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Background Data for Mission

Background Data for Mission

The Background Data for Mission newsletter helps United Methodist leaders sort through the new and integrate it with the old. It explores the latest in technology, demographic trends, and contemporary approaches to worship, church education, and evangelism.

 

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Background Data for Mission, June 2009, Volume 21, No. 6
Last month’s newsletter addressed defining boundaries of ministry areas. The intent was to challenge churches to figure out where they are called to serve.
 
Background Data for Mission, May 2009, Volume 21, No. 5
Churches grapple with the question that prompted the parable of the Good Samaritan: “Who is my neighbor?”
 
Background Data for Mission, April 2009, Volume 21, No. 4
One United Methodist pastor working in another country has started 100 churches there in the last eight years.
 
Background Data for Mission, March 2009, Volume 21, No. 3
An organic approach notes that live organisms naturally grow and reproduce, given healthy conditions. Churches can do the same.
 
Background Data for Mission, February 2009, Volume 21, No. 2
Every year the Research Office presents the latest (now 2007) UMC (USA) official church statistics. Generally this yearly report sounds much like previous year’s and this year is no exception.
 
Background Data for Mission, January 2009, Volume 21, No. 1
Studying how successful churches and other types of outliers achieve that status will bring an understanding of how new church starts and existing churches can avoid stagnancy and decline.
 
Background Data for Mission, December 2008, Volume 20, No. 12
As has often been noted, the African UMC is growing overall and the US church is declining. There are reasons for this, of course, though opinions vary widely on what exactly those are.
 
Background Data for Mission, November 2008, Volume 20, No. 11
The retailers are again reminding us to shop. Actually, they are always doing so, except they increase the pressure around the holidays. Consumerism has become part of the fabric of our culture in the US.
 
Background Data for Mission, October 2008, Volume 20, No. 10
Scenario planning is specifically designed to deal with major, uncertain shifts in context. It is not about predicting the future but rather attempts to describe what is possible. As a group of distinct plausible futures is identified, one can then develop approaches to deal with them.
 
Background Data for Mission, September 2008, Volume 20, No. 9
Church workers know that behavioral change is difficult to achieve. High-energy prices are likely to force such changes in church participants and church decisions in coming months and years.
 
Background Data for Mission, August 2008, Volume 20, No. 8
The more the church lives out community, grounded in faith, the more likely the surrounding community will start to taste it as well. After all, we are to make disciples for the transformation of the world.
 
Background Data for Mission, July 2008, Volume 20, No. 7
The Arlington Institute is a futures think tank located in the DC area which has identified five areas as the “World’s Biggest Problems”: 1. global economic collapse; 2. peak oil; 3. water crisis; 4. species extinction; 5. rapid climate change. Paramount in all of this is how the church is in mission to those impacted by the global problems.
 

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