community (8)

February Prayer Campaign - Pray for the church in the AP (Arabian Peninsula)
God created us to live in community with one another. In His great design of humanity, God knew we would need each other. God grows His church as believers gather together in His name to worship Him and demonstrate His love to one another. Challenges including isolation, mistrust, Covid-19, and a high risk of persecution can inhibit MBBs (Muslim Background Believers) of the AP from gathering together. Yet, in the face of such challenges, many MBBs are gathering and finding ways to connect as the body of Christ.
  • Pray for MBBs of the AP to connect together regularly, both in person and virtually, to worship the Lord, grow in wisdom and knowledge of His Word, and to encourage one another.
  • Pray for unity among the groups of MBBs who are gathering together across the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Pray for isolated MBBs who believe they are the only ones in their country who follows Christ. Ask God to connect them with another BMB or another Jesus follower who can walk with them on their journey with Christ.
  • Pray for whole tribes and families to receive Christ as Lord and Savior. When families and friends accept Christ as their Savior together, then a community of Christ followers is formed.
  • Many new MBBs vigorously search media sources via television, internet and social media platforms to learn about their new faith in Christ. While media can be a useful tool as one grows in Christ, it can also cause confusion rather than clarity due to differing denominational doctrines and conflicting interpretations of God’s Word. Pray for new believers to connect with biblically grounded media sources and godly individuals online that will further strengthen them with God’s truth. Pray for MBBs to filter all they hear, watch, and read through the truth found in the Bible.
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Pray for Seekers and Lone Believers

Give praise that a new, local believer was able to share with a couple of family members in a celebration of Christ's birth, even though they are not yet aware of her decision to follow Jesus. Pray that the many who have heard the gospel story will receive and accept confirmation of its truth by revelation, signs, wonders, dreams or visions.

A young woman told her believing friend, "I need a new life." Please pray that she and many others will open their hearts to the Lord and be able to experience Him for who He truly is, and will find new life in Him.

As two men continue in study of the the Word, pray that their eyes will be open to its truth and they will desire to know more of Him. May they accept His gift of salvation and be witnesses for Him in their community.

Continue to pray for those lone believers who have no opportunity for communal worship, study, and fellowship. Pray that they will grow stronger in faith and trust in the Lord. Pray that they will find ways to safely share their faith with others and become His church where it is not yet established.

A couple of university students are on a spiritual journey together seeking to know more about Jesus. Pray that nothing will prevent them from continuing this journey and surrendering to Him as Lord and Savior.

Please pray for "Jennifer" whom we have prayed for in the past.  She is the local woman who is suffering from the effects of black magic.  The good news is that her believing friends continue to love her and share the gospel with her.  The bad news is that she has been moving away from them recently.  Please pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to work in her life, bringing her back to her friends so that the light of Christ would continue to shine in her dark life.  Pray that the Father would speak to her through the Bible which she has access to and also through dreams of Christ which she has had in the past.  Let's continue to pray for her salvation!

Also pray for a local man in the same country who is also hearing a lot of the gospel from a believer.  Both of these locals need the Holy Spirit to break through and change their hearts and minds completely.  Pray that God would do so.

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PTAP: Prayer for Yemen amid War

We pray for grace and strength for those in the community who have lost love ones in the civil war in Yemen, for strength for all the mothers as they continue with their responsibilities even in the middle of war times, for them to nurture and teach their children in the community in the ways of the Lord, being an example of strength and grace to their children.
We pray for those who teach, mentor and disciple regularly with the new believers, to seek the Lord as they prepare their lessons as they meet regularly. We pray for the Holy Spirit to speak to their hearts as they discover the Word of God.
Also, pray for those organizing retreats to hear the voice of the Lord, study, and prepare for the different activities, lessons and fellowships, that they will be building trust, and strengthening each other.
Pray for the leadership team as they make difficult decisions. Pray for the peace of God to be their guide as they make those decisions. Pray for them to discern the true followers, from those who may want to harm them. Pray against the plans of the enemy against the lives of the community families. Pray to send help to the leaders to support them, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
Pray for the situation to improve, for those who have the power to stop the war to come to a peace term. Pray for the different villages where the conflict has increased. Pray for the protection of their families.
Pray for provision of food and water where the help has not arrived. Pray that the Lord would remove any obstacles from the roads for supplies to be able to reach their community, for them to have their needs met. Pray for the different AID projects, water, food, electricity, communication, education, transportation, media, and we pray for those who are providing, giving, organizing, leading, and working in the different projects. May the Lord multiply resources, for each and every project.
Pray for people not to lose hope but to put their eyes on the Lord, the only one that can solve conflicts, hunger, and any lack. Instead, pray that they would use that energy to work, to study, to help and encourage one another.
We pray for those who are seeking the Lord, to meet regularly with those who speak Truth and to open their spiritual eyes to understand, believe and make decisions to follow Him.
Pray for those who fear as their faith weakens, to focus on the Lord and nothing else. Pray that the Presence of God will be more real than the reality the community is experiencing through the war.
Pray Psalm 27:3-4 - "Though an army besiege me my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask form the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple"
Pray that the different believers will be able to meet once again, to strengthen each other, and encourage each other and most important to pray for one another, and to pray for the community of believers.
Pray 1 Corinthians 12 for the church--that there may not be divisions in the body of Christ, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Pray for a country that continues to be plagued by war. Starvation is a reality to many who live there. Pray especially for those who don't know where their next meal will come from. Ask that embargos will be lifted and that food will be brought to those who need it. Pray for crops to grow well and for farmers to be able to get food to market. Ask for God's mercy on this country.
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PTAP: Prayer For Fellowship in Arabia

