Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Religious but not spiritual: The high costs of ignoring personal piety"

Interesting, researched article from the Association of Religion Data Archives: the reason many churches are declining is that they don't nurture spiritual growth.

Study after study shows what may appear to outside observers to be simple common sense: A major reason people attend religious congregations is to deepen their faith lives and draw closer to God.

The U.S. Congregational Life Survey found the percentage of weekly worshippers who reported growing in faith through their congregation was twice as high as the percentage of more infrequent attenders who experienced similar spiritual growth.

The survey also indicated that “grassroots evangelists,” those who feel at ease sharing their faith with others and invite people to worship, were far more likely to strongly agree their spiritual needs are being met in the congregation and to practice devotional activities every day or most days.

“Worshippers in strong congregations also regularly spend time on their own praying, reading Scripture or using other materials to help them better understand and deepen their faith,” survey researchers reported. “In other words, congregations where people spend time on their own cultivating their faith tend to have extraordinary worship as well. They’re bookend strengths.”

In a survey of megachurches, the No. 1 reason people gave for moving from a spectator to an active participant their congregation was this: “I responded to an inward sense of call or spiritual prompting,” researchers Scott Thumma of Hartford Seminary and Warren Bird of the Leadership Network reported in their new book, “The Other 80 Percent: Turning Your Church’s Spectators Into Active Participants.”

And the No. 1 reason people participated less in their congregation in the past two years? It was a tie between “had less time” and their faith had “gotten weaker,” according to a separate survey of parish profile inventories offered by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

More here. Discuss.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church"

From the Barna Group:

Many parents and church leaders wonder how to most effectively cultivate durable faith in the lives of young people. A five-year project headed by Barna Group president David Kinnaman explores the opportunities and challenges of faith development among teens and young adults within a rapidly shifting culture. The findings of the research are included in a new book by Kinnaman titled You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Church.

The research project was comprised of eight national studies, including interviews with teenagers, young adults, parents, youth pastors, and senior pastors. The study of young adults focused on those who were regular churchgoers Christian church during their teen years and explored their reasons for disconnection from church life after age 15.

No single reason dominated the break-up between church and young adults. Instead, a variety of reasons emerged. Overall, the research uncovered six significant themes why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15. ...

The six reasons (and more) here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Career Fair Today (October 4)

Dress up, bring a resume, and go see what this is about--even if you aren't a senior.

Career Fair
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
McCown Gymnasium, Winona State University

This annual fall event is sponsored by the offices of Career Services at Saint Mary's University, Winona State University and Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical. This Career Fair is open to all students, freshman through seniors, who are exploring career options or looking for internship and job opportunities. As a participant of Career Fair, you may wish to speak with employers about their organization in general, about coursework and extracurricular activities that are helpful or necessary for entry into certain fields, or about specific opportunities within their organization, including internships, summer jobs, and permanent positions. No pre-registration is required for students. Employers who would like to register, or students who would like to set up an interview, should contact Director of Career Services & Internships Jackie Baker at (507) 457-6695 or

Shuttle van schedule:
Departs Toner Center turnaround at 10:30, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00
Leaves WSU campus and returns to SMU at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:45

Link to a list of registered employers and graduate school representatives:

Happy Feast of St. Francis!

From a few years ago...recognize anyone?

The arrangement and performance is by Sarah Hart.