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Why would anyone attend a Megachurch?

Question:  Why would anyone attend a Megachurch? It just seems to be about hype and money and the pastor promoting himself. That’s not what church should be about. I never expected to become an apologist for the Megachurch when I began my research years ago, but I’ve...
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Environmentalism and the Black Church: New Frontiers

A recent article from the Religion News Network highlights Trinity United Church of Christ, a Black congregation in Chicago, that focuses much of its energy on the environment, and much of its congregational cultural focus surrounds issues of the environment. The article reads,...
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Implicit Assumptions and Expectations: Spell Them Out

Many religious leaders struggle with fitting into new congregations. Congregants may have implicit assumptions and expectations of the new leader — whether it’s what day the leader takes off, to how frequently he visits those who are homebound, to preaching or...
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The Introduction of Newcomers

The people who make up a congregation changes regularly — new babies are born, individuals and families move in and out of the community, and members die. Membership in religious organizations in the United States is a voluntary activity, and one that is the matter of...
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Rituals as an Indicator of Congregational Culture

One important way to examine your religious community’s culture is through its rituals. Rituals say something about who we are and what we hold dear, pointing to deeper meanings. In religious communities, these religious rituals outline how a deity is worshiped. Examine how...
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Building Strong Church Communities: A Sociological Perspective

At their deepest level, human beings are social creatures, in the image, Christians would say, of the Trinity itself.  But the individualistic bent of modern American society has led writers to focus more on the spiritual needs and growth of individuals than on the needs and...
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Whitebread Protestants – Social Food to Create Community

Chapter 2 of Whitebread Protestants: Food and Religion in American Culture by Daniel Sack focuses on food as a central mode of community organizing within America’s churches. He argues that “Americans go to church for more than teaching and prayer. They go looking for...
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Growing Churches: Religious Vitality in Canada

A recent National Post article examines Protestant mega-congregations in Canada. Broadway Church, in Vancouver Canada, shuffles 2,000 congregants through churches on a given Sunday. The large, auditorium-esq sanctuary, modern music, and casually-dressed pastor give attenders the...
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Shrinking Churches: Attendance Declines in Canada

A recent article in the Calgary Herald outlines the attendance declines in Mainline congregations in Canada. Victor Kim, the lead minister at Grace Presbyterian Church, put it this way: Mainline Protestant churches had to stop clinging to their “past ubiquity”, he said. “We kind...
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Bishop Tests Congregation’s Compassion

A Mormon bishop from Salt Lake City, David Musselman, recently transformed his appearance to that of a homeless person, attempting to better understand how people of difference were treated in his congregation. The UK Telegraph reported the story in a recent article. The article...
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