Please pray for people of the land who are seeking Christ but need to keep quiet about it. Pray that groups will form where they can gather with others who are also seeking and wanting to know more about Christ. Pray for believers who can mentor and disciple them. Pray for favor, protection, and bridges with their families. Pray for the Holy Spirit's wisdom and counsel to fall on them that they might receive and know how to navigate this new faith in this culture and with their families. Pray that the word of God would settle deep in their hearts so they will not fall away when things get difficult or hard. Please pray that much encouragement and fellowship will rise up around them as they learn from God's word.
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"Abia" has been reading the Word and now believes that Jesus is indeed the Son of God who died on the cross and rose from the dead. But she is experiencing an inner battle as she tries to reconcile these truths with her lifelong beliefs. Pray that she will be given understanding and clarity so that she will uncompromisingly embrace the One who loves her and can give her eternal life.
A man who is very active in his local mosque is curious about the teachings of Jesus. Pray that as he meets with a believer to ask questions, he will come to know Jesus.
Many in the Arabian Peninsula have a desire to learn or improve their English skills. Pray that this desire will result in relationships with English speaking believers who will point them to Jesus Christ.
God created his people to live in community. There are many believers who have no one to worship with. They have either been rejected by their family and friends or they are too fearful to tell others about the faith they have embraced. Pray that they will find encouragement in reading the Word. Pray that their family and friends will accept the Savior and for a faith community to develop around these lone believers.
Praise God that despite the war in Yemen, the good news continues to spread, as people who have left the country stay in contact with friends they have left behind. Pray for Islamic extremists to be exposed to and changed by the truth of the gospel.
Pray that the few Qataris who call Jesus Lord would share the good news with those to whom God has shown the emptiness of wealth.
Praise God that His Church in Saudi Arabia is growing. Pray that they will be able to meet freely and safely.
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  Evangelism Connection
Evangelism news from the Mission America Coalition (U.S. Lausanne Committee)

The whole Church taking the whole gospel to the whole nation - and to the world.

Make A Commitment to Prayer, Care, Share


The Mission America Coalition (MAC) is encouraging Christians to become more active in sharing the love of Christ with those around them. MAC invites you to sign an online commitment that includes three parts:

  • To pray on a regular basis for specific neighbors, friends, work associates, classmates, and others by name.
  • To care for them by loving them as Jesus would.
  • To share the Gospel either personally or by inviting them to church or an evangelistic event.
  • Christians who sign this commitment are joining a growing movement of tens of thousands who are committed to follow Jesus in this prayer-care-share lifestyle based on His Great Commandment (Mark 12:30-31) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).


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Record Response For National Back-To-Church Sunday
Loving Our Communities to Christ

ImageFifteen churches in the Coachella Valley were among the 7,600 participating nationally in Back to Church Sunday in September. Last year, 3,400 churches participated, resulting in 1.4 million invitations, according to campaign spokesman Philip Nation. Getting people to show up at a church raises the chances they'll attend regularly, Nation said.

"When a person visits a church for the first time, there's a 10 percent chance they'll return," he said. "On the second visit, there's a 15 percent chance they'll return, and so on."

For the past six decades, a steady 42 percent of Americans attend church weekly, according to Gallup poll archives. This year, participating churches represented 34 denominations opening their doors to an estimated 250,000 visitors Sept. 18. Churches responding to a post-event survey welcomed an average of 34 new visitors, an increase of 25.4 percent in weekly attendance. Some churches reported that they doubled in attendance that day. One church plant, "Overflow Church" reporting on Facebook, said its attendance was up 500%.

Nearly 95 percent of pastors surveyed said they would participate again in National Back To Church Sunday, which will be held next on Sept. 16, 2012. A study by LifeWay Research and the North American Mission Board of more than 15,000 Americans found 67 percent say a personal invitation from a family member would be effective in getting them to visit a church; 63 percent say an invitation from a friend or neighbor would likely move them to respond. Next year, National Back To Church Sunday will be held Sept. 16.

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Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church


November 13, Worldwide 

ImageThe International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), Nov. 13, is a global day of intercession for persecuted Christians worldwide. Its primary focus is to encourage intercessory prayer on behalf of persecuted communities of the Christian faith. Open Doors USA has prepared a number of valuable resources for pastors, church leaders, and individuals for this year's day of prayer. Resources to share the story of the persecuted church with congregations, small groups, classes, or friends and family are available online. Downloads include church leader materials, bulletin inserts and lessons, and videos. In addition, Open Doors USA has an initiative to spread the story of the persecuted church to the American church and beyond. "One With Them" serves as a call to action to unite with persecuted believers, not just for IDOP, but always. One way Christians in the United States can show their support is through One With Them wristbands. The black, rubber wristband looks like barbed wire. It provides an opportunity to explain to others the plight of persecuted believers. One With Them seeks to bridge the gap between American Christians and those around the world who suffer for their faith.

