPACT, NOT ATTENDANCE

Two helpful questions are "would the city cry, if your church ceased to exist?" and "would anyone notice if you moved away?" Today, it is deeds, not words, which are the greatest testimony to the reality of Jesus Christ. Effective Christian ministry has always been holistic, connecting good works with the Good News.

Tillie Burgin, for example, founded 'Mission Arlington' to reach people in her city who were not going to church, to be "a church which goes to the people, not the other way around." Today, Mission Arlington is a movement of around 250 house churches totalling around 4,000 people, who help some 10,000 people every week, changing their lives in some practical way. "The question is no longer 'how large is your church?' but 'how much impact do you have in your region?'"

3. ENCOURAGE SERVICE, NOT ATTENDING THE SERVICE

God appointed ministries to 'equip the saints to works of ministry' (Eph. 4:11), not to 'bring the saints to the Sunday service'. Ministry is often misunderstood as being something purely church-oriented. The opportunities to minister are often limited to leading Sunday School, a Bible study group, singing in the choir or membership in a church committee. It is not surprising that pastors complain that only 20% of the members are active. Maybe the opportunities inside the church are simply too limited! We need to communicate and implement 'every-member ministry', the message that every Christian is an ambassador of Christ and has a ministry of some form, whether inside or outside the Church, perhaps to the region's poor and needy, perhaps in some other form.

4. FROM "SERVE US" TO "SERVICE" - FROM INWARD TO OUTWARD FOCUS

"The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give..." (Mark 10:45) When the Communists took over Russia in 1917, Lenin did not ban the Church, but forbade it to do any good works. Central elements of Christian ministry such as feeding the hungry, teaching and caring for the sick and orphaned were taboo for the Church. Seventy years later, the Church was completely irrelevant. Today, without Lenin, many churches still do exactly that, concentrating only on preaching, with identical results. Take service out of the church, and it becomes irrelevant and weak.


Mary Francis Boley, leader of women's ministry in the First Baptist Church in Peachtree City, Georgia, called on women in the church to keep their eyes open for women in the community who nobody else was reaching: cashiers, hairdressers, single mothers, homeless women, strippers and prostitutes. Her aim is to 'save the women of Atlanta' - starting with the women in the church, because "people cannot become mature Christians without giving themselves in service to others!"

Steve Sjogren of the Vineyard Community Church of Cincinnati has engraved the words "small things done with great love will change the world" in stone above the entrance to the church.

5. PARTNERSHIP INSTEAD OF DUPLICATED SOCIAL MINISTRY


Almost every city or community has social services and morally positive and spiritually neutral groups which are doing their best to care for the needy, such as giving shelter to the homeless and providing safe houses for abused women. There are also church and para-church ministries concentrating on particular groups such as students, youth or businesspeople. Instead of starting duplicate ministries, why not help existing ministries and services, saving resources and creating synergy?


In Boulder the group Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has a list of two hundred youths waiting for an elder mentor. That is a great opportunity for Christians to become partners. How about listing not only the Bible Study times, but also twenty or more partner ministries in the church newsletter? Many social service agencies need exactly that which churches generally have: willing volunteers, financial support and meeting places. That way, partnerships form around shared care and love for the city or region instead of theology, and Christians have more opportunity to 'love their neighbour' through existing organisations. That way, we all very quickly become the letter 'known and read by everyone' (2. Cor. 3:2)"

Source: Australian Prayer Network



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LC2C ~ Renewing Vision for a New Year

Renewing Vision for a New Year

Paul Cedar
Paul Cedar, chairman of the Mission America Coalition, shares the vision for the Loving Our Communities to Christ initiative through this Q&A article.

Note: The prayer-care-share lifestyle mentioned refers to a three-part approach to evangelism: First, a lifestyle of praying for neighbors, friends, family members, and co-workers who donĂ¢��t know Christ. Then, a lifestyle of caring for them in practical tangible ways--intentional acts of kindness. And finally, on the foundation built by prayer and caring, sharing Jesus Christ with them.

MAC: What is Loving Our Communities to Christ, and how does it relate to the Mission America Coalition vision?

PC: The Mission America Coalition has a number of important ministries, ministry networks, and initiatives taking place. Loving Our Communities to Christ is the major evangelism initiative of the Coalition at the present time. LC2C focuses upon grass roots, evangelistic outreach in cities and communities, calling Christ's followers to cultivate a prayer-care-share lifestyle.

MAC: The MAC annual meeting this year was about "culture change." How can culture change happen through LC2C?

