Episode 519

Global Religious Violence Database, West Point Cadet Transformed By Faith & Pastors Lack Of Work-Life Balance

Jan 9, 2024

A new searchable global database of violent religious persecution encompassing Christianity and other faiths is available free to the public, Global Christian Relief CEO David Curry announced Jan. 5. In a profound journey of faith, West Point cadet Austin Hemminger’s story is one of transformation amid the rigors of basic training. And, pastors can face significant challenges as they try to balance their family and their work. Sam Rainer offers some reasons in a Baptist Press article.

Transcript

A new searchable global database of violent religious persecution encompassing Christianity and other faiths is available free to the public, Global Christian Relief CEO David Curry announced Jan. 5.

Global Christian Relief finances the database maintained by the International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF), which will collect, record and analyze publicly sourced reports of persecution for the database, available here.

Curry markets the resource as the first and only events-based global religious freedom dataset that will also offer a high level of verification.
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In a profound journey of faith, West Point cadet Austin Hemminger’s story is one of transformation amid the rigors of basic training.

Struggling with identity and a challenging relationship, Hemminger realized the need for change as he befriended a fellow cadet named William. Raised in a divorced family, faith was initially a non-factor for Hemminger but his military experience led him to sense that “the only way I’m going to find myself is through God and through Christianity.”

The two became active in a campus ministry at West Point.

Hemminger’s baptism in late September 2022 marked a profound commitment to his newfound faith costing him relationships and the need for great change.

Hemminger’s transformed life stands as a testament to the power of faith and resilience.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.
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Pastors can face significant challenges as they try to balance their family and their work. Sam Rainer offers some reasons in a Baptist Press article.

1. The Always-On Phenomenon. Most churches expect pastors to be on call 24/7. Even though late-night phone calls don’t happen often, many pastors feel like they’re always on.

2. The Jack-of-All-Trades Expectations. The call to pastoral ministry is one of diversity. Pastors wear many hats and meeting expectations is often tricky.

3. No Week Is Typical. Every week is different, so defining and managing work hours is difficult.

4. The Blurriness of Ministry and Life. When does work end and fun begin? Does a dinner with a new church family count as work or fun? Is it work or pleasure if you intentionally attend a high school ball game to interact with church members and the community?

Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell because both can be true simultaneously. Pastors often struggle with work hours because of the blurred lines between ministry and life. More often than not, the two are inseparable.

If you recognize some of these challenges in your pastor’s life, check out the piece by Sam Rainer in the Baptist Press Toolbox to get suggestions on how the church might be able to help.
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Find stories like this and more at Baptist Press.com. There you can learn how to sign up for our daily emails. They’re free and come to your inbox morning or evening. Visit Baptist Press.com to learn more.

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