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National Conference Call for Prayer for Evangelism


National Conference Call for Prayer for Evangelism

Mission America Coalition hosts a weekly evangelism prayer conference call every Wednesday. As Christians pray for others and care for them with the love of Christ, our Lord opens wonderful opportunities to share with them. These are not contrived or legalistic attempts to do something nice for others. To the contrary, these are natural opportunities that God gives us to help others and to express His love in action. This is a season in which God is on the move in bringing people to Himself, and we want to come into agreement with Him to see every person in America touched by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dial in to: 1-641-715-3300, passcode 416432# at 12 noon CDT.

Evangelism Leaders Conference Call


October 27, 10 a.m. Central Time, Nationwide

Join other evangelism leaders around the country for Mission America's monthly evangelism leaders conference call. The call is held the fourth Thursday of every month, 10 a.m. Central Time, on a different issue of interest. To join the call, dial 712-451-6000 and enter passcode 268855# when prompted.

Cities and Communities Cityreaching Call


October 20, 10 a.m., Central Time, Nationwide 

Glenn Smith will be the Mission America Coalition Cityreaching resource conference call guest this month. Addressing "Key Indicators of a Transformed City," Glenn will highlight significant global activity. He is senior associate for urban mission for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. The one-hour call will be held October 20. The third Thursday of each month, the Mission America Coalition's City and Communities Ministries hosts a conference call with a seasoned city-reacher. Watch the website for more information. Contact to receive the phone number and access code to join the call. Information on upcoming calls and transcripts of previous calls are available.

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La Red Trains for Next Generation in Proverbs Principles
Loving Our Communities to Christ


ImageThe 20th Greater Thomasville Marketplace Leader Prayer & Action Summit was held in September with 69 leaders assembled. Keynote speaker, Dr. Jerry Anderson, CEO of La Red Business Network (ministry) and CEO of Digital Dish & Light Speed Wireless Internet (employer of 900) offered La Red materials (free on the internet) and the services of La Red to train facilitators who will train the next generation to live according to godly principles drawn from the Book of Proverbs. Many local leaders from education, government, law enforcement, the marketplace and the church attended. In addition, in October, two key trainers from La Red are offering four hours of training for facilitators.

"We have been praying for years for God to transform our community and society and now it seems He is offering us a "tool" at no cost except time to begin to train young people and others the character traits and principles that lead to God's favor and blessing," reports Doug Silva, one of the Thomaville city leaders.


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Cedar Rapids Christian Business Lunch All About "Prayer - Care - Share
Loving Our Communities to Christ


In September, nearly 70 Cedar Rapids-area businesspeople listened to retired Quaker Oats executive Steve Jenkins share how the strategy of Prayer - Care - Share was used to communicate the love of Christ to the many construction workers who labored for 15 months in the building of the new facility for New Covenant Bible Church.

"The exciting thing is that many of those workers who helped build our building have been visiting our church because they felt loved during the time they worked on the project," Jenkins reported. Cedar Rapids is a Loving Our Communities to Christ collaborating city through the local partner Serve the City. Over 35 churches in the Cedar Rapids area have been challenged to make "Prayer, Care, Share" a part of their culture.

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Website Offers Hope, Surpasses 5 Million Visitors


ImageFive million visitors have now stopped, the website of the I Am Second movement featuring video stories of personal struggle, transformation, and hope of celebrities and everyday people. The Movement's newest initiative is the I Am Second book. Slated to release from Thomas Nelson January 2012, the book chronicles 22 video testimonies, from the website, including 2010 American League MVP Josh Hamilton; former Korn muscian Brian "Head" Welch; surfer Bethany Hamilton; "The Biggest Loser" winner Michelle Aguilar; Ultimate Fighting Championship star Vitor Belfort; Grammy-winning artist Michael W. Smith; and football stars Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford. The website has seen visitors from 217 countries/regions who have viewed over 20 million pages on the site.

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Pastors from Juarez, Las Cruces and El Paso Unite for Prayer and Evangelism
Loving Our Communities to Christ


El Paso city leader Barney Field reports that 24/7 prayer continues for the El Paso region - 168 volunteers pray for one hour each from the convenience of their homes; 28 churches each provide a prayer captain and 6 intercessors and a prayer guide is provided. In addition, groups of pastors from Juarez, Las Cruces and El Paso have united for prayer and evangelism. Local pastors, called Pastors for Jesus, continue to gather monthly as it has for 18 years. In addition, Old Testament Nuggets are printed on the Editorial Page of the newspaper each day for free. They cover the entire Old Testament. Last year New Testament Nuggets were featured. El Paso is a Loving Our Communities to Christ partner region.