PC: A prayer-care-share lifestyle must begin with the pastors and other Christian leaders of a given city or community in order to permeate the lives of Christians of all ages within the local churches. When hundreds and thousands of Christians in churches and communities begin to live a lifestyle of praying, caring, and sharing with others, a basic change of the culture can potentially begin to take place. The culture change starts within local churches and then spreads as a transforming agent into the community.

MAC: How is the pilot project going with Loving Our Communities to Christ?

PC: Nine pilot cities/communities are involved in the first phase of Loving Our Communities to Christ. This is a very exciting time. To be candid, we thought that perhaps one or two of them would be faltering at this point, but, quite to the contrary, they all are doing very well. We rejoice and thank the Lord!

The Holy Spirit is leading the pilot cities in a variety of wonderful approaches and some significant ministries are already taking place. We are already hearing of lost people coming to faith in our Lord Jesus, and of churches, ministries and business leaders working together in Christian unity in new ways.

Mobilizing people to live a prayer-care-share lifestyle is the foundation, but the Holy Spirit is so creative as to how it will be worked out. That is the major reason we have nine pilot cities rather than just two or three--we want to see demonstrated the creativity and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

MAC: How can others be involved in LC2C or spread the vision for LC2C if they are not part of a pilot city?

PC: The first step is personal--begin to practice the prayer-care-share lifestyle. Then, using your sphere of influence, encourage other Christians and churches to promote and practice this lifestyle of praying, caring and sharing. Love your community to Christ--one person, one congregation at a time.

For more information about Loving Our Communities to Christ or the nine pilot cities, please visit www.missionamerica.org or contact info@missionamerica.org.


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Thursday, January 18, 2007

CARE ~ The Kindness Revolution

See more book notes at www.davidmays.org

HorKind 06-10-160

THE KINDNESS REVOLUTION

The Company-Wide Culture Shift that Inspires Phenomenal Customer Service

Ed Horrell

AMACOM, 2006, 198 pp., ISBN 0-8144-7307-5

Customer service is the subject of Ed Horrell’s writing, consulting and syndicated radio show. He has stretched a powerful concept into a book by elaborating on a few principles and showcasing several businesses that excel in customer service.

Thesis: “…providing exceptional, compassionate customer service can happen only when you build a deep and lasting relationship with your employees. And it is kindness, says Horrell, that most characterizes that relationship.” (Flyleaf)

“…service levels are discussed constantly, and yet what fascinates me is that so many companies continue to be oblivious to what their customers are thinking and saying about their service!” (Preface)

“Numerous surveys indicate that the biggest reason that companies lose customers is an attitude of ‘indifference’ on the part of one employee.” (Preface)

Companies that are passionate about customer service include L.L.Bean, Chick-fil-A, Nordstrom, Mrs. Fields, St. Jude Children’s Research Center, The Ritz-Carlton, and FedEx.

“Each of these companies is driven by a distinct, clearly visible value system that permeates the entire organization. …these values were introduced into each company by its founder.” “Kindness appears to be a key, if not the key, in companies that ‘own’ their customers rather than ‘renting’ them.” (Preface)

“Ownership of customers—actually having customers who are going to do business with you regardless of your location, price, or competition—comes as a result of values at the core of the company.” (Preface)

The ‘Silver Rule of Customer Service: “We should seek to communicate with others not the way we wish to be communicated with, but rather the way they wish to be communicated with.” People like to be treated differently. (Introduction)

“It is imperative that you determine whether or not your employees are assets or liabilities.” Among questions to ask yourself are these:

· “Does this employee make me proud that he or she works in my company?”

· “Would I be pleased if I had an entire company made up of employees like this one?”

· “Is this employee respectful around people of different races, genders, cultures, and ages?” (Introduction)

“Satisfied customers are not loyal, they are simply lingering.” (3)

Excellent customer service can be physically sensed, like the aroma of fresh bread, according to Tom Peters. (3) This aroma represents values such as dignity, respect, courtesy and kindness. “These values are a part of their culture, engrained in the company.” (4)

“The way you treat your employees will be the way they treat your customers. I have found this to be a universal truth; it never fails.” (4)

“First of all, and perhaps most important, the companies that own their customers know what it is that their customers want!” Most companies think they know what their customers want and act on that assumption without ever asking (or listening to) the customers! (4-5)

“Great customer service comes only as the result of great customer knowledge.” Customer desires are not determined in the boardroom! (7)

“Listen to what your customers and saying and give them what they want.” (8)

Four levels of customer service: dissatisfaction, apathy (lack of dissatisfaction but not satisfaction either), satisfaction, loyalty. (8-9)

“Success via values and focus on service should be a never-ending quest. The ‘best’ do not cease in their efforts.” (10)

What do the finest customer service companies do differently? They are nice. “Indifference is the service killer.” (14-5)

Some of the things the author desires as a customer:

“I don’t want to be ignored.”

