In Spring 2017, the SAGU History department hosted the seminar “Beginnings: Life, Culture and Politics in Early America.” Topics included the birth of the American Navy, Breaking the Glass Ceiling, The Electoral College, America’s Military Bands and many more. David Onyon discusses the Zenger trial, which was a remarkable story of a divided Colony, the beginnings of a free press and the stubborn independence of American Jurors.

As discussed in a previous post, venting is a two-way process that involves the person venting and the person hearing the vent. Healthy, positive venting is focused on how the person hearing the vent shows empathy, creates safety, and participates in active listening (Kurz, 2017; Bryant, 2009; Egan, 2007). Research has concluded that negative venting can lead to higher stress levels and other physical health concerns. Negative venting is not associated with the person venting but rather the active listener and his or her response (Bodie et al., 2015; Goldsmith, 2004).

As we have looked at the metrics that drive church health, we have seen the “nickels and noses” measures of local church life aren’t truly the best measures of church health. In fact, in the U.S. Assemblies of God today, a slightly higher percentage of large churches are plateaued or declining than are smaller churches. So if bigger isn’t always better, what is better?

Once again, we continue our look at the metrics that drive church health. As we have seen, the “nickels and noses” measures of local church life aren’t truly the best measures of church health. Just because something is bigger doesn’t mean it’s better. If bigger was always better, then doctors would stop bugging us about expanding waistlines.

But what is better? We’ve already looked at missional effectiveness and assimilation ratios. These have shown us how we’re really doing at doing the job Jesus gave us to do. How many of us does it take to reach someone with the Gospel each year? Are we maintaining contact with those converts long enough to get them into the waters of baptism?

Numbers are a somewhat controversial topic when it comes to the local church. Some chase them, believing the size of the crowd will speak volumes about their own effectiveness. Others simply insist that Jesus wants to reach everyone, so everyone is the goal. Still others focus their energies on smaller gatherings, searching for an intimacy the crowd can seldom achieve. Church isn’t a numbers game, and yet it really is.

Start with one verse wonders.

Romans 3:23 is often quoted when the decision is being made to come to Christ. While verse 23 is certainly true, Paul finishes his thought in verse 24. It’s truly good news.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24, NKJV)

What could possibly go wrong?

I always laugh when I hear someone say those words because of course anything can go wrong. Or it can go right. But much of that depends on how well we are prepared. In both my personal and professional life, I believe in planning for contingencies. When my kids were little, I didn’t leave the house without extra clothes and diapers. I knew the likelihood of needing them was high. In the professional world, the failure to plan for contingencies can lead to catastrophic failure.

In Spring 2017, the SAGU History department hosted the seminar “Beginnings: Life, Culture and Politics in Early America.” Topics included the birth of the American Navy, Breaking the Glass Ceiling, The Electoral College, America’s Military Bands and many more. Gary McElhany, Ph.D. discusses the events that lead to the infamous Boston Massacre and how it shaped John Adams.

Entire books have been written on the subject of Guest Assimilation, so fully tackling such a huge issue in a short blog isn’t realistic. But most of us who lead local churches need to get the basics down so we can begin building our effort. Here’s four key rites of passage for the guest.