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Churches, Families Work Together to Address Africa Food Crisis


ImageGlobal Aid Network anticipates that more than 4,000 people from around the United States will volunteer to help process and pack as many as 12 tractor-trailer loads of goods including vegetable seeds, rice and beans, clothing, school supplies, oatmeal, and more. From October 10-15, Global Aid Network, the humanitarian aid arm of Campus Crusade for Christ International, will open the doors of its Pennsylvania Distribution Center to hundreds of families, schools, and church groups who want to help needy communities around the world. One focus this year will be sending food and other vital aid to the Horn of Africa, where 10 million people face starvation.

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'The Grandfathers' Traces Martyred Missionaries' Legacy


A documentary film that has been more than 50 years in the making now completes the trilogy of movies telling the story of Nate Saint and four other missionaries martyred for their faith in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956. "The Grandfathers" completes a trilogy of movies that includes "End of the Spear" and "Beyond the Gates of Splendor." These first two films, also from award-winning director Jim Hanon and producer Mart Green. tell the unforgettable story of the killing of five missionaries by a native tribe deep in the Amazon jungle.

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Portland Churches Hold Community Event to Minister to Inner City


ImageRevolution Foursquare began performing park outreaches with its youth ministry over seven years ago. Through collaboration with other ministries including Luis Palau Association's Next Generation Alliance, the event has grown into an annual full-day festival featuring a growing repertoire of well-known Christian artists and new attractions such as BMX and skate demonstrations. On Labor Day in Portland, Oregon, Next Generation Alliance, Save the City Records and several area churches hosted Day in the Park. The event featured inflatable jump houses, plywood skate ramps and tents of food and activities. Music acts from freestyle hip hop to gospel played as local and visiting Christian artists joined the free event for Portland's inner-city community. Volunteer counselors were available throughout the day to pray and talk with anyone in need. The collaborators expressed a hope that this community-based outreach model would become the norm among churches.

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Georgia Church Follows in Jesus' Footsteps, 'Feeds the 5,000'


ImageFollowing in Christ's footsteps, Trinity United Methodist Church in Rome, Ga. provided a week's worth of food to nearly 5,000 people in one day. Organizers of Jesus in the Park, an annual event, saw 1,600 families each take home 50 pounds of shelf-stable free food. In addition, members of the community could also spend a free afternoon at Rome's Ridge Ferry Park listening to concerts, eating hot dogs and cotton candy, and playing games. By 2:30 p.m. about 50,000 pounds of food had already been given away. Organizers estimate that somewhere between 75,000 and 100,000 pounds had been distributed by the end of the event. Any leftover food items were returned to a food pantry to be given away on another day.

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The Meeting of the Waters


ImageFritz Kling is a foundation executive who spent the past decade traveling through villages and cities across the world interviewing grassroots workers and high-level leaders. In his new book, Kling identifies seven big trends impacting today's global church and tells compelling stories from his travels that illustrate the themes of mercy, mutuality, migration, monoculture, machines, mediation, and memory. Equal parts travelogue, character study, and global documentary, The Meeting of the Waters interlaces stories and instruction to help Christians understand a rapidly changing world.

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Jersey Church Hands Out $30,000 in 'Reverse Offering'


ImageInstead of passing the plate for parishioners to fill with greenbacks, Liquid Church in New Jersey handed out over $30,000 to members in a "reverse offering." Each person received an envelope with the words "God Trusts You!" Inside the envelope were $10, $20 and $50 bills. The initiative took place during a four-part sermon series teaching biblical principles of finance regarding debt and living on budget. The 2,000 member Liquid Church is also investing $60,000 of church offerings into three local recovery projects. Specifically, the funds will be used to bring relief to a Manville, N.J., neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Irene, restoring the Market Street Mission for the homeless in Morristown, and boarding the New York City Relief Bus to feed the hungry in Paterson.

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Most Bible Readers Want Accurate Word-for-Word Translation


Most American Bible readers prefer word-for-word translations of the original Greek and Hebrew over thought-for-thought translations and value accuracy over readability. That is the finding of a new study by LifeWay Research. A total of 2,000 Bible readers participated in the study through a demographically representative online panel. To qualify, participants had to read the Bible in a typical month either by themselves or as part of a family activity and not merely in a corporate setting. When asked whether they prefer "word-for-word translations, where the original words are translated as exactly as possible" or "thought-for-thought translations, where the translators attempt to reproduce the intent of the original thought rather than translating the exact words," 61 percent chose word-for-word.

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Resources for Accelerating Evangelism

'A Heart for the Community' Examines Cityreaching Trends 
A new book helps you minister in both urban and suburban contexts. A few years ago realities like Islam, gentrification, AIDS and multiculturalism were limited to the cities. Today, this affects both the urban and suburban landscape. Editors John Fuder and Noel Castellanos have gathered together a team of experts to develop the book A Heart for the Community, a rich resource designed to help you reach your community.
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Great Tool for Challenging Students in Their Faith 
Research suggests that about 45% of students from high school youth ministries toss their faith aside when they go to college. The Fuller Youth Institute describes this kind of faith like a jacket: easy to take on or off given the situation, as opposed to a faith that becomes integrated into every part of a student's life. Far too often for college students, once faith is tossed on the floor, it is quickly shoved aside amid the competing priorities of college. The offers a video and discussion questions to foster conversation about faith and the transition to college.
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VisionSynergy Announces New Website 
VisionSynergy has updated its community website dedicated to empowering the leaders of missional networks and partnerships. VisionSynergy is committed to advancing collaboration in Christian ministry around the world. 
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Dear MAC Partner,

Just a year ago, I had the privilege of joining with some 4,200 Christian leaders from 198 nations of the world for the Cape Town 2010 Congress on World Evangelization which took place in South Africa. It was an outstanding gathering that has so much potential for the mission of Jesus Christ around the world.