“I don’t want to have trouble getting someone to talk to, either on the phone or in person.”

“I don’t want to be left on hold for long periods of time.”

“I don’t want to constantly have to ask the other person what he or she said.” (21)

“When people think of you, you want them to genuinely want to do business, spend time with you, and help you. You want your customers, clients, coworkers, colleagues, even competitors, to think and speak highly of you to others. The way to do this is very simple: Make living your life with absolute integrity and kindness your first priority…..” (25, quoting Don’t Worry, Make Money by Richard Carlson)

Steps to a customer service orientation in your company:

1. “Make sure your corporate mission is clear to every employee.”

2. “Identify how every job in your company supports your mission.”

3. “Communicate the importance of each job to the person who does that job.” (46-7)

“One of the first things I learned about Chick-fil-A is the concern that the operators have for their employees.” They feel that the way to help the store is to help the employee first. Chick-fil-A mentors the people it hires. (53-4)

“The values at the top of an organization must be visible and in action within the organization. Words mean nothing; actions are the measuring stick of values.” (59)

“Satisfied customers will always spread the word.” (62)

The motto of the Ritz-Carlton: “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” “Their challenge is to remember constantly to lift themselves up to the level at which they have placed their customers! We serve Ladies and Gentlemen; let us act like Ladies and Gentlemen.” At the Ritz-Carlton, “you might not get perfection, but you will get respect.” (63)

“We don’t hire, we select.” “I can’t teach people to be warm, genuine, friendly and kind. So we identify those talents in the individuals we hire…” (68, quoting Bruce Seigel, area marketing director with The Ritz-Carlson)

“Each Nordstrom employee receives the employee handbook. It consists of one page….” Nordstrom has no jingle, slogan, or logo. It simply has a reputation for world-class service. (83)

“Empowerment means making each of them [employees] feel that he or she is important to your team, and giving them roles in which they have some freedom to operate; to make decisions on their own that are consistent with advancing your corporate values. It means giving your employees the power to do their jobs.” (86)

John Nordstrom had a simple philosophy: “Listen to the customer. Provide them with what they want. Appreciate the fact they came to your store, and do everything within your power to ensure that they’re satisfied when they leave.” (89, from the Nordstrom web site)

FedEx core values: (95)

Respect—Treat each person with dignity and respect.

Integrity—Be worthy of trust.

Service—Serve others.

Excellence—Relentlessly strive to exceed expectations.

Communication—Understand and be understood.”

At the Baddour Center, operated by people with mild or moderate mental retardation, “Every employee I visited spoke with pride of his or her work….” “To a person, they would tell me their name and describe with great pride what they did and how it fit into the big scheme of getting these important packages out to ‘our customers.’” (102-3)

The secret to owning your customers is to treat them with kindness in every transaction that takes place.” (108, italics are the author’s.)

“Whatever it is that your customer contact people are doing, have them add kindness to each contact.” “All employees must practice this with all customers. There are no exceptions to this rule. None.” “Kindness attracts customers. People prefer to do business with people who are nice to them.” (108)

This does not mean timidity or passivity. There is a time for being assertive. (109)

“The blind spot involves the concept that each of us has behavior we display that we are not aware of…” For example, some people are so intent on their thoughts or activities that they fail to notice people. They reflect indifference. (109)

“If the core values are trust, honesty, kindness, diversity, dignity, and respect, then this group will attract other leaders with those same values. They will transcend those values to the treatment of employees, who will likewise transfer those same values to customers.” (112) “Basically, every layer of a company is a reflection of the previous layer’s value system.” (113)

“Simply stated, most employees will treat your customers the way they are treated themselves.” “The best companies I discovered during my quest were successful in creating a culture of kindness within itself, which filtered its way down throughout the firm.” (118)

“Here is a litmus test for any company: Observe the behavior of the senior management.” (119)

“The best salespeople are ‘other conscious.’ They don’t do things to people; they do things for people after they have learned something about those people.” (119)

“You probably don’t have any idea of how much very small signals mean to employees…. Small signals say a lot.” (126)

“You’ll find that employees will take a special pride of ownership of business practices if they are given an opportunity to participate in the process. It is surprising to me how rarely companies take advantage of the knowledge of their frontline employees to help in improving the process of serving their customers.” (128)

David Mays
DavidLMays@sbcglobal.net

Helping leaders fulfill their roles in the Great Commission

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Friday, January 05, 2007

RESOURCE ~Teleconference Training on Transformation

“Together…Transformation” with Phill Butler and Bill Sunderland of visionSynergy. These calls will focus on the key principles for forming strategic ministry partnerships for city-reaching. All calls are planned for 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on the following dates: January 9, February 13, and March 13, 2007.

