Public Sees Religion’s Influence Waning

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:52 AM PDT

Nearly three-quarters of the public (72 percent) now thinks religion is losing influence in American life, up 5 percentage points from 2010 to the highest level in Pew Research polling over the past decade. And most people who say religion’s influence is waning see this as a bad thing.


Expo 2015 Spark Booklet Path 1

Mon, April 27 | 1pm – 5pm
Idlewild Baptist Church | Tampa, FL
Attend this Free Bonus Session by Registering for a Pre-Con Forum or Lab as part of Exponential East for only +$59

Hosted by Path 1 and AACPI facilitated by Dr. Candace Lewis and Rev. William T. Chaney Jr. 
Featuring Olu Brown, Lia McIntosh, George Ashford and Alex Shipman

Connect with successful African American Church planters and receive insights on planting and multiplying Ministries in a new church reaching African Americans as next generation leaders!

Our forum includes planters leading new churches of various sizes! What they have in common is a calling from God to share the gospel, impact their community, and multiply ministries. Come hear succinct Ted Talk style presentations w Q & A and receive cutting edge research & resourcing in African American Church planting.

In this session you will experience:* The importance of Vision & Momentum as you Plant & Multiply

* Connecting w your community & creating successful partnerships
* The Heart & Soul of an African American Church Planter
* Making Disciples & Multiplying Leaders
* The mindset and essentials of a multiplying movement
* The Emerging Black Church & The Next Generation

WTC QUotes

An intellectual is a person interested in ideas and comfortable with complexity. Intellectuals read the classics, even when no one is looking, because they appreciate the lessons of Sophocles and Shakespeare that the world abounds in uncertainties and contradictions. 


Excellence in in disciple making ministry is intentional.  Having a clear big picture of the ministry expectations allows the team members to attend to the various details.  The clearer the expectations the better team members can focus on attending to mission critical tasks and execute synchronized ministry.


Evangelism ministry team needs to have assurance that the hospitality team is ready to receive visitors, the facilities team will have clear signage, that the worship team will be ready to lead people into the presence of God and that the follow up team will visit and call the visitor.   This is one example of synchronized ministry. 


Each ministry team focuses on the details of their ministry that produce a support system for the other ministries to operate with excellence.  Every congregation needs a plan in order to accomplish synchronized ministry.  This plan should include

  • A system to attract, minister to and connect visitors to the ministry
  • A system to communicate the mission, vision and bedrock values of the church
  • A system of leadership training and spiritual formation for the leadership team


 Team leaders need to communicate to their team members about the several things

  • How effective we have or have not been as a team
  • Possible pitfalls to avoid as a ministry
  • Clear articulation of what excellence looks like in our ministry
  • The value of individual ministry gifts and they function effectively to compliment the ministry gifts of other team members

Easum Bandy Tenny Brittain – Guiding Christian Leaders for Ancient Mission for a Contemporary World

Church Leadership Insights with Nelson Searcy

The Ooze – Conversation for the Journey – An Emerging Church Conversation

Ministry Best Practices

Church Marketing Sucks

Midnight Oil Productions | Telling the Story in a New Light

Telling the Story in a New Light. Midnight Oil provides resources and training for ministry in a digital culture.

Upcoming Events

Online blog radio show with Tom Bandy and Bill Tenny-Brittian

Preaching from the Center
October 24 – 27
Albuquerque, NM

This year, Preaching from the Center is held in conjunction with Blessed to be a Blessing, the 40th Anniversary Convocation of the Christian Educator’s Fellowship of the United Methodist Church.

While each of the two events is self-contained, those who register for either Preaching from the Center or the Christian Educator’s Conference may attend sessions in the other event. Parts of both events, like Bible Study, worship, fellowship, meals, and evening celebrations will take place together. This is a unique opportunity for church leaders in pastoral ministry and Christian education to come together for training, continuing education, inspiration and fellowship.

Leadership Institute 2008

Church of the Resurrection
October 2-3, 2008

Leadership—it’s vital to any church that seeks to serve faithfully in building God’s Kingdom.  Leadership in a world of constant change requires a steady flow of new ideas built on solid principles. In today’s world, leadership is defined by the imperative to innovate, improve, change–or die!

Now in its 10th year, the Leadership Institute is a powerful source of creative ideas, hope, and renewal for mainline church leaders from around the country.  In just 18 years, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection has grown to serve more than 15,000 members and continues to be one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States.  Every fall, the Leadership Institute defines leadership by sharing new ministry concepts that are practical, proven and applicable to ministry settings of all sizes—based on Resurrection’s own ministry work and innovations during the previous year.  Resurrection’s innovative staff members share what’s working, pitfalls to avoid, and specific, practical ideas for how you can apply these ideas in your own ministry.

Early Christians made the marketplace the focal point of their ministry because their occupations regularly took them there. As they conducted business, it was natural for them to present the Gospel to the people they encountered. Marketplace people played a vital role in the emergence, establishment, and expansion of the early church—in fact, most of the followers of Jesus Christ remained in full-time business while simultaneously conducting full-time ministry. This was possible because they saw the marketplace as their parish and their business as a pulpit, to them witnessing was not an occasional activity but a lifestyle.

Generals, Not Privates

Today, millions of men and women are similarly called to full-time ministry in business, education, and government—the marketplace. These men and women work as stockbrokers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, farmers, chief operating officers, news reporters, teachers, police officers, plumbers, factory foremen, receptionists, cooks, and much more. Some of them have great influence on mainstream society, others are unsung heroes with low profiles, but each of them has been divinely called to bring the kingdom of God to the heart of the city.

Unfortunately, many of these marketplace Christians feel like second-class citizens when compared to people who serve full-time in a church. This should not be the case. No matter the occupation, Christians who work at secular jobs need to know that they are not perpetual privates in God’s army just because they have not gone to seminary. They have the potential to become full-fledged generals whose ministry is in the heart of the city, instead of inside a religious building.


I am absolutely convinced that as clergy in the UMC, we must reclaim the foundations of our Wesleyan  heritage. Our practices of ministry must include marketplace ministry. Our ordination to Word, Sacrament , Order and Service implicitly includes witness.  Clergy must model living our witness in the marketplace intentionally and consistently.  I will be looking for models of marketplace ministry and sharing over the next few days.