The purpose of the congress was to bring a fresh challenge to the global Church to bear witness to Jesus Christ and all His teaching - in every nation, in every sphere of society and in the realm of ideas. I believe that purpose has been fulfilled in many ways in many places in the world including ministries, churches, denominations and individuals.

The Mission America Coalition is a part of the International Lausanne Movement which sponsored Cape Town 2011. We serve as the U.S. Lausanne Committee. As we gathered for our annual gathering in April of this year, we continued the flow of the Cape Town congress as we focused on evangelization in the United States and beyond.

We continue to build on the contributions of Cape Town 2011. As I reflect on those contributions, I believe that one of the most significant is the document entitled The Cape Town Commitment. It is a call to action that all of us should prayerfully consider. You can download the document for your prayerful review by going to our website I pray that you will do it today.

Paul Cedar



  1. Orlando 2011 Ongoing Dialog
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for Ministry Decision Makers

Doubt Builds Faith
According to a 3-year longitudinal study of college kids and their faith by Fuller Seminary, the more students felt they had the opportunity to express their faith doubt while in high school, the higher levels of faith maturity and spiritual maturity they had in college. (Citizen Link 9/12/11)

One-Person One-Religion
Americans have drifted from clearly defined religious denominations to faiths fitting their personal preferences. America is a designer society. We want everything customized to our personal needs —clothing, food, education, and now religion, claims researcher George Barna. Barna laments, "People say, 'I believe in God. I believe the Bible is a good book. And then I believe whatever I want.'" A LifeWay Research study of Protestant pastors finds 62% predict the importance of being identified with a denomination will diminish over the next 10 years. Univ. of California Berkeley Sociologist Robert Bellah says, "You lose the capacity to make connections. Everyone is pretty much on their own." (USA Today 9/14/11)

Declining Denominational Brand Loyalty
LifeWay Research finds that, of more than 900 U.S. Protestant pastors polled, 76% personally consider it vitally important to be part of a denomination; however, 62% believe this will decline over the next decade. For example, in recent years church planters have avoided including a denominational affiliation in the church name in an effort to attract new believers. The higher the level of education attained by a pastor, the more they value denominational identification. Overall, the older a pastor, the higher they value denominational identification. (OneNewsNow 9/16/11)

Religious Decline
The percentages of Americans who know God exists (64%), say they've had a born-again experience (36%), and who pray several times a week (69%) have remained steady since the '80s. The percentages who read the Bible at least weekly (31%), watch religious TV (28%), feel extremely close to God (31%), consider themselves very or extremely religious (26%), or believe in heaven (86%) or hell (73%) have remained fairly static during the 17-year period measured, says Dr. Mark Chaves of Duke Univ. But, in 1957, 3% of Americans had no religious affiliation vs. 17% in '08. Weekly church attendance is closer to 25% than the 35%- 40% often reported. The percentages who never attend services rose from 13% in '90 to 22% in '08. The percentage who grew up with religiously active fathers fell from 70% for those born before 1900 to 45% for those born after '70. Since'80 the percentage who believe the Bible should be taken literally fell from 40% to 30%. The percentage who have a great deal of confidence in leaders of religious institutions has slipped from 35% in the '70s to 25% today.(American Religion: Contemporary Trends, Mark Chaves, Princeton Univ. Press 2011)

Pastors Concerned
82% of American Protestant pastors agree (55% strongly) with the statement, "I am concerned that the emerging generation of children, teens, and young adults is not embracing the Christian faith to the same degree as their parents." (Facts and Trends, Spring 2011)

On the one hand, 81% of self-identified Christian adults say they've made a personal commitment to Christ that is still important in their life today. 78% strongly agree spirituality is very important to them. 22% of self-identified Christians claim to be "completely dependent upon God." These figures help explain why a 52% of self-identified Christian adults believe there is much more to the Christian life than what they have experienced. Without a full determination to live like Christ and for Him, the path to complete transformation is blocked.(Maximum Faith by George Barna, Metaformation/SGG/WHCP, 2011)

Free Speech in the Pulpit
A new survey by the Alliance Defense Fund and LifeWay Research has found 86% of U.S. Protestant pastors believe the government should not regulate their sermons. "Pastors and churches shouldn't live in fear of being punished or penalized by the government," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. "Keeping the gospel central to what is preached is not in conflict with addressing the subject of political candidates when warranted. These results show that the desire to keep the gospel central does not mean that pastors want the IRS to regulate their sermons under the threat of revoking their church's tax-exempt status. No government-recognized status can be conditioned upon the surrender of a constitutionally protected right." (Church Report 9/12/11)