We believe these calls will develop you as leaders and coaches of leaders in the City-reaching movement.

Please email bsunderland@visionsynergy.net to get the phone number and pin code for the calls.

FORMAT:

15 minutes – Exploring the model – hearing from those who are experienced. Dealing with that month‘s subject (e.g. Barriers and Roadblocks)

15 minutes – Exploring the principles – what are the principles that this model shows us? Feedback – your situation – dialogue

15 minutes – Applying the principle to your situation – participants discuss what you can or will do in your city – what you learned from today’s call.

Finish with open-ended discussion and prayer.

**Tuesday January 9, 2007 at 11:00 AM Eastern

Barriers and Roadblocks to an effective multi-level city partnership. Learn how to identify them and overcome them. This session will deal with both the open, very well understood barriers to partnership and some that are not so well known. We will hear from those in the trenches about their experiences. Then we’ll learn how to apply the transferable principle to our own city and peculiar situation.

**Tuesday February 13, 2007 at 11:00 AM Eastern

Mobilizing a multi-level city partnership. What are the different constituencies in a city? How do you get them on board? Do you have to have everyone? What is the role of vision and where should the research come in? See how every city is different, but that there are elements that cut across all the cities. Learn how you can apply it in your city. Receive encouragement from other city-reachers who are experiencing the same frustrations.

**Tuesday March 13, 2007 at 11:00 AM Eastern

Sustainability – where does the money come from? There is more than just raising money to keep a multi-level city partnership going. What are the best ways to find and get funding? In other city partnerships, where does the money come from? Will that work in my city? What are the other elements that enable a multi-level partnership to maintain interest, engagement of the various partners, and a steady flow of resources?

In Christ, Bill Sunderland, VisionSynergy
bsunderland@visionsynergy.net

cell:415-305-2398

On Behalf of…..
Rev. Glenn Barth Rev. Jarvis Ward
Convener National Facilitator
City Impact Roundtable Mission America Coalition

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

CARE ~ Are We Measuring Up?

SUMMARY:
New research measures the level of involvement in evangelism activities, and in community outreach programs, among U.S. Protestant churches. Reasons for lack of involvement are also explored.

FULL RELEASE:
Research results being released for the first time in the January/February edition of Facts & Trends magazine show just how involved U.S. Protestant churches are in evangelism and community outreach, as well as what obstacles hold them back from being even more involved.

Facts & Trends is published bimonthly by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The findings are from a study conducted for Facts & Trends by Ellison Research (Phoenix, Ariz.) among a representative sample of 811 Protestant church ministers nationwide.

Senior ministers were asked about the activities their church has held over the past year specifically for the purpose of evangelism, as well as what types of community outreach and programs the church has offered.

The methods churches are using for evangelism are quite varied. The most common is Vacation Bible School, or VBS, which has been used by seven out of 10 churches for evangelism in the last year. At least half have used literature such as tracts or magazines (59 percent), events such as block parties or a Fall Festival (56 percent), musical events or concerts (51 percent), mailings or fliers (50 percent), and nursing home or retirement center visits (49 percent) specifically for the purposes of evangelism.

Other relatively popular evangelistic efforts include "invite a friend to church" days (42 percent), revivals or crusades (40 percent), evangelism training classes or groups (38 percent), door-to-door visitation within the community (37 percent), community service such as cleanup days (31 percent), online efforts such as blogs or web sites (27 percent), audio or visual products such as tapes or DVDs (26 percent), and booths at community events such as the county fair (20 percent). Ninety-seven percent of all churches report doing something specifically for the purposes of evangelism over the last year. Just what churches are doing to evangelize their communities differs quite a bit by denominational group. Southern Baptist churches are particularly big on using revivals or crusades, literature, evangelism training classes or groups, and door-to-door visitation, but are less likely than average to use any sort of online evangelism. Other Baptist groups (National, Progressive, General, etc.) are fairly close to average, but are a bit more likely than others to use literature and door-to-door visitation. Methodist churches are more likely than average to use events, but less likely to use literature, door-to-door visitation, and revivals or crusades. Lutherans are particularly likely to rely on Vacation Bible School, online methods, and mailings or fliers, and less likely to use revivals or crusades, musical events or concerts, or audio/visual methods. Pentecostal churches are particularly likely to employ musical events or concerts, revivals or crusades, "invite a friend to church" days, and audio/visual products, but less likely than average to use Vacation Bible School for evangelism. Presbyterians are especially unlikely to use literature, revivals or crusades, door-to-door visitation, or audio/visual products. In general, evangelical churches use a greater variety of evangelistic tools than do mainline Protestant churches. Evangelical churches are considerably more likely to attempt evangelism through literature, revivals or crusades, evangelism training classes or groups, door-to-door visitation, and audio/visual products, while mainline churches have only a greater propensity for doing community service as a form of evangelism.

