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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 2008, Volume 20, No. 6
Commercial real estate site/location consultants are highly skilled in their analysis of business locations for retail stores and restaurants. Church leaders considering new church starts, relocations, or even evaluating existing locations can benefit from the knowledge, experience, and systematic approaches used by real estate professionals.
 
Background Data for Mission, May 2008, Volume 20, No. 5
One of the main results of the recent General Conference is the establishment of the four denominational areas of emphasis. The second on the list is congregational development and new church starts.
 
Background Data for Mission, April 2008, Volume 20, No. 4
Many churches are making an effort to turn around decline or to move from stagnation to growth. Some growing churches are attempting to continue that trend and even increase it. In all their efforts, a variety of approaches are used, with most cases centering around the question, “what can we do?”
 
Background Data for Mission, March 2008, Volume 20, No. 3
Every year the Research Office presents the latest (2006) UMC (USA) official church statistics. Generally this yearly report sounds much like previous year’s and this year is no exception. Membership change has not deviated notably from the pattern of the last four decades.
 
Background Data for Mission, February 2008, Volume 20, No. 2
As General Conference fast approaches, we are reminded of the four focus areas which will be emphasized there. One of these is congregational growth.
 
Background Data for Mission, January 2008, Volume 20, No. 1
As we start the New Year, business executives often reflect on what lies ahead and how best to navigate the times. Church leaders can find this productive as well. Of course, understanding the times is challenge. This year promises presidential elections, economic uncertainty, challenging energy prices, ongoing terror concerns, to name a few.
 
Background Data for Mission, December 2007, Volume 19, No. 12
The news commentary around the official kick-off of the “holiday” shopping season on Black Friday was all about how much consumers would spend. The immediate contrast with the real meaning of the season is obvious.
 
Background Data for Mission, November 2007, Volume 19, No. 11
The mainline church continues to have much discussion around the reasons for, and implications of, the decline. Of course, this is all multifaceted, but at least one segment is leaving because they are not finding what they are looking for and are looking elsewhere.
 
Background Data for Mission, October 2007, Volume 19, No. 10
Ray Kroc, famed McDonald’s hamburger executive, was once lecturing an MBA class and asked them what business he was in. The expected answer was hamburgers. He was quick to point out that the real business he was in was real estate.
 
Background Data for Mission, September 2007, Volume 19, No. 9
Rodrick Gilbert, house church leader in north India, tells of two approaches to reproduction found in the animal kingdom.
 
Background Data for Mission, August 2007, Volume 19, No. 8
Churches can sometimes learn from business how to minister more effectively. One such case is in applying ethnography. An article in the August 2007 United Airlines magazine, Hemispheres entitled Redefining Research defines ethnography as the study and systematic recording of human cultures.
 
Background Data for Mission, July 2007, Volume 19, No. 7
The title of this newsletter suggests that data informs much of the content of the monthly report. This month will be a unique variation on the theme insofar as it will present how churches, districts, and conferences can obtain relevant data so that they can under gird their missions.
 

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