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Small Groups a Plus But Not a Cure-All for Megachurches

Establishing small fellowship groups within a megachurch as a way to connect members of a burgeoning congregation is “good medicine” but not a cure-all, according to a national study by sociologists at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

“Simply having a small group program in a church is no guarantee of success,” said Kevin Dougherty, an assistant professor in Baylor’s department of sociology and co-author of the article “A Place to Belong: Small Group Involvement in Religious Congregations,” published this month in the journal Sociology of Religion. read more

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Americans Killed by Pirates Took Bibles Worldwide

Two of the Americans killed aboard the yacht Quest by Somali pirates were on a worldwide trip to distribute Bibles.

Scott and Jean Adam of Marina Del Rey, Calif., wrote on their website that one aspect of their 2011 world sailing trip would be "friendship evangelism—that is, finding homes for thousands of Bibles, which have been donated through grants and gifts, as we travel from place to place.” read more

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Attend the All Access Conference in April

Don't miss the All Access Conference April 5-7 at Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, La. Learn from a team of amazing leaders including Dino Rizzo, Mark Batterson, Steven Furtick, Matthew Barnett, Chris Hodges and more. Click here for more info! read more

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Joyce Meyer Tells Life Lesson From Brother's Tragic Death

Popular Bible teacher, author and television host Joyce Meyer opened up about the recent tragic death of her younger brother during the C3 Conference at Fellowship Church in Dallas last week.

While delivering her message on the life of self-pity versus the life of diligence and faith, Meyer told the gathering of church and ministry leaders how she learned that her brother was dead when Los Angeles authorities called her in late December. read more

Youth Ministries Get Real

You’ve read the reports about teenagers leaving the faith in droves. Despite the blood, sweat and tears of many youth pastors, a study from Britt Beemer, a former senior research analyst for the Heritage Foundation, reveals a disturbing trend: As many as two-thirds of young people in evangelical churches will leave when they enter their 20s. read more

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Our Company Is Now Charisma Media

From the Publisher: You may have seen some of the press releases indicating that as of Feb. 1 our company is now called Charisma Media. We've reported this, we've tweeted it and we've put it on Facebook. But I felt it important to share the column I wrote in the February issue of Charisma magazine about why, at this stage of my life, I felt I should make this name change. In case you missed my column or newsletter, I've included it here. read more

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4 Taxes Your Church May Not Owe

It seems crazy to think that a church, which is a tax-exempt entity, could be paying taxes needlessly. Because your federal exemption exempts your church only from paying federal income tax many state and local authorities may try to charge you tax as well. Knowing what taxes your church doesn’t have to pay is very important! read more

We'll Send You Free Magazines If You Want Them!

We have started a program to encourage churches to carry "bulk subscriptions" of Ministry Today. The response has been so good that we decided to broaden it to all readers of the Ministry Today Report. If you are a pastor, you'll get five copies of this issue with pastor Robert Morris on the cover, as well as 10 issues of the February issue of Charisma (a retail value of about $75) just for trying our offer. read more

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Join our Conference Call With Martha and Dan Munizzi Feb. 1 at 4 p.m.

danmunizziMartha and Dan Munizzi will be our guests on the next Ministry Today conference call on Tues., Feb. 1, at 4 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. CST, 2 p.m. MST, 1 p.m. PST.)  Here are the call instructions: Dial-in number: 712-432-1000, access code: 556731495#. Martha is an energetic and praise-filled woman of God who has captured the hearts of gospel music lovers with songs such as “Say The Name,” “Glorious,” “Because of Who You Are” and “Jesus Is the Best Thing (That’s Ever Happened to Me).” read more

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Leadership Institute With Dr. Mark Rutland Begins Monday Feb. 7

As someone with a history of successfully turning organizations around, Dr. Mark Rutland knows that quality leadership training is a process. The current president of Oral Roberts University, Dr. Rutland has launched the National Institute of Christian Leadership, a yearlong program designed to help you take your ministry to the next level.

The four-sessions during the year enable to interact with Dr. Rutland up close and personal and then process and apply what you have learned to your own situation. For much less than you would pay for a university degree, you get high-level leadership training that is intense, personal, practical and relevant.There's only one week left to register for the first session, which begins on Feb. 7 in Orlando, Fla. read more

Why Good Financial Accounting Is Essential to Good Ministry

I once worked for a multinational corporation that was growing tremendously. At one of our annual corporate meetings, the CEO stood up and gave a speech lamenting the fact that the accounting staff had become larger than the sales staff, despite the fact he had sworn this would never happen in his company. But the reality was that the rapid growth of the company demanded a higher level of internal financial