US Pastors Identify Their Greatest Needs
by Aaron Earls, Lifeway Research, Charisma Magazine
Pastors face unique difficulties inherent in their careers but what are their greatest needs? Pastors themselves say they're most concerned about seeing their churchgoers grow spiritually and making connections with those outside of their churches.
After speaking directly with pastors to gather their perspectives on their ministries and personal challenges, Lifeway Research surveyed 1,000 U.S. pastors for the 2022 Greatest Needs of Pastors study to discover what they see as their most pressing issues. Read More
US Marriage Rates Hit New Recorded Low
Why 25% of Millennials Will Never Get Married (secular article by Time)
The number of Americans who have always been single and will never marry is at a historic high, says a new Pew Research report, partly because they don’t have jobs and partly because marriage is becoming less highly-regarded. Most people think it’s important for couples who intend to stay together to be married, but the number of single Americans who want to get married has dropped significantly even in the last four years. Read More
Guides on better quality video web conferences.
Single Stats in the US, 2016
Unmarried and Single Americans Week: Sept. 18-24, 2016
• 109 million: The number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2015. This group made up 45 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older.
• 53% :The percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older who were women in 2015; 47 percent were men.
• 63% : The percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older in 2015 who had never been married. Another 24 percent were divorced and 13 percent were widowed.
• 19 million:The number of unmarried U.S. residents 65 and older in 2015. These seniors made up 18 percent of all unmarried people 18 and older.
• 88: The number of unmarried men 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women in the United States in 2015.
• 59 million: The number of households maintained by unmarried men and women in 2015. These households comprised 47 percent of households nationwide.
• 35 million: The number of people who lived alone in 2015. They comprised 28 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970.
US Single Stats including race
4 Critical Reminders about Singles in Your Congregation by Sara Beth Fentress, Lifeway
When I placed the silver “True Love Waits” ring on my 15-year-old finger, I never dreamed I would still be single into my 40s.
It honestly didn’t even cross my mind. Growing up in the south, expectations included getting married in your early 20s so you can begin adulting and start your own family. In retrospect, I didn’t even have a category for people like me. Today, most churches still don’t have a category for people like me.
For a variety of reasons, prolonged singleness is on the rise in modern societies. Please consider a few simple reminders and suggestions from a single woman living in a Christian culture that idolizes marriage and family. If you’re single, keep reading; I’ve included some truth in love for you, as well.
1. UNDERSTAND WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES US ABOUT SINGLENESS AND MARRIAGE. Read More
Stats/PowerPoint on Singlesness
Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. Sheri Denham
Groundwire..Making a Difference in the lives of young adults
Groundwire, an organization seeking to draw Millennials and Generation Z youth to Christ, uses popular media channels as a way to reach them.
"We're not going after the atheists. The media would want us to believe that everybody's an atheist, but, truthfully, 71 percent of Millennials [and] Gen Z believe that God's a real being," Seth Dunn, Groundwire's president, told Faithwire. Read More
2021 Stats of Singleness in the US
Millennials Leaving the Church
Here’s why Millennials are leaving church: Millennials and church don’t seem to mix. The truth is no one has asked me why millennials don’t like church. Luckily, as a public school teacher, I am highly skilled at answering questions before they’re asked. It’s a gift really. Read More
Zoom Burnout Solutions
When the pandemic began, internet meetings became an alternative that allowed us to virtually escape our physical confinement. It was the popular way to meet friends and family, and to move from working in an office to working from home. Read More
Effective Online Support Groups by Joseph Northcut, Director of Church Resources, Church Initiative
In this season of shelter-at-home, churches came to realize quickly that it was impossible for small groups to continue to gather in person.
In my context, Church Initiative (creators of DivorceCare and GriefShare) was able to convert our support group materials into an online format so groups could continue to meet. You can do this also with all kinds of curriculum.
The good news for us is many of our DivorceCare and GriefShare groups are now meeting virtually online. Over the last several weeks, we saw more than 1,500 churches and 30,000 group members migrate over too virtual groups. These numbers have continued to grow weekly.
In our new online model, group members have access to the DivorceCare and GriefShare videos and participant workbook. They come together weekly for discussion and fellowship using audio and video conferencing services in meetings. We’ve trained the group leaders how to effectively use this new online model. These leaders and their pastors are excited about how effective an online group can be.
We offer the online version of DivorceCare and GriefShare at no charge to churches who already own the GriefShare curriculum. To have access to the online option, your church would need to purchase one of our DivorceCare or GriefShare curriculum kits. Go to https://www.churchinitiative.org/ to learn more about these resources.
The anxiety caused by COVID-19 amplifies the emotions that accompany the pain for those experiencing separation, divorce, and the death of a loved one many times over. The new online model for DivorceCare and GriefShare allows churches to minister to hurting people when they most need support and encouragement.
