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Thanks for visiting our website! Picture of the Month: sharing the word in Pilanqui, Ibarra, Ecuador; a view of part of the crowd, two baptisms. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Preaching in Pilanqui

Ministry is always a team effort--Jan and I have shared the work of ministry and missions for 48+ years! Countless others have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw. My favorite breakfast is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of quality coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to serve and share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature in Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!

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Archive for March, 2008

Pew Forum Survey

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

One of the most significant religious news items this week is the release by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life of a new survey which studied the religious affiliation of the United States population. The survey results, released on Monday found nearly half the American pub-lic saying “they’re something different today than they were as a child.” Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum, calls it a “dynamic religious marketplace, and very competitive.”

When we hear that 44% of American adults have left the religious group of their childhood, should we respond with dismay or with renewed hope for the future? Changes in affiliation are swelling the nondenominational churches. We have claimed to be nondenominational but have become very denominational in our outlook, methods, and understandings.

Here are three action items for consideration.

  • Let us make a concerted effort to reclaim our nondenominational heritage and to live it out in the context of our churches. Let us thoughtfully shape our worship, daily lives, and shared faith to reach as many as possible who want to make Jesus Lord of their lives. Should our churches not be places where all whose allegiance and loyalty are to Jesus Christ can find a home?
  • Let us be bolder in trying to reach and convert our friends and neighbors who are already religious. The survey found that evangelical churches may claim to win new believers from the unchurched, but that the reality is most converts to evangelical churches were raised Protestant.
  • Let us be more thoughtful in how we develop and shape faith—in our own lives and in the lives of our families.

While it may be easy to resort to hand-wringing (a wonderful religious exercise) in the light of the survey results, I prefer to see a new horizon with new opportunities to make a difference in the lives of countless people. The question is whether our churches are bold enough and faith-vibrant enough to seize the opportunity.

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