Megachurch Attendees

Much is written about megachurches, including here on this blog (US Megachurches, Megachurches Shaping American Protestantism, Mega Megachurches, Megachurch Bubble, Megachurches Offer a  Religious High, Church Size and Growth Potential, and even Mega-Interest in Megachurches).  One man, however, is behind as much or more research on megachurches than any other: Warren Bird. Bird, research director at Leadership Network, is the co-author of a report entitled "Not Who You Think You Are," which Read More …

Ways to Engage Volunteers

I have been in more than a few meetings this year when someone at the table said "people don't volunteer like they used to" or "we just don't have enough volunteers."  Churches should be about helping every member (as well as every active participant!) be engaged in ministry.  Creating a congregational culture that promotes volunteerism doesn't happen by chance. Phil Bowdle, creative arts director at West Ridge Church (Atlanta, GA), recently shared four ways his congregation improved their Read More …

A Compelling Volunteer Culture

Many churches spend a lot of time talking about the need to recruit more volunteers.  Jeff Brodie, Executive Director at Connexus Community Church and a strategic partner of North Point Ministries, recently shared characteristics of congregations "that have a compelling volunteer culture."  His list includes they are motivated by what they want FOR people, not from people; they don’t just tell people that they are important, but they give them something important to do; they keep the Read More …

Who Volunteers Most?

While religious people tend to volunteer more than non-religious, a new study finds that one factor makes more difference than any other in determining who volunteers the most: type of high school attended.   Jonathan Hill and Kevin den Dulk's research, published last month in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, "shows that graduates of Protestant high schools out-volunteer peers from Catholic, secular, public, and home schools—all by significant margins." So What? While Read More …

Review of Cognitive Surplus

Meet the Author Clay Shirky teaches at New York University where he has a joint appointment as Arts Professor at the graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program in the Tisch School of the Arts, and as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute in the Faculty of Arts and Science.  He is best known for his work with the "social and cultural effects of the internet and mobile phones, particularly where they allow for amateur access to the public sphere Read More …

Volunteering in America

Last week a federal report was released providing a wealth of information about volunteerism in America.  The report is based on data "collected through a supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) September Volunteer Supplement. The CPS is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households (approximately 100,000 adults), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics." The executive summary of the 2010 data contains the following: In 2010, the national volunteer Read More …

Shifts in American Religious Behavior

The Barna Group recently published a list of changes in American religious behavior over the last twenty years based on data collected via their annual OmniPollSM survey conducted each January. Bible reading undertaken during the course of a typical week, other than passages read while attending church events, has declined by five percentage points (to 40%); Church volunteerism has dropped by eight percentage points (to 19% who do so during a typical week); Adult Sunday school Read More …

Never Complain About

Jon Acuff, author of Stuff Christians Like (2010) and Quitter (2011), recently blogged about complaining. In that post he shared his past personal experiences of complaining about various aspects of church life, before learning how unhealthy his perspective had become.  In contrast, he suggests a better way for members and active participants to respond to areas of church life they see as less than ideal: then I learned a pretty powerful truth about church volunteers that forever changed my Read More …