Other relatively popular evangelistic efforts include "invite a friend to church" days (42 percent), revivals or crusades (40 percent), evangelism training classes or groups (38 percent), door-to-door visitation within the community (37 percent), community service such as cleanup days (31 percent), online efforts such as blogs or web sites (27 percent), audio or visual products such as tapes or DVDs (26 percent), and booths at community events such as the county fair (20 percent).

Ninety-seven percent of all churches report doing something specifically for the purposes of evangelism over the last year.

Just what churches are doing to evangelize their communities differs quite a bit by denominational group. Southern Baptist churches are particularly big on using revivals or crusades, literature, evangelism training classes or groups, and door-to-door visitation, but are less likely than average to use any sort of online evangelism. Other Baptist groups (National, Progressive, General, etc.) are fairly close to average, but are a bit more likely than others to use literature and door-to-door visitation.

Methodist churches are more likely than average to use events, but less likely to use literature, door-to-door visitation, and revivals or crusades. Lutherans are particularly likely to rely on Vacation Bible School, online methods, and mailings or fliers, and less likely to use revivals or crusades, musical events or concerts, or audio/visual methods. Pentecostal churches are particularly likely to employ musical events or concerts, revivals or crusades, "invite a friend to church" days, and audio/visual products, but less likely than average to use Vacation Bible School for evangelism. Presbyterians are especially unlikely to use literature, revivals or crusades, door-to-door visitation, or audio/visual products.

In general, evangelical churches use a greater variety of evangelistic tools than do mainline Protestant churches. Evangelical churches are considerably more likely to attempt evangelism through literature, revivals or crusades, evangelism training classes or groups, door-to-door visitation, and audio/visual products, while mainline churches have only a greater propensity for doing community service as a form of evangelism.

The survey also explored the kinds of community outreach or programs offered by churches. Pastors were allowed to define their church\'s involvement; for instance, a large, well-funded, daily day care center, and having the youth group volunteer to baby sit for single mothers within the congregation once a month, could both qualify as "free or low-cost day care. Only three types of outreach are offered by a majority of U.S. Protestant churches in a typical year: food pantry, food collection, or other food-oriented donations (73 percent), Vacation Bible School (68 percent), and holiday food programs such as Christmas or Thanksgiving baskets for poor families (65 percent).

Other types of community outreach offered by much smaller proportions of churches in the last year include prison ministry (25 percent), homeless outreach (24 percent), Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts (20 percent), blood drives (17 percent), after-school programs for kids (14 percent), sports programs (11 percent), and outreach to specific ethnic groups (11 percent).

Fewer than one out of ten Protestant churches offer any kind of free or low-cost day care services, abortion or pregnancy counseling, domestic violence programs, English language classes, job skills or job training, or adult literacy or reading classes. Just like with evangelism efforts, there are denominational differences in offering community outreach programs. For instance, 46 percent of Methodist churches have some sort of homeless outreach, compared to just 10 percent of Southern Baptists. However, with community outreach efforts there is also a larger pattern of commonality among evangelical churches and among mainline churches than exists with evangelism efforts. While evangelical churches offer a greater variety of evangelism programs and efforts, mainline churches are offering a wider variety of community programs that aren\'t necessarily involving evangelism. Mainline churches as a group are more likely than evangelical churches to have food donations, holiday food programs, Vacation Bible School, homeless outreach, blood drives, Scouting, and domestic violence programs. Evangelical churches are more likely to offer abortion or pregnancy counseling and sports programs, although still relatively few do either of those.

The survey also explored the kinds of community outreach or programs offered by churches. Pastors were allowed to define their church's involvement; for instance, a large, well-funded, daily day care center, and having the youth group volunteer to baby sit for single mothers within the congregation once a month, could both qualify as "free or low-cost day care."

Only three types of outreach are offered by a majority of U.S. Protestant churches in a typical year: food pantry, food collection, or other food-oriented donations (73 percent), Vacation Bible School (68 percent), and holiday food programs such as Christmas or Thanksgiving baskets for poor families (65 percent).