Collegiate Faith Crises
Millions of college freshmen are overwhelmed trying to make new friends, adjusting to more rigorous schoolwork, and learning to live away from home. Whether they also find time for church during their first two weeks on campus will set the mold for the rest of their college years, writes George Barna in his latest book, Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids. 61% of 20-somethings who regularly attended church as teenagers later left the pews. 40% of freshman had difficulty finding a church in college. Only 1 in 7 students surveyed said they were well-equipped for college, and less than 50% of seniors with doubts talked about them with others.(Pastor's Weekly Briefing 9/16/11)

Men & Faith
Church attendance among U.S. men declined from 42% to 36% between '91 and '11 claims George Barna in his book, Futurecast. At the same time, Sunday school attendance declined from 21% to 13% and volunteering at a church slipped from 24% to 18%. In addition, the proportion of men who believe the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches fell from 43% to 33% and having personal responsibility to share their religious views with others dropped from 28% to 23%. Yet, regular Bible reading remained unchanged, (41% in '01 and 40% in '91). (Barna Update 8/1/11)

Focus on the Family
laid off 49 people on 9/16 due to revenues failing to meet budget expectations. The family ministry's staff is now 650, down from 1,400 just a few years ago. (Foster Network 9/11)

Combined Attendance
of 2011Outreach 100 Fastest-Growing Churches is 638,693. These churches added 97,168 people over their combined previous year's attendance, an average of more than 970 per church These 100 churches include 246 worship sites. (Outreach 100, 2011)

Educated More Religious
A new Univ. of Nebraska study challenges the notion that the more educated a person becomes, the less religious they become. Although education does influence Americans' religious beliefs and activities, the effects are more complex than conventional wisdom suggests. The study found higher levels of education eroded Americans' viewpoints that their specific religion is the "one true faith" and that the Bible is the literal Word of God. Education was also positively associated with belief in the afterlife. And while more highly educated Americans were somewhat less likely to definitely believe in God, it's because some of them believed in a higher power, not because they were particularly likely to not believe at all. Also disaffiliating, or dropping religion altogether, was not a popular option for highly educated Americans, in fact, having a greater level of education was associated most often with converting to mainline, non-evangelical Protestant denominations. (Church Report 8/11/11)

A new Concordia Univ. and Mount Allison Univ. study finds structured homeschooling may offer opportunities for academic performance beyond those typically experienced in public schools. Though numerous studies have shown the benefits of homeschooling, this was one of the first "nonpartisan" studies to investigate home education vs. public schooling. Structured homeschoolers outperformed public school students from a half-grade advantage in math to 2.2 grade levels in reading. (LifeSite News 9/13/11)

Fathers Needed
Research at Montreal's Concordia Univ. shows fathers who actively engage in raising their children make important contributions to their children's cognitive abilities and behavioral functioning. Compared with other children with absentee dads, kids whose fathers were active parents in early and middle childhood had fewer behavior problems and higher intellectual abilities as they grew older, even among socio-economically at-risk families. Girls whose fathers were absent during their middle childhood had significantly higher levels of emotional problems at school than girls whose fathers were present. (LifeSite News 9/9/11)

Generation X Married Couples prefer monogamy to divorce, finds Univ. of Virginia's National Marriage Project. The number of divorces in the U.S. has been in decline since it peaked in '80. The decline is particularly true among highly educated couples, only 11% of whom divorce during their first 10 years of marriage vs. 37% of the rest of the population. Religious practice is an even better predictor than a college degree of happiness in marriage and low risk of divorce.(Baltimore Sun 8/1/11)

Marriage Marginalized
Brookings Institute scholars are concerned about the marked decline of marriage among those who have graduated from high school, but have no college degree. This cohort comprises 58% of the adult U.S. population. Although marriage is still highly regarded across U.S. social classes, in recent years, moderately educated Americans have become less likely to form stable, high-quality marriages, while college-educated Americans (30% of the adult population) have become more likely to do so. High school-only grads are markedly more likely than college grads to have 3 or more sex partners in a lifetime. Although many college grads cohabit before marriage (however, fewer than non-college grads) 94% marry before having their first child. Among high school-only grads, just 56% marry before their first child's birth. Divorce rates among college grads have fallen to 1970 levels in recent years, while rising slightly for high-school grads. (Pastor's Weekly Briefing 8/25/11)

Divorce Costs
On average a divorce costs a couple $2,500 on the front end. But the costs of government support for single-parent families, can cost taxpayers anywhere from $20-30,000/year. America has had 1 divorce for every 2 marriages for 36 years, says Michael McManus. Our divorce rate is triple that of Britain or France. After 5 years, 23% of Americans have divorced vs. 8% in Britain or France, and 10% in Canada. (LifeSite News 8/22/11)

Background Checks Work
More than 25,000 background checks conducted by churches or organizations on prospective workers in the past three years have turned up more than 1,600 felony offenses, with the number of organizations conducting background checks having risen 27% in the past year, according to LifeWay Christian Resources. (Baptist Press 9/12/11)

