This past summer, thousands of Assemblies of God churchgoers went on short-term missions trips. These trips often do much good. They certainly change the people who go on them for the better. But is it a good idea to shift a church’s missions strategy to short-term missions?
Similarly, churches are increasingly supporting “social justice” causes such as anti-human trafficking initiatives and water well drilling as an important part of missions. Granted, these are great causes, but are they missions?
In today’s episode of the Influence Podcast, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks with Doug Clay and Greg Mundis about what missions is and why missions need long-term missionaries. Doug Clay is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God (USA), and Greg Mundis is executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions.
America is in the midst of a generational sea change. Baby Boomers are no longer the nation’s largest generational cohort. Instead, Millennials are.
Unfortunately, Millennials are the least religious generational cohort in our nation’s history. If the Church wants to reach Millennials, it cannot rely on strategies that worked with Boomers. The generations are simply too different.
In today’s episode, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Geoff Surratt about five tensions churches must manage to successfully engage Millennials.
Together with his wife, Sherry, Geoff is the founder of Ministry Together, which “partners with “ministry leaders for relational health, organizational growth and Kingdom impact.” He is also author of the free e-book, The Church Will Thrive.
Roughly half the U.S. population is male, but fewer men attend church on average than women do. In the Assemblies of God, for example, the latest statistics indicate that men account for 31.5 percent of Sunday morning attendees, while women account for 40.4 percent. This gap in attendance reveals a ministry opportunity.
Earlier this year, Michael Zigarelli — professor of Leadership and Strategy at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania — conducted a qualitative survey of seven Protestant churches with greater parity in attendance between men and women. His working paper, “Churches that Attract Men,” identified transferable principles of man-friendly churches and is the springboard for today’s Influence Podcast conversation between him and Influence magazine’s executive editor, George P. Wood.
Topics of conversation include why attracting men is a good church-growth strategy and what man-friendly churches have in common. But Zigarelli also addresses “pushback questions”: Why are we talking about man-friendly churches in a culture that’s talking about “toxic masculinity”? Does being man-friendly trade on shopworn gender stereotypes or complementarian views of church leadership? And does attracting men create a void of ministry to women and children?
It’s an interesting, informative conversation, so make sure to listen to the entire thing!
In today’s episode, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Chris Sonksen about his new book, Quit Church: Because Your Life Would Be Better If You Did, published by Baker Books.
Sonksen believes too many American Christians take a "noncommittal, casual approach" to both God and the Church. By doing so, they miss out on the tremendous blessings God has for them. Quit Church is about quitting nominal religion and practicing a vibrant faith.
Chris Sonksen is pastor of South Hills Church, a multisite congregation in southern California; founder of Church Boom; author of When Your Church Feels Stuck; and an Assemblies of God minister.