Other types of community outreach offered by much smaller proportions of churches in the last year include prison ministry (25 percent), homeless outreach (24 percent), Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts (20 percent), blood drives (17 percent), after-school programs for kids (14 percent), sports programs (11 percent), and outreach to specific ethnic groups (11 percent).

Fewer than one out of ten Protestant churches offer any kind of free or low-cost day care services, abortion or pregnancy counseling, domestic violence programs, English language classes, job skills or job training, or adult literacy or reading classes.

Just like with evangelism efforts, there are denominational differences in offering community outreach programs. For instance, 46 percent of Methodist churches have some sort of homeless outreach, compared to just 10 percent of Southern Baptists. However, with community outreach efforts there is also a larger pattern of commonality among evangelical churches and among mainline churches than exists with evangelism efforts.

While evangelical churches offer a greater variety of evangelism programs and efforts, mainline churches are offering a wider variety of community programs that aren't necessarily involving evangelism. Mainline churches as a group are more likely than evangelical churches to have food donations, holiday food programs, Vacation Bible School, homeless outreach, blood drives, Scouting, and domestic violence programs. Evangelical churches are more likely to offer abortion or pregnancy counseling and sports programs, although still relatively few do either of those.

The study also delved into pastors' reasons for their churches not being more involved in community outreach (regardless of how involved they are). Problems common to at least half of all churches include lacking sufficient volunteers (58 percent), sufficient staff (56 percent), sufficient lay leaders (52 percent), and sufficient funds (50 percent). Other significant obstacles explained by ministers are that there\'s just not enough time to do everything (41 percent), lack of sufficient facilities (31 percent), that the congregation is mostly older people (26 percent), and that the church is located in a small town or rural area (25 percent). In addition, 39 percent essentially are not highly interested in offering more programs for the community, saying they would rather focus on their own congregation than on the community, they would rather focus on spiritual needs than on physical needs, it\'s not a major priority for their church, their community has no major needs, other organizations do these things better than they do, or their congregation or community really aren't interested in community outreach. This is consistent across all major denominational groups, as well as between evangelical and mainline churches. Lack of volunteers, funds, and facilities is particularly acute within Pentecostal churches. Methodist churches struggle with older congregations and rural settings more than average. Southern Baptist and Presbyterian pastors also are more likely than average to cite a preponderance of older people in the congregation. Lutheran ministers are less likely than others to point to a lack of resources such as staff, funds, and facilities, but more likely to say their congregation just isn't interested in community outreach. Ron Sellers, president of Ellison Research, found it ironic that so many churches and pastors put a low priority on doing more to reach out to their community. "In an environment where communities and people have so many needs, and in which church growth is such a hot topic and a stated goal for so many pastors, it seems odd that so many churches really don\'t wish to do more," Sellers observed. "This lack of priority takes many forms - the congregation isn't interested, the community doesn't want our help, we want to focus on our own people - yet if churches are not consistently reaching outside their own walls, how are they to grow? It was particularly surprising to see about four out of 10 mainline pastors, who tend to place so much emphasis on the social gospel, essentially saying that increasing community outreach isn't a high priority for their church.

The study also delved into pastors' reasons for their churches not being more involved in community outreach (regardless of how involved they are). Problems common to at least half of all churches include lacking sufficient volunteers (58 percent), sufficient staff (56 percent), sufficient lay leaders (52 percent), and sufficient funds (50 percent).

Other significant obstacles explained by ministers are that there's just not enough time to do everything (41 percent), lack of sufficient facilities (31 percent), that the congregation is mostly older people (26 percent), and that the church is located in a small town or rural area (25 percent).

In addition, 39 percent essentially are not highly interested in offering more programs for the community, saying they would rather focus on their own congregation than on the community, they would rather focus on spiritual needs than on physical needs, it's not a major priority for their church, their community has no major needs, other organizations do these things better than they do, or their congregation or community really aren't interested in community outreach. This is consistent across all major denominational groups, as well as between evangelical and mainline churches.

Lack of volunteers, funds, and facilities is particularly acute within Pentecostal churches. Methodist churches struggle with older congregations and rural settings more than average. Southern Baptist and Presbyterian pastors also are more likely than average to cite a preponderance of older people in the congregation. Lutheran ministers are less likely than others to point to a lack of resources such as staff, funds, and facilities, but more likely to say their congregation just isn't interested in community outreach.

Ron Sellers, president of Ellison Research, found it ironic that so many churches and pastors put a low priority on doing more to reach out to their community. "In an environment where communities and people have so many needs, and in which church growth is such a hot topic and a stated goal for so many pastors, it seems odd that so many churches really don't wish to do more," Sellers observed. "This lack of priority takes many forms - the congregation isn't interested, the community doesn't want our help, we want to focus on our own people - yet if churches are not consistently reaching outside their own walls, how are they to grow? It was particularly surprising to see about four out of 10 mainline pastors, who tend to place so much emphasis on the social gospel, essentially saying that increasing community outreach isn't a high priority for their church."

