ERLC Opposes the Equality Act, Resolution on Care for Ministry Leaders & Bridge Generational Gaps
A leading public policy group is encouraging believers to continue protecting religious liberty despite attempts to push the Equality Act through Congress. The reality of both internal and external struggles for church leaders served as the impetus for a committee-generated resolution affirming and seeking to improve the spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well-being of pastors and other ministry leaders. And, in many churches, generation gaps are still wide. In a piece on Baptist Press, Chuck Lawless offers practical ways to close those gaps by guiding the generations to get to know each other.
A leading public policy group is encouraging believers to continue protecting religious liberty despite attempts to push the Equality Act through Congress.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission says in a statement, “Through the Equality Act, Congress would punish faith-based charities for their core religious beliefs about human dignity and marriage. While the proposed intention of this bill is to protect individuals who identify as LGBT, the bill fails to respect people’s freedom of conscience.”
The group says the bill puts women at risk.
“The Equality Act undermines decades of civil rights protections for women and girls. Women’s shelters for those escaping domestic abuse or homelessness would be forced to house biological males who identify as women. The Equality Act disregards the privacy and safety concerns that women rightly have about sharing sleeping quarters and intimate facilities with the opposite sex. This legislation would also harm women’s sports and scholarships as girls would be forced to compete with biological males for limited positions.”
The reality of both internal and external struggles for church leaders served as the impetus for a committee-generated resolution affirming and seeking to improve the spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well-being of pastors and other ministry leaders.
The resolution was passed at the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
It calls on churches to provide needed counseling and care for pastors, ministry leaders and their families as they face the challenges of ministry.
The resolution cites stats that say:
42% are considering leaving the ministry in the next year, and seven in 10 pastors do not have someone they consider to be a close friend.
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In many churches, generation gaps are still wide. In a piece on Baptist Press, Chuck Lawless offers practical ways to close those gaps by guiding the generations to get to know each other.
1. Intentionally invite older, long-term members to attend the church’s membership class. The goal here, of course, is to introduce new members to older ones. Invite the older members to assist in the class by telling some of the church’s history or leading a facility tour. Have a class dinner at one of the member’s homes.
2. Include testimonies in the worship service. We often attend church with large numbers of people whose stories we don’t know. Start to correct this problem by inviting selected members to share their testimony during the worship service – and be sure to vary the generations.
3. Start a cross-generational prayer ministry. Unite the student ministry or the young adult ministry with the senior adult ministry by connecting prayer partners from each generation. Informed praying would require that they get to know each other and their families well.
Lawless offers an additional seven ideas and they’re all helpful. Read the full piece at Baptist Press.com.
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.