Churches adapt to change by planting multiple campuses

Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, Mo., and Air Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., started separate congregations to minister to differing geographic areas or a particular ministry focus. But most multisites remain together because of their shared spiritual DNA.

Church and founding pastor either grow together, or somebody moves on

Whether the founding pastor of a church matures with the congregation or moves on once the new work is well established depends on a host of factors, according to three church-growth and church-planting experts. And either the initial focus on which the church started or the pastor must change for the church to move forward, the three believe.

Death in a minister's family means transitions in ministry, identity

The death of a minister—or the minister’s spouse—marks a difficult phase in the life of both the church and the pastor’s family. The church and the spouse left behind must deal with the loss of that team concept, the intertwining of gifts and calling when a pastor or his or her mate passes away.

Student ministers face challenges as age separates them from youth

Age can influence the career direction a youth minister or campus minister takes. Family transitions may lead to a ministry change, or the minister may feel age has separated him or her from students.

Clergy shortage turns to ministerial glut in some denominations

After a decade-long clergy shortage in America’s pulpits, Christian denominations are now experiencing a clergy glut—with some denominations reporting two ministers for every vacant pulpit.

If there’s a just way to wage war, what about ending one?

As the United States prepares to reduce troop levels in Iraq this summer and Afghanistan next year, the 1,500-year-old "just war" theory is being deployed on a less familiar mission—ending the wars ethically.

Book draws on music of U2 to call for Christian unity

A new book written by a Baptist professor applies theological themes found in the music of the Irish rock band U2 to the quest for Christian unity.

Faith Digest: U.S. Catholics vexed at Vatican

Nearly three-quarters of Catholics in the United States believe the Vatican tried to cover up clergy sex abuse, and a majority says Pope Benedict XVI has handled recent reports of past abuse poorly, according to a new poll, but less than 10 percent have considered leaving the Catholic Church over the issue.

For shy worshippers, church can be totally overwhelming

Recent studies reveal introverts make up roughly half of the population. And an  introverted personality can sometimes clash with the prayer-and-share ethos in Christian churches.

Barriers of attitude block people with disabilities from full inclusion in churches

A longtime advocate for people with disabilities said the greatest barriers to including special-needs individuals in churches are not architectural or language but rather barriers of attitude.

Author describes what having an autistic child taught her about God

Kathleen Deyer Bolduc, a nationally recognized author and speaker in the field of disability ministry, said she was unprepared to parent a special-needs child before the birth of her third son.

First person: Anybody can be a friend

Not everyone has the expertise or ability to do something significant about a problem as big as helping families deal with disabilities, but “anybody can be a friend.”

Welcoming people with special needs can mean spiritual, numerical growth

Churches that do a good job of including members with special needs like autism often reap side benefits of a positive witness to their community and sometimes even numerical growth, says an expert in disability ministries.

Seminaries not preparing pastors to minister to disabled, some assert

An expert in the field of disability ministry says theological seminaries are doing little to prepare ministers to deal with the estimated one in five Americans living with some kind of disability.

Is God trying to send people a message through disasters?

What is it about nature’s fury that attracts theological interpretation? For many religious leaders, scholars say, it’s an opportunity to win new believers.
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