Opposing Target’s Pride Campaign, Leading the Church in a Divided Culture & Cautions about Church Budgets
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and attorneys general from six other states joined a coalition opposing Target’s LGBTQ+ Pride campaign. In a world growing increasingly divided, pastors are looking for ways to lead churches toward unity. And, while we don’t have sufficient data to declare a definitive trend, we see reasons to urge church leaders to exercise caution before planning major budget increases in the months ahead.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and attorneys general from six other states joined a coalition opposing Target’s LGBTQ+ Pride campaign.
“Children should be children, free from the influence of radical gender ideology,” Cameron said. “I won’t stand by while big corporations endanger and indoctrinate Kentucky kids. I joined this coalition to support parents in their fight to protect childhood innocence.”
The coalition joined in a letter to Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell in opposing the corporation’s campaign, which sold LGBTQ+ promotional products as part of a comprehensive effort to promote gender and sexual identity among children.
In a world growing increasingly divided, pastors are looking for ways to lead churches toward unity.
Santos Geovany Gómez pastors Iglesia La Vina Bautista in New Orleans and also ministers with the New Orleans Baptist Association.
He said a key to understanding how divisions forms in the church is knowing the difference between polarization and just a difference of opinion.
“Difference of opinion is totally different than polarization,” Gómez said. “Polarization is an opinion that doesn’t agree with you and will cancel you. It will put you on the side, outside of your presence. If you don’t agree with what I think, I will have nothing to do with you.”
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While we don’t have sufficient data to declare a definitive trend, we see reasons to urge church leaders to exercise caution before planning major budget increases in the months ahead. Here are five of those reasons:
1. Economic uncertainty. Since the economic experts are not in agreement about the future of the economy, I certainly am not smart enough to make predictions. At the very least, the future state of the economy is uncertain. As a key indicator, inflation, though it has lowered from its peak, is still at a rate that could hold back economic growth.
2. Declining attendance. There is a direct correlation between attendance and giving. Church attendance is significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels . If the trend continues, giving will follow suit.
3. Disappearing liquidity. In order to counter the severe financial effects of the pandemic, the government injected a lot of liquidity through payments to individuals and businesses. These subsidies are nearly exhausted, and the disposable income of church members has correspondingly diminished.
4. Polarization in churches. Church unity is one of the most important factors in the health of a church. And we know for certain that unity affects the giving of a church. A unified church is a church with a purpose. And a church with a purpose attracts greater generosity. Regrettably, many churches are experiencing internal division, which discourages generosity.
5. Facility surprises. Many churches have deferred maintenance issues, and many church leaders are surprised when the church is hit with a major facility cost. Numbers of congregations are in older buildings. Unfortunately, most of those congregations have not kept up with the maintenance needs of the facilities.
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.