Population shifts present challenges for rural churches

Rural churches in America face a host of challenges as they seek to continue ministry in their communities. Loss of members through population shift from rural areas to urban centers can drain rural churches.

Some rural churches see their calling as providing a laboratory for training ministers

Rural churches, particularly those within driving distance of a seminary or denominational college or university, often become training grounds for ministerial staff.

Ways to engage a changing suburb

Suburbs are changing ethnically and socioeconomically, creating ministry opportunities and challenges for churches across the country. Here are some tips from leaders about engaging changing neighborhoods effectively for Christ.

RFD--OK, or DOA?

America’s rural churches were built upon and grew from a strong sense of community. Although many rural congregations now are in decline, that community reliance may be the key to spiritual renewal and to thriving ministry.

Faith Digest: Happiness found in church

Protestant and Catholic women in the United States have grown unhappier since stores have stayed open on Sundays, according to a study by economists from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Chicago’s DePaul UniveFaith Digestrsity.

Grant's musical journey focuses on joy within the struggles

Amy Grant's latest album, Somewhere Down the Road, chronicles life’s most heart-wrenching moments, as well as the unexpected joys.

Books challenge consumer-driven church model

Two new books challenge Christians to restore their faith to its true mission and forsake a consumerist mentality some churches adapt in a bid to meet members’ needs.

Prescription for spiritual caregivers: ‘Physician, heal thyself’

A survey of United Methodist ministers in North Carolina found them significantly more obese than their socio-economic peers in the general population. Ministers also suffered higher rates for chronic diseases like high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes.

Christian counselors say they encounter discrimination over views on homosexuality

When are religious views on homosexuality an issue of religious and academic freedom, and when are they discrimination? That’s a question raised by counselors and educators across the country.

Living in the midst of fear challenging but possible

Peaceful living in a fear-provoking environment is challenging, even—maybe especially—for Christians. Church leaders suggested several ways Christians can confront fear.

Faith, fear clash in middle Tennessee over proposed mosque

Fear and faith have divided residents of Murfreesboro, Tenn., since the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro bought roughly 15 acres of land last November to build a mega-church-style mosque facility just outside the city limits.

Does gay debate mirror church dispute on slavery?

Many Protestant progressives have sought to align the fight for gay rights with abolitionism. But while there are striking parallels, historians caution that important differences emerge upon close examination.

Fear not, Jesus said– but some Christians still do

Perfect love, wrote the Apostle John, casts out fear. But 2,000 years after those words were written, Christians' response to fear often is indistinguishable from that of the society in which they live.

Faith Digest

Concerns about pollution and water quality have prompted an environmental advocacy group to call for banning baptisms in the lower Jordan River, where the Bible says Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.

Outside financial monitoring less common in Bible Belt companies

Companies in the Bible Belt are less likely to be sued for accounting fraud or to practice aggressive financial reporting, a study indicates.
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