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Trends
The New York Times Magazine used Twitalyzer to score celebrities’ influence through Twitter, ranking them according to retweets and mentions. In the category of religion, the top five were: 1. Rick Warren Followers: 236,054 Influence: 87 2. Joel Osteen Followers: 160,445 Influence: 87 3. Deepak Chopra Followers: 401,709 Influence: 85 4. Dalai Lama Followers: 1,313,098 Influence: 75 5. Joyce Meyer Followers: 181,281 Influence: 52 In a post on Economix, David Leonhardt wrote:
One thing you’ll notice is that a handful of religious leaders may do a better job than anyone of punching above their weight. Deepak Chopra, the spiritual writer, had only about 400,000 followers when we collected the data. The evangelist Rick Warren had about 240,000, and the evangelist Joel Osteen had about 160,000. Yet each of three had an influence score of at least 85, making them among the most quoted and cited people on Twitter.
via Joel Osteen, Rick Warren named most influential religious leaders on Twitter | Believe It or Not | HoustonBelief.com. Who do you follow ‘religiously’ on Twitter?

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Staffing
I found this over at ChurchThought.com and thought it was a great question. It’s based off a recent Dave Ramsey quote: @daveramsey said:
“Don’t hire anyone without seeing their home budget. If they can’t live on what you can afford to pay, don’t waste each other’s time.”
What do you think of that? Is that reaching too far, or is it a prudent move as you hire your next staff person? More here…
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Current Events
Maybe we should do this more in the US… you know… pie the people that we disagree with. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium has been repeatedly targeted by pie-throwing activists angry over comments he made about gay people. Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard reportedly claimed AIDS was an “intrinsic justice” for homosexuals. Here’s the video: More on the story, and the reasons for the pies, here… When was the last time you wanted to pie someone?
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Current Events
An interesting photo essay with some pictures of what’s left of Heritage USA and what it looks like today. It’s been nearly 24 years ago since Jim Bakker’s fall. Last week when vacationing in Aruba, I turned on the TV and there was Jim Bakker, live from his Branson studios. Anyway… interesting photos… here.

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Current Events
For the 46 days of Lent, J. Wilson is forgoing solid food and only drinking beer and water – just as Bavarian monks did hundreds of years ago. Wilson is a husband, father, newspaper editor and beer enthusiast. The 38-year-old is the proprietor of the beer blog brewvana, where the motto is, “An ideal condition of harmony, beer and joy.” “That pretty much sums up our lifestyle,” Wilson told CNN. Wilson is not a suds-soaked frat boy, but a careful home brewer with an eye for history and a hope for a spiritual breakthrough. He is a nondenominational Christian who said he doesn’t like to get hung up on religious labels. He is practicing a Lenten fast with Christians throughout the centuries who typically give something up from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday (April 24 this year) to remind them of the sacrifice they believe Jesus made on the cross for them. Typically, Christians give up something such as alcohol or sweets. Wilson knows his sacrifice is bit extreme. He said his wife, Michelle, has been completely supportive. In his experiments as a home brewer in Iowa, he said Michelle “puts up with a yeast blow up on the ceiling.” via For Lent, can man live by brew alone? – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs. // Thank goodness for a completely supportive wife, huh guys? Hmmm…

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Trends
As consumers in the United States shift increasingly to online banking and bill payment, their electronic financial habits are spilling over into the church. A recent study by LifeWay Research found that 14 percent of all American Protestant churches offer online giving. The survey of 1,003 Protestant congregations was conducted in September 2010 and sponsored by LifeWay’s Digital Church partner ServiceU. It found that large churches are most likely to offer online giving and that for the most part, electronic tithes and offerings are a recent development. A majority (55 percent) of churches with average worship attendance of 500 or more offer online giving, along with 26 percent of congregations with attendance of 200 to 499. In contrast, just 9 percent of churches with 100 to 199 attendees offer online giving, as do 7 percent of churches with 50 to 99 attendees and 4 percent with less than 50 attendees. Two-thirds (66 percent) of churches with online giving have offered it for two years or less. That includes 26 percent who have offered it for about two years, 24 percent who have offered it for less than one year and 16 percent who have offered it for about one year. Nine percent of churches offering online giving have offered it for about three years, 4 percent for about four years and 13 percent for more than four years. More here… Has YOUR church used online giving?  How has it affected giving?  Positively?  What trends are you seeing locally?  Do they match up with this LifeWay survey?

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