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  • Urban, multicultural Bible study YOU marks 10 yrs.

    by Helen Gibson , posted Thursday, November 15, 2018 (yesterday)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- A Bible study curriculum for urban, multicultural environments -- simply titled YOU -- is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The team that produces the resource is remembering the past while continuing to look to the future.

    LifeWay Christian Resources first published the quarterly YOU curriculum in the fall of 2008 as a way to minister to those who were underrepresented in LifeWay's content and product offerings, said Beverly Sonnier, content editor for YOU.

    "It came out of a desire to create a curriculum specifically designed to meet the needs of African Americans, urban, multicultural individuals and churches," Sonnier said.

    At the time, Mark Croston was president of the Southern Baptist Convention's National African American Fellowship, encompassing more than 4,000 predominately African American churches. Read More

  • Women urged to be 'Confident' amid cultural issues

    by Joy Allmond, posted Tuesday, November 13, 2018 (3 days ago)

    Photo by Joy Allmond
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- There was a collective gasp among the 1,600 women gathered for the kickoff of the 2018 LifeWay Women's Leadership Forum. During a panel discussion on racial reconciliation, Missie Branch shared about a shocking thing she once heard from some Christians heading to China for mission work.

    "Someone asked them what they were looking forward to about going," said Branch, assistant dean of students to women at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. "They said, 'There's no black people there.' To hear those things in the body of Christ means we're not as far along as we think we are."

    Trillia Newbell, director of community outreach at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, reminded the audience that Christ followers are already reconciled together because of the blood of Jesus Christ. Read More

  • Faith, technology, innovation explored at conf.

    by Aaron Wilson, posted Monday, November 12, 2018 (4 days ago)

    Photo by Aaron Wilson
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- In the future, could a machine lead a human to faith in Christ? Actually, it's already been done, said data scientist Daniel Whitenack.

    At Faith Leads Tech, a conference hosted Nov. 9 at LifeWay Christian Resources' corporate headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Whitenack described a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) software to tell people about Jesus. To date, more than 400 people have interacted with the bot and made professions of faith, Whitenack reported.

    Using AI technology for redemptive purposes was just one of many topics discussed at Faith ... Read More

  • Annual Church Profile & more of the SBC story

    by LifeWay staff, posted Friday, November 09, 2018 (7 days ago)

    Baptist Press file photo
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Long-standing patterns continued to dominate the 2017 Annual Church Profile report released in June. The number of congregations cooperating with the Southern Baptist Convention increased over 2016 totals, while reported membership and baptisms continued their year-over-year decline.

    But that's not the whole story, noted Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, which compiles the ACP data in cooperation with Baptist state conventions.

    The 2017 ACP totals released in June counted all 51,920 congregations affiliated with ... Read More

  • Pastors see economic turnaround in 2018 giving

    by Aaron Earls, posted Wednesday, November 07, 2018 (9 days ago)

    iStock
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- The economic recovery appears to have reached the offering plate, according to a new study released today (Nov. 7).

    Today, 8 in 10 Protestant pastors (79 percent) say the total offerings at their church this year are at or above last year's levels, including 42 percent who say this year is ahead of last year. Few pastors (15 percent) say giving is not keeping pace with last year. This latest survey from LifeWay Research was conducted Aug. 29 to Sept. 11.

    Those positive giving numbers have followed the economic upturn, noted Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. Read More

  • Grow a healthy worship ministry, avoid 'war'

    by Joy Allmond, posted Thursday, November 01, 2018 (15 days ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- When Mike Harland joined LifeWay Christian Resources President and CEO Thom S. Rainer a couple of years ago on the "Rainer on Leadership" podcast, he never imagined those conversations about music ministry would lead to writing a book.

    On Nov. 1, B&H Publishing released the fruit of those discussions, "Worship Essentials: Growing a Healthy Worship Ministry Without Starting a War!" by Harland, director of LifeWay Worship.

    "Dr. Rainer began having me pretty regularly as a guest," Harland said. "His audience is largely pastors. We began to talk about worship issues, and the podcast became a safe place to address those pastors' questions about worship ministry."

    The audience responded overwhelmingly to the dialogue. Read More

  • Survey sees mix of orthodox belief, shifting opinions

    by Carol Pipes, posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018 (24 days ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Six in 10 Americans say religious belief is a matter of personal opinion. For 7 in 10 Americans, such religious beliefs include one true God existing in three persons -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But an increasing majority of Americans deny Jesus has always existed and many say the Holy Spirit is a force rather than a personal being.

    Those are among the findings of a new study of American views on Christian theology from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

    "When the majority of Americans believe religious belief is more personal opinion than objective truth, then we expect to see contradictory beliefs [as well as] beliefs that change over time," said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. Read More

  • Evangelicals & politics: Reasons for voting 'complex'

    by Aaron Earls, posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018 (24 days ago)

    iStock
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Politics is important for most evangelicals, but not so important that they question the faith of those who vote differently from them, a new study shows.

    A new survey from LifeWay Research sponsored by the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College explored the voting habits and political motivations of three groups of Americans: evangelicals by belief, self-identified evangelicals and those who are not evangelical by belief or self-identity. The survey was conducted May 9-16.

    Evangelicals by belief -- those who hold to four key theological statements developed by LifeWay Research and the National Association of Evangelicals -- were most likely to say politics is at least somewhat important to them (87 percent), with 30 percent saying it is extremely important. Read More

  • Greear, LifeWay launch 'Ask Me Anything' podcast

    by David Roach, posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018 (24 days ago)

    Photo courtesy of The Summit Church
    DURHAM, N.C. (BP) -- Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear has launched a podcast that allows him to engage listener-submitted questions about biblical, ethical, theological, political and practical issues.

    "Ask Me Anything: Honest Answers, Quick Questions" debuted Monday (Oct. 22) with three episodes, the first of which addressed what podcast cohost Todd Unzicker called the "number one question" Greear gets asked: "Pastor J.D., are you a Calvinist?" Ask Me Anything launches along with the LifeWay Leadership Podcast Network, which is carrying the podcast. Read More

  • ETCH conference: Together, we can do so much more

    by Aaron Wilson, posted Monday, October 22, 2018 (25 days ago)

    Photo by Amanda Mae Steele
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- When attendees arrived at the 2018 ETCH family ministry conference, each discovered a small, monochromatic card on their seat.

    Over the course of the conference, church leaders assembled these seemingly insignificant cards into a giant collage that revealed a Helen Keller quote: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

    The visual aide marked the tone for a conference focused on breaking down silos and helping ministry leaders and families link arms around the Gospel. ETCH -- ... Read More