In looking to the future, your church will now have the flexibility to offer a virtual online group and/or a face-to-face group. Some of our churches will offer both. Perhaps, your church would prayerfully consider launching a DivorceCare and/or GriefShare group this Summer or Fall 2020.
Here are 5 Tips for Launching an Online Group
Whether you’re already a high-tech whiz or just discovering new technologies, these 5 tips will help you experience success as you lead an online group.
1. Ask for help
It’s not you versus the internet! You’re not alone as you lead your online group. Reach out to the many resources at your fingertips:
Call a Church Initiative ministry coach for help with accessing the videos or sharing them with participants. 800-395-5755
Watch a tutorial. There are many how-to videos and articles available. Here are two that offer everything from getting started to enhancing your online meeting experience.
Contact people in your church or in your group who have technical experience. Don’t be afraid to ask!
One of our group members is an IT guy, and he set everything up for us. – Joy
Our associate pastor graciously worked with me and taught me how to use the technology. – Eileen
Take the pressure off by doing a practice run before your first online meeting. Invite everyone to a 10–15-minute practice session to give you and the participants a chance to work through any issues and get used to the format.
3. Break the ice
Icebreakers are even more important when you’re using a new format. They’re great to help everyone get more comfortable with the online group setting.
A “virtual tour” is a good icebreaker for video meetings: Have people talk about something visible in their background (a picture on the wall, the room they’re sitting in, etc.) or play a quick game of “I Spy.” Check out this helpful article from the Small Group Network to learn more.
4. Know how to handle common audio problems
There are some simple solutions to keep your communication clear. Check out this helpful Zoom article for specifics on muting, microphones, and other troubleshooting tips.
5. Use these available features
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. (Yay!) Technical experts have already designed tools you can use for a smooth online meeting.
Polls – These can be helpful for icebreakers or to get feedback during discussions. Here’s a short video on how to use polls in Zoom.
Raise hand, chat, react – Just like when you were in school, these tools prevent people from talking over each other. Here’s a quick tutorial on using these features.
Breakout rooms – If you need to break into smaller groups for discussion or prayer time, these are perfect. Here are quick how-to videos on the subject.
Bonus—but most important: Change your perspective
It might not be the ideal situation, but online groups are a great way to stay connected. We’re finding that participants are grateful for the opportunity to get support, especially now when options are limited.
A few of our members are now alone and are really feeling the effects of the isolation. The meetings online have been a godsend. – Mike
People don’t stop hurting just because there’s a pandemic. We’re committed to serving these people. They need us, and we can’t abandon them. – Joy
It’s virtual. It’s not the same, but it’s still so much better than people just struggling on their own. – Roseanne
The tools below are free solutions that can help you and your group members stay connected while meeting virtually. (And you don’t need high-tech skills to use them!)
As you step up to take on this new virtual role, you probably have additional questions. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you would like to explore offering the online version of DivorceCare and/or GriefShare, I would be happy to walk through the startup process with you.
Director of Church Resources
What Singles Need from Church, interview of Kris Swiatocho by Right to Real Love Christian Radio
Part 1: http://righttoreallove.com/what-singles-need-from-church-part1/
Part 2: http://righttoreallove.com/what-singles-need-from-church-part2/
Part 3: http://righttoreallove.com/what-singles-need-from-church-part3/
Part 4: http://righttoreallove.com/what-singles-need-from-church-part4/
Singles and the Church
Singles: A Vital Part of Our Church by Ed Stetzer
The Overlook Gift of the Spirit by Kris Swiatocho, published by Charisma Magazine
Even the Church is Struggling With Porn Addiction
I just listened to an interview that the head of Trunews had with his son on the issue of porn. The statistics are shocking! 68% of men IN THE CHURCH and 50-54% of PASTORS are addicted to it, i.e. view it on a regular basis. Here is the interview and the website for a dvd series on overcoming the addiction by a renewing of the mind...as Paul says. It cannot be "just stopped"...as it actually does change the physical makeup of the brain. Please take time to listen and discuss with the head of the Men's Ministry.
https://www.trunews.com/article/trunews-tv-november-2-2017 (Interview, problem, and statistics)
https://conquerseries.com/ (program/materials website)
New Resource in the UK: www.SingleFriendlyChurch.com
Focus on the Family: Lisa Anderson
Listen to video broadcast on Cohabitation featured on Focus on the Family by Lisa Anderson, Director of the Boundless (online magazine geared towards young adults wanting to date and get married).
Boundaries in Relationships
Dr. John Townsend shares on having boundaries in relationships. Dr. Townsend and Dr. Cloud are the authors of "Boundaries in Dating." Great free youtube video series.
Great powerpoint resource for stats on singleness the you can use to present to your church/pastors/leaders.
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638 Spartanburg Hwy Ste 70-113
Hendersonville, NC 28792 • 919.434.3611 Kris@TheSinglesNetwork.org
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