Prime of Life
During a recent study 350,000 Americans of all ages were asked what season of their lives produced the greatest amount of happiness. It was discovered that after age 50, not all but most people are happier, less anxious, less stressed, and have less hostile emotions. (My Next Book-Year7-Chapter 15, Bob Buford)

Want a Job, Get an Education
In March '11; the national unemployment rate was 12% for people with only a high-school diploma, 4.5% for college grads, and 2% for those with a professional degree. (Atlantic Magazine 9/11)

Downward Mobility
Nearly 1 in 3 Americans who grew up middle-class has slipped down the income ladder as an adult, finds a new Pew Charitable Trusts report. Downward mobility is most common among middle-class people who are divorced or separated from their spouses, did not attend college, scored poorly on standardized tests, or used hard drugs. Being married helps people avoid the worst economic outcomes. Education, particularly going to college, is another crucial factor in economic stability. African American men have a particularly hard time clinging to middle-class status.(Washington Post 9/6/11)

Don't Leave Home Without It
Based on a recent LSU Agricultural Center study. Nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames stated, "With breakfast, students think faster and clearer and have better recall. Breakfast eaters also score higher on tests and have better concentration and muscle coordination." Most studies show children who eat breakfast are more alert and perform better on school tests than children who do not eat breakfast. They are also more creative and energetic. (Christian Post 6/24/11)

Builder & Senior Generations
Among Builders (1927-1945) and Seniors (born prior to 1927), Sunday school attendance dropped by 8 points, from 28% in '91 to 20% in '11. Weekly Bible reading also declined by 8 points, from 54% to 46%. Unexpectedly, this group has had a 12-point increase in attending a church of 600 or more people. Their proportion of unchurched has climbed 8 points to 29% since '91. There has been a 10% increase in the number of Elders who have made a personal commitment to Jesus that is still important in their life today to 76%. Their percentage of Born Agains has risen by 11 points to 49%. 71%today vs. 80% in '91 believe God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe who continues to rule today. (Futurecast by George Barna, Barna Books, 2011)

Web Surfing Helps Work
According to a new study, surfing the Web actually refreshes tired workers and increases their productivity, compared to other distractions like personal calls, texts or emails. "Browsing the Internet serves an important restorative function," a Nat'l Univ. of Singapore study. However, personal emailing was particularly distracting. When browsing the Internet, people usually choose to visit only the sites they like. "It's like going for a coffee break. It is pleasurable and rejuvenating," wrote Don J.Q. Chen and Vivien K.G Lim, study authors. (WSJ 8/22/11)

Multi-site Mergers
A recent Leadership Network survey of churches who had participated in a merger revealed that multi-site churches rated their experiences higher than churches that consolidated into one location. Multi-site churches also reported greater growth after a merger. (Advance 8/23/11)

Fast Facts:
  • 25 million copies of the Bible are sold in the U.S. annually.
  • 9 out of 10 homes in America have a Bible.
  • Only 16% of churchgoers read the Bible daily and 25% don't read it at all reports LifeWay Research.
  • Only 37% of regular church attenders say reading and studying the Bible has made a significant difference how they live their lives, finds a recent LifeWay Research study.
  • U.S. white adult weekly church attendance declined from 48% in '91 to 39% in '11.
  • U.S. white adult Sunday school attendance fell from 23% in '91to 14% in '11.
  • U.S. white adult Bible reading slid from 42% in '91 to 37% in '11.
  • Volunteering at a church dropped from 26% in '91 to 18% in '11.
  • The proportion of white adults who qualify as "unchurched" rose from 25% in '91 to 40% today.
  • U.S. white adults likely to have an orthodox view of God slipped from 72% in '91 to 66% inn '11.
  • U.S. white adults who believe the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches fell from 43% in '91 to 36% today.
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
  • 59% of parents of children 17 or younger living at home say their child has a TV in their bedroom.
  • 52% of parents of children 17 or younger living at home say their child has their own personal computer.
  • 63% of teen suicides come from fatherless homes. That's 5 times the national average.
  • Europe's population was 6% Muslim in '10 and projects that Muslims will represent 8% of the population by '30.
  • It is estimated U.S. publishers sold 2.6 billion books in '10, including 114 million e-books.
  • Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.

News and Trends information compiled and edited by Gary Foster, President of Gary D Foster Consulting, a firm that assists Christian ministries and product companies in solving management, marketing, donor/customer service and product development problems. Contact Gary at: 419.238.4082, or go


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Praying As a United Community for Our Children, Teachers, Parents and Schools by Linda D. Fegins

Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children" (Lam. 2:19).

It’s back to school time. There have been back to school rallies. Many ministries have been calling for prayer for the children, teachers, administrators and school staff as they return back to school. The day of September 1, 2010 Messiah Baptist Church Intercessory Prayer Team under the guidance of Kimberly Bracey ( Team Leader Linda Fegins) as well as various ministries such as the Global Prayer Intercessors founded by Minetta Hare, and the Lydia Circle Prayer Team ( Director Linda Fegins) held prayer meetings by conference call, three way telephone calls and at church praying for protection, guidance and wisdom for our school children , youth and college students , parents and staff. There is no doubt that “Moms In Touch International” (MITI) founded by Fern Nichols, a group of mothers around the country who simply desire to affect communities and schools through the power of prayer have been going before the throne of God. A diversified group of mothers of MITI serve as prayer warriors who battle in the spiritual realm for the lives of children and teenagers as they go off to school for at least one hour every week. They are women united with one purpose: a passion to pray for their children.

