Helping People Flourish, Livestream Church Services & Receiving Criticism
Engaging with Scripture, forgiving others and using spiritual gifts help people flourish and lead hopeful lives, the latest release from the American Bible Society’s 2023 State of the Bible shows. As many churchgoers continue watching livestream church services at least occasionally, they also recognize limitations in its validity and utility. And, everyone has received criticism at some point in life. Not all of us have received the criticism as we should. In a piece on Baptist Press, Michael Visy offers some suggestions on how we can receive critique well.
Engaging with Scripture, forgiving others and using spiritual gifts help people flourish and lead hopeful lives, the latest release from the American Bible Society’s 2023 State of the Bible shows.
People who rank highest in Scripture engagement report the highest levels of human flourishing when considering six factors including happiness/life satisfaction, character/virtue, and meaning/purpose, the American Bible Society (ABS) said in releasing in the third chapter of the annual study, now in its 13th year.
Forgiving others results in higher levels of human flourishing, the ABS said. People who said they can forgive others, even when the offending party doesn’t seek forgiveness, proportionately rank higher in human flourishing at 7.7, compared to 6.0 for those who described themselves as least able to forgive.
As many churchgoers continue watching livestream church services at least occasionally, they also recognize limitations in its validity and utility.
According to a Lifeway Research study, nearly 2 in 5 Protestant churchgoers (39 percent) say they have watched a livestream service instead of attending a church service in person on more than five occasions over the past year. Meanwhile, 1 in 5 (20 percent) have not watched a livestream service in the last year.
Today, watching livestream services at the highest frequency (18 times or more in a year) is about half as common as it was in February 2021, during COVID (15 percent v. 32 percent). Still, churchgoers today are nearly four times as likely to watch church services online 18 or more times in a year than they were in 2019, before COVID (15 percent v. 4 percent).
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Everyone has received criticism at some point in life. Not all of us have received the criticism as we should. In a piece on Baptist Press, Michael Visy offers some suggestions on how we can receive critique well.
First, he encourages a person to assume the best motives. The person may voice criticism to you because they love you and want what’s best for you.
Second, listen for the truth in what they share.
And, then, thank them for their concern.
Visy encourages the receiver to then ask for some time to pray and process.
Then, make sure to follow up if it’s merited.
Church Responds to Online Threat, Worship Pastor Wins on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ & Praising God in Prayer
Police in Haymarket, Virginia responded in textbook fashion to neutralize a threat at an area church on Sunday. A Kentucky pastor recently used an appearance on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune to do more than spin the wheel and win some cash. And, Wesley Duewel, the 20th century missionary and prayer leader, once observed, “Praise gives you the spirit of triumph and overcoming. Praise fires you with holy zeal.
The Maryland Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 that a Catholic employer was lawful in denying health benefits to the spouse of a gay married employee because such unions violate church doctrine. This college football season is unlike any other in David Pollack’s life. For as long as he can remember, the sport dominated his Saturdays in ways most people haven’t experienced. And, from 2012-2017, the reality TV series “Duck Dynasty” told many stories of the Robertson family and their duck-call and decoy business. “The Blind,” coming to theaters Sept. 28, tells the story of Phil Robertson’s life before he became a Christian.
Hard times often are described as “going through a valley.” But Bruce Watson, pastor of First Baptist Jeanerette, La., describes life’s valleys as the place where the soil is the richest. Rudy Kebreau and Randal Lyle are bound by far more than their mutual faith and pastoral calling these days. And, maybe your church has a prayer list. But have you ever considered have a personal prayer list? In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kie Bowman says it may help you remain faithful in prayer.