Showing posts from May, 2023

Declining Churches Searching for the Silver Bullet Pastor

  The problem of declining churches in America was nothing new when the COVID-19 pandemic first struck in March 2020. I tend to ignore 2020 through 2022 when measuring whether a church has declined. But let’s be honest: if you look back to March 2020 and compare your attendance and financial giving back then to that of today, in March 2024, and both are lower, on average, by more than a few percent, your church has declined. If you had a children’s ministry before the pandemic, and you now struggle to wrangle up more than a few kids on a typical Sunday, you have declined. Your church needs revitalization. Sure, there are other, less tangible measures of health. How are you doing evangelistically? Are you reaching your neighborhood with the gospel? Are you making disciples? Maybe your church has already taken proactive steps in the direction of revitalization. Perhaps you’ve already decided to make some hard decisions rather than kicking the can down the road. If so, good on you! Sadl

Dear Self-Published Christian Author

by Bart L. Denny, Ph.D., Th.M.  Dear Self-Published Christian Author, I am rooting for you. I admire you. I have no doubt that you have a message that needs to be out there. I’m glad you think your book would look good on the shelves of the Christian bookstore for which I buy inventory. If we sell your book, you win and we win. So, I am writing to ask, as Tom Cruise’s character, Jerry Maguire, so famously pleads with his client, “Help me help you!” I want to lovingly disabuse you of a few notions as I get rolling. The first one is that because you are local to the store, customers will automatically be interested in your book. I’m sorry, but they won’t. Not only that, but you have a lot of competition from other local, self-published authors and plenty of local authors that publish traditionally with the major Christian publishing houses. You must have at least some local notoriety—and a way to let people know your book is available locally at fine Christian bookstores. Second is the i