Archive for the tag “LifeWay Research”

True justice points people toward Jesus the Just

Ed Stetzer writes in Sojourners magazine about new research documenting “a growing awareness of and involvement in social justice ministries among Protestant churches in the United States”:

handsTHE LEADERSHIP of 12Stone Church, a multi-campus congregation based in Gwinnett County, Ga., became increasingly concerned about how home foreclosures, rampant unemployment, and other financial strains were impacting families in metro Atlanta. They set an ambitious goal of providing relief to 5,000 families in their church and community. Eventually they raised more than $550,000 through designated gifts, many from church members who were themselves unemployed. …

Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C., has mercy ministries built into the DNA of the church. They’ve adapted Rick Warren’s PEACE Plan: plant churches, evangelize the world, aid the poor and sick, care for the orphan and the oppressed, and equip leaders.

Working through the Raleigh-based nonprofit Help One Now, Imago Dei is partnering with an orphanage in Haiti and sponsoring children. Through this ministry, the church is providing basic needs, including food, clean water, and health care. They also support education programs so that the children will be equipped to one day provide for their own families. …

IMAGO DEI AND 12Stone are only two of the many Protestant churches that are not only talking about caring for others, they are taking action. More churches are finding ways to make social action a natural outflow of their missional response to the world, both locally and globally.

According to a series of telephone surveys conducted by LifeWay Research between 2008 and 2012, there is a growing awareness of and involvement in social justice ministries among Protestant churches in the United States, aimed at caring for the forgotten, disenfranchised, and oppressed.

Almost all—95 percent—of the 1,000 or more Protestant senior pastors we surveyed agreed that caring for the poor is mandated by the gospel. When pastors believe this, their churches tend to care more about social justice issues. Studies show the percentage of churches engaged in care for the poor has increased over the past four years. In 2012, 90 percent of Protestant pastors said their churches had “mobilized its members to directly engage and care for the poor in their communities,” up from 76 percent in 2009 and 85 percent in 2010.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Who is going to tell them to ‘do justice’?

LifeWay Research found 90% of churchgoers “desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do,” but 40% say they read the Bible ”once a month” or “a few times a month” (22%) or ”rarely/never” (18%). Only 19% claimed to read the Bible every day.

If so few of us are in the Word in any significant way, what are the odds 80% of our church members even know God is going to test them “with the measuring line of justice and the plumb line of righteousness”? If they aren’t going to read it for themselves, who is going to tell them God requires his people to “do justice”? Which pastor or Bible teacher is going to tell them that their entry into heaven is related to whether they helped “the least of these”?

Who will let them know?

Read more about the study by clicking here. Crossposted at kainos.

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