Through prayer, our lives, our children’s lives, and our world can be changed. Public schools, such as the Detroit Public School system, and other inner-city schools around the nation with all the violence, disorganization, poor administration, and politics on the school boards can be transformed by prayer. Then change will occur by our obedience if God calls us to action. He will show us how to use the power that believers have within through the Holy Spirit to transform our schools. Through united consistent prayer, God will give us the power, wisdom, knowledge, and creativity to solve the many school problems that plague our city schools and school board. Through prayer the right leaders will arise and the community should be able to come together to take productive and strategic action.

Believe that intercessors can change your school district with the weapon of prayer. Believe that positive results will occur such as peace and safety, better test scores, higher graduation rates, and more school funds to meet the needs of our children. Pray that student-led prayer groups will spring forth. Yes, the crisis in our schools is discouraging and is wide spread. But remember that where sin increases, grace increases all the more (see Ro. 5:20).

I know that many intercessors already have prayer assignments from the Lord. But I would challenge the intercessors, parents and teachers to ask Him if He might also want you to "adopt" a public school for your prayer agenda.

Prayer Points for Our Children, Teachers, Parents and Administrators

Finally for what should we pray? We want to pray specifically and effectively on one accord. I have a few suggestions; some are what the Lord has given me and others I have gathered from other prayer warriors and other articles on prayer.

Children and Youth


  • Daily for the safety of our children and that God will deliver them from evil and thwart every scheme of the enemy.
  • Pray that our children will be open to learning new knowledge and that God would give them the wisdom to know how to understand and use that knowledge. We need to pray that our children have the ability to discriminate between good knowledge and bad knowledge. Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older he will remain upon it. (Proverbs 22:6)
  • Pray that our children will be serious minded and work hard to acquire both secular and spiritual knowledge. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Pray for the hearts of the students to be receptive to the gospel of peace and that God will call many to Himself. (Acts 2:38-40)
  • Pray for our sons and daughters to make wise choices and to develop solid friendships with those who are following God. (Psalms 144;12-15)
  • Pray for relief of those children who are homeless and need shelter, food and health care. Pray that Christ will restore their home for the future. (Psalms 107:41)
  • Ask God to cause your children to be examples for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (I Timothy 4:12)
  • Pray for those students that experience rejection and bullying from other students and teachers. Ask God to provide them with people that love and respect them unconditionally. (John 13:34; Romans 15:7)
  • Pray for those students that are struggling academically. Ask God to encourage them and strengthen their minds. Pray that God will give their teachers and parent’s wisdom to know how to best help them learn.
  • Pray they will not feel like failures, but will learn discipline. (I Thessalonians 5:14)



  • Pray for our school teachers to have the wisdom needed to effectively impart knowledge to their students. A wise teacher makes learning a joy… (Proverbs 15:2a)
  • Pray for our school teachers that God will give them the grace to deal with day-to-day frustrations and problems.
  • Pray that our school teachers would exhibit the life of Christ before our children. That they would be filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.
  • Pray to the one in charge of the harvesting, and ask him to recruit more effective teachers with integrity for our schools. ( See Matthew 9:38)
  • Ask God to rise up Godly educators who are dedicated to their field and can capture the hearts and minds of our nation’s youth on each level of education. (Colossians 1:9-10)
  • Pray our educators will pray unceasingly for guidance and wisdom to become the examples to their students. (I Peter 2:21) Pray they will know how to pray for their students.
  • Pray that teachers will impart godly wisdom to form godly character in their students. (Luke 6:40)



  • Pray for parents that they will love and support their children’s education at school, at home, and at church.
  • Pray for family stability and that God’s principles for the family will be honored and promoted in our schools. (Genesis 28:14)
  • Pray “Lord, without your help we are helpless, so as parents, be our guide as to how we can best communicate and encourage our teachers and how we can train our children.”



  • Pray for the standard of excellence to be restored in our educational institutes and that our educators will pass on that spirit of excellence, requiring excellence, rather than sloth and ignorance. (Ecclesiastes 2:13-14)
  • Pray for the needed tools and proper facilities to teach our children.(Philippians 4:19)
  • Pray for the election of godly leaders on our school boards and in the administration of our schools. (I Timothy 2:1)
  • Pray for the support staff in the schools to treat the children with dignity and respect.

Pray Fervently,
Linda D. Fegins
Prayer Director,Lydia Circle of Christian Professional and Business Women
Writer in the Anthology -"Tali Cumi: Daughters Arise"
Writer in the Anthology -"It's Worth the Struggle- Inspiration for Contemporary Writers"
Christian Dramatist, "Sojourner Truth", "Eve" etc.
Sunday School and Christian Education Teacher
Linda's Report Blog
The Prayer Leader

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