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ILLUSTRATION… Discipleship Journal, 11-12/92
A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness
5. (Tie) Sexual lust
Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when…
they had neglected their time with God (81 percent)
and when they were physically tired (57 percent).
Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising
situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent).
A recent survey by George Gallup Jr. revealed a startling trend in our culture. According to Gallup the evidence seems to indicate that there are no clear behavioral patterns that distinguish Christians from non-Christians in our society. We all seem to be marching to the same drummer, looking to the shifting standards of contemporary culture for the basis of what is acceptable behavior.
In the article "The American Witness" in the Nov/Dec 1997 issue of The Barna Report, George Barna examined 131 different measures of attitudes, behaviors, values, and beliefs. In that study he concluded that in the aspects of lifestyle where Christians can have their greatest impact on the lives of non-Christians there is no visible difference between the two segments. For example, Christians are just as likely as non-Christians to have been divorced, bought a lottery ticket, watch MTV or have subscribed to cable television. Christians are also just as likely to watch PG-13, R, and even X rated movies as non-Christians.
How valuable is salt? 40 million tons are required each year to fill our needs. Homer called it divine. Plato called it a "substance dear to the gods." Shakespeare mentioned salt 17 times in his plays. Perhaps Leonard da Vinci wanted to send a subtle message about purity lost when he painted "The last Supper." In that painting an overturned salt cellar is conspicuously placed before Judas. In ancient Greece a far-flung trade involving the exchange of salt for slaves gave rise to the expression, "...not worth his salt." Special salt rations were given to Roman soldiers and known as "Solarium Argentums" the forerunner of the English word "salary." Thousands of Napoleon?s troops died during his retreat from Moscow because their wounds would not heal--their bodies lacked sal...
Engineers tell us that the only way that metal can safely be used is after testing it. And it must exceed the testing requirements. Repeatedly. The metal to be used must be pure. And in order for it to be purified, it must go through fire. It must be melted, and molded to fit the designers purpose.
Just as metal must be molded, purified, and tested; we have to be tested before God will use us for His purposes.
Many Converts-Few Disciples: This is the conclusion of George Barna after 2 years of research. Is this why church-es have lost their relevance in American culture? Not one person polled, when asked to identify their most important goal for their life, said it was to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ, or to make disciples of Christ. Most believers say their church does little to help them grow as true disciples. Something is very wrong here! (Barna Online 11/28)
Where Are The Young Clergy? The numbers of young pastors have been steadily declining in recent years. In 75, about 24% of Presbyterian ministers were under 35today its just 7%. Episcopal priests under 35 have dropped from 19% to 4% over the same period. For Roman Catholic priests the rate has gone from 16% to 6%. Researchers suggest modest salaries and lack of prestige as two reasons for the declines. (Discipleship Journal 9-10/01)
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...
One researcher says some 160,000 martyrs died for Christianity in 03 reports Discipleship Journal Mar/Apr 04
Pastor Training: The most common types of training pastors seek are:
· Leadership/management skills 54%
· Church growth 52%
· Prayer/spiritual growth/renewal 49%
· Evangelism/outreach training 45%
· Personal skills training 28%
· Discipleship/small group development 26%
· Worship planning and ideas 24%
· Marriage & family ministry 19% (LifeWay Facts & Trends Mar/Apr/05)