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Ministry Briefing for January 19, 2015

Each week, my friend Matt Steen and I compile the top 50 stories that we think you should be reading in a publication we call Ministry Briefing. Here’s a sampling of FIVE stories from this week’s edition:

Majority of Americans Seek Deeper Meaning and Personal Calling

A new Barna poll found that 40% of American Christians have a sense of divine calling in their lives, and 48% of Millennials sense a call to do something else with their lives, but they have yet to make the change. Overall, 75% of American adults are looking for ways to live a more meaningful life.
Source:  Barna Research

Church Stops and Cancels Funeral in Progress Because of Same Sex Spouse

Pastor Ray Chavez of New Hope Ministries in Colorado stopped the funeral for Vanessa Collier when he noticed pictures of Collier with her wife, Christina along with their two children, who were 12 and 8. The funeral was cancelled because Chavez refused to officiate a funeral for a gay couple, and the church has yet to reimburse the family for the funeral expenses.
Source:  Denver Post

Church Invests Financial Windfall Back into Community

A Chicago church that made $1.6 from a property sale set aside $160,000 as a tithe and gave it to the congre- gation in $500 checks. The checks came with no strings attached, but members were encouraged to use the checks to support local charities or to help people in need. Members used their checks to buy winter coats for those in need, to build skate parks in lower income areas, and to fund shelters and community service groups.
Source:  Post Bulletin

David Jeremiah Accused of Gaming Bestseller List

A former financial officer of David Jeremiah’s Turning Point Ministries resigned due to concerns over how the ministry promoted the books of David Jeremiah. George Hale claims that the ministry used to purchase books at a steep discount in order to send them to donors. However, the ministry has recently started to purchase books at retail price in order to provide them to donors and to help Jeremiah hit the bestseller lists.
Source:  Patheos

Stress and Low Pay Lead to Weight Gain Among Pastors

Stress, long hours, poor self-care, and low pay are all contributing to significant weight gain among American pastors. In fact, a third of American pastors are obese according to a new Baylor University study. However, clergy can join support groups with fellow pastors, resolve to take a day off, and develop healthier routines to lose weight.
Source:  News Wise

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