Sellers also noted that while churches frequently cite a lack of staff, facilities, people, and/or money as reasons for not being more involved in the community, increasing those things doesn't necessarily lead to greater involvement. "In smaller churches, you often hear about limitations, and how things can be 'once we grow,'" Sellers said. "But pastors in larger churches - which usually have more staff, more funds, larger facilities, and obviously more potential volunteers and lay leaders - still commonly name the lack of these resources as obstacles to being more involved in the community. Plus, they are much more likely to add to the mix a lack of time to accomplish everything. Having more resources at your disposal apparently doesn\'t mean these obstacles are significantly reduced or removed.

STUDY DETAILS:
Ellison Research has conducted a series of studies among clergy and laity for Facts & Trends. Facts & Trends is a bimonthly magazine produced by the corporate communications office of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is designed to assist pastors, church staff and denominational leaders in their roles of ministry by informing them about LifeWay resources and how they relate to current issues in Christian ministry. For information about Facts & Trends, contact Chris Turner at 615-251-2307. The study was conducted by Ellison Research, a marketing research company located in Phoenix, Arizona. The sample of 811 Protestant ministers included only those who are actively leading churches. The study's total sample is accurate to within 3.3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level with a 50 percent response distribution. The study was conducted in all 50 states, using a representative sample of pastors from all Protestant denominations. Respondents' age, geography, church size, and denomination were carefully tracked to ensure appropriate representation and accuracy.

Sellers also noted that while churches frequently cite a lack of staff, facilities, people, and/or money as reasons for not being more involved in the community, increasing those things doesn't necessarily lead to greater involvement. "In smaller churches, you often hear about limitations, and how things can be 'once we grow,'" Sellers said. "But pastors in larger churches - which usually have more staff, more funds, larger facilities, and obviously more potential volunteers and lay leaders - still commonly name the lack of these resources as obstacles to being more involved in the community. Plus, they are much more likely to add to the mix a lack of time to accomplish everything. Having more resources at your disposal apparently doesn't mean these obstacles are significantly reduced or removed."

STUDY DETAILS:
Ellison Research has conducted a series of studies among clergy and laity for Facts & Trends. Facts & Trends is a bimonthly magazine produced by the corporate communications office of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is designed to assist pastors, church staff and denominational leaders in their roles of ministry by informing them about LifeWay resources and how they relate to current issues in Christian ministry. For information about Facts & Trends, contact Chris Turner at 615-251-2307.
The study was conducted by Ellison Research, a marketing research company located in Phoenix, Arizona. The sample of 811 Protestant ministers included only those who are actively leading churches. The study's total sample is accurate to within 3.3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level with a 50 percent response distribution.
The study was conducted in all 50 states, using a representative sample of pastors from all Protestant denominations. Respondents' age, geography, church size, and denomination were carefully tracked to ensure appropriate representation and accuracy.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Ron Sellers, President, Ellison Research
ronsellers@ellisonresearch.com
Phone: 602-493-3500 x8130
Additional data on this topic from the study can be found at
http://www.ellisonresearch.com/releases/20070103.htm

More complete data from these questions, including denominational detail, is available at http://www.ellisonresearch.com. If you would prefer to receive future news releases at a different e-mail address, please contact Laura Stump at Ellison Research (phone 602-493-3500 x8143), or at laurastump@ellisonresearch.com

More complete data from these questions, including denominational detail, is available at: http://www.ellisonresearch.com/releases/20070103.htm.

If you would prefer to receive future news releases at a different e-mail address, please contact Laura Stump at Ellison Research (phone 602-493-3500 x8143), or at laurastump@ellisonresearch.com
.

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LC2C @ CIR ~ The Dynamics of Transformation

~~ Fellow City-Reachers – This is YOUR Meeting —

You are invited!

Hold These Dates!

April 19-21, 2007

North America City Impact Roundtable

The Dynamics of Transformation

A Consultation for City-Reaching Practitioners

Who?

- Practioners of city or regional movements of unity, prayer, service and outreach

- Leaders of congregations and organizations collaborating with a vision for community impact and kingdom advancement.

- Includes men & women with marketplace callings, evangelistic and compassion ministries, and prayer networkers.

Where?

El Paso, TX, home to a longstanding regional movement engaging three city-reaching movements bridging two nations and two states (Juarez, Mexico; El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM).

When?

The CIR will begin @ 1:00 p.m. Thursday and conclude at noon Saturday. Attendees of any former CIR are welcome to join us for pre-CIR fellowship and prayer Wednesday night, April 18 @ 7:30pm and Thursday 9 am to noon.

What?

The CIR has four components—

1) Roundtable, Intra-City Dialogues: Sitting @ tables with leaders from different cities, sharing journeys, hearing God & discerning relevant take-aways.

2) Plenary Keynote Presentations on Principles leading to Community Transformation by Reid Carpenter, President and Founder of Leadership Foundations of America and Eric Swanson, author of The Externally Focused Church.

3) City Models that demonstrate the keynote principles in action. The focus will be on practical demonstrations of what's working.

4) Relevant Workshops & "Table-Talks"

    - Through the Doorway to Cityreaching (For those just starting the journey)

    - Building Strategic Partnerships with Marketplace Ministries

    - Multigenerational Cityreaching

    - Trench-Talk: Issues Common to Experienced Cityreachers

    - The Leadership Foundation Model and Process

    - Ministry and Outreach among Hispanics: Engaging Ethnic Churches to Reach the Whole City

    - Mission America's "Loving our Communities to Christ" Strategy: an Update

    - Keys to Leading and Managing Cityreaching Movements

    - City AIDS Summits: The Community of Compassion, the Church, Engaging the Crisis (Fall '07)

    - Righteousness & Justice: If not now, When? Essential Issues for City Transformation

Cost?

$120 Early bird by January 15, 2007

$135 January 16 - February 15
$150 Regular rate February 16 to April 6, 2007
$175 Late registration April 7 to April 19, 2007

One day options: Thursday $50 (no meals)

Thursday (with banquet)

Friday (lunch and dinner) $70

Saturday $50

Full registration includes three meals for all attendees. Hotels and motels in El Paso are inexpensive and lovely! (Register lodging at Hilton El Paso Airport by April 2, 2007 for special CIR rate of $75 - $83 per night.)

Please give serious thought and prayer to participating in the 2007 CIR. For maximum benefit, we strongly advise you come as a team, at least three leaders representing your city's unique mix.... five to seven is even better. Scroll down to register.

TOURS INTO MEXICO: Plan to come a day early or stay an extra day to enjoy an exciting all day ministry tour of Juarez, Mexico. More details coming!

The following are serving on the current CIR Design Team:

Glenn Barth (Minneapolis/St. Paul) CIR Convener

Barney Field (El Paso, TX) CIR Host

Tom White (Corvallis, OR)

Jarvis Ward (Pearl MS)

Phil Miglioratti (Chicago)

Elijah Kim (Boston)

Sheila Ford (Minneapolis)

Chris Batz (Muncie, IN)

Max Torres (Houston)

Pat Allen (Dallas)

Charles Daugherty (Cedar Rapids)

Please pray for us as we seek the Lord for His final touches on the CIR.

Glenn Barth, Convener, City Impact Roundtable

Registration for

The 2007 National Meeting of the City Impact Roundtable

El Paso, TX (Juarez, El Paso, Las Cruces region)

April 19-21, 2007

3 Ways to Register: (Please fill out a separate registration form for each individual attending.)

Fax: 760-200-8837 (if paying by credit card) or

Online: Pending

Mail: Attn: Dee Neely, Mission America, PO Box l3930, Palm Desert, CA 92255 (if paying by check or credit card. Make check payable to Mission America Coalition)

          • Early-bird Registration $120 (before January 15)
          • $135 January 16 - February 15
          • Regular Registration $150 (January 16 – April 6)
          • Late Registration $175 (April 7-19 )
          • Single day registration: $70 Thursday with banquet, $50 without

          $70 Friday

                $50 Saturday

Please note: Full registration includes 3 meals but does not include lodging.

Register your lodging at Hilton El Paso Airport by Feb 2 for CIR rate of $75.00 - $83.00 per night. Hotel phone: 915-778-4241

http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/hotels/index.jhtml?moreDesc=true&ctyhocn=ELPHIHF

Title: _________ Name: ________________________________________________________

Ministry Name: _______________________________________________________________

Mailing Address: ______________________________________________________________

City: ______________________ _____________ State: ________ Zip Code: ______________

Phone: __________________________ Cell or other: _______________________________

Email: __________________________________________

Website: ________________________________________

____ I have enclosed my check payable to the Mission America Coalition $________ (amount)

OR

____ Please bill my credit card: ___ Visa ___ MasterCard ___ AmEx $____________(amount)

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info@cityreaching.com * Phone: 952-224-3127 (9-noon Mon-Fri CST) * www.cityreaching.com


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