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Church Tech: 9 out of 10 Protestant pastors have Internet access, and about half of all Protestant churches maintain a church Web site, according to a recent Ellison Research study. While 90% of ministers are online, only a third of those use a content filter on their church office computer. 88% of larger churches (200 or more in attendance) maintain a Web site, compared to 60% of mid-size churches (100 to 199) and only 28% of churches with fewer than 100. Pastors expect that the most important forms of technology in their ministry over the next 5 years will be doing research on the Internet followed by using Bible study software, building, or maintaining a Web site, using PowerPoint, and being able to show DVDs or videos. (PWB 1/7/05)
IS YOUR CHURCH A CHURCH OF BONES?
In the town of Sedlec in the Czech Republic, there is a famous cemetery that dates back to the 13th century. Some 40,000 people who died from the Black Plague in the 14th century and in the Hussite wars in the beginning of the 15th century were buried there. Around 1400, a Gothic church of All Saints was built at the center of the cemetery. Underneath it, a chapel was built as an ossuary to hold the bones unearthed in mass graves during the construction of the church. This church of bones contains the skeletal remains of these 40,000 people. It is literally a church of bones.
It’s like the Lutheran pastor who always started each service with "The Lord be with you." The people would respond, "and also with you.”
But, one Sunday the PA system wasn’t working so the first thing he said was "There’s something wrong with this microphone." The people responded, "and also with you."
Tony S. Searles
10% of church members cannot be found?
20% of church members never attend church
25% admit that they never pray
35% admit that they do not read their Bibles
40% admit that they never contribute to the church?tithe or offering
60% never give to missions
70% never assume responsibility within the church
85% never invite anyone to church
95 % have never won anyone...
John Bisagno former Pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church tells the story of his coming there to candidate for the position of pastor many years ago. He said that as he entered the auditorium it was dimly lit, with just a few people huddled together. They were singing some old slow funeral type song that was depressing.
Later that day he took a walk in downtown Houston and came upon a jewelry store. It was some sort of grand opening and there were bright lights and a greeter at the door to welcome you in with a smile. Inside there was a celebration going on. There were refreshments and people having a good time talking and laughing with each other. They welcomed him and offered him some punch. He said that after attending both the church and the jewelry store, if the jewelry store had offered an invitation, he would have joined the jewelry store!
A. Todd Coget
A minister gave an unusual sermon one day, using a peanut to make several important points about the wisdom of God in nature.
One of the members greeted him at the door and said, "Very interesting, Pastor. I never expected to learn so much from a nut."
Have you heard about the little boy who attended church for the first time and was asked how it went? He replied, "The music was nice but the commercial was too long."
THE PREACHER WHO WOULDNíT DO
A church was in need of a preacher. One of the elders was interested in finding out just what kind of a preacher the church wanted. In order to do this he composed a letter as though it had been received from a preacher and read it to the committee selecting a new preacher.
Understanding that you need a preacher, I would like to apply for the position. I have many qualifications that I think you would appreciate. I have been blessed to preach with power and have some success as a writer. Some say that I am a good organizer. I have been a leader in most places I have gone.
Some folks, however, have some things against me. I am over fifty years of age. I have never preached in one place for more than three years at a time. In some places I have left town after my work caused riots and disturbances. I have to admit that I have been in jail three or four times, but not because of any wrongdoing. My health is not too good, though I still get a good deal done. I have had to work at my trade to help pay my way.
The churches I have preached in have been small, though located in several large cities. I have not gotten along too well with the religious leaders in different towns where I have preached, and I am sure that they will not recommend me. In fact, some of them have threatened me, taken me to court, and even attacked me physically. I am not too good at keeping records. I have been known even to forget whom I have baptized...
Minister, Funny: THE CHAIN LETTER
The chairman of the Church Board received the following chain letter in the mail:
"This chain letter is meant to bring you happiness. Unlike other chain letters, it does not cost money.
"Sit down and make a list of five other churches that are tired of their ministers. Send a copy of this letter to all five churches on the list. Then send your minister to the church on the bottom of the list. In one week you will receive 15,625 ministers, and one of them should be a hit! Have faith in this letter.
"P.S. Please donít break the chain. In fact, one church broke the chain, and they got their old minister back."
Someone has estimated that the average member of the church has heard 6,000 sermons, 8,000 congregational songs and led zero people to Jesus Christ!
Here is the way the problem stacks up in a Church with 200 members:
20 are too old to work, that leaves 180 left to work,
but of the rest, 18 are too timid to accept much responsibility
that leaves 162 left to work,
but 12 are out of town or away for school,
so that leaves 150 left to work,
but 25 of those work long hours six or seven days a week,
so that leaves 125 left to work,
but 20 of those are tied down with children
that leaves 105 left to work,
but 20 of those are unable to work because of poor health,
that leaves 85 left to work,
but 55 are unfaithful, do not attend regularly, or donít care...
that leaves 30 left to work,
but 20 of those will attend church...but they refuse to work...
that leaves 10 left to work,
8 of those are very tired of doing all the work and have asked to be relieved
That leaves 2 people, you and me...
But Iím too busy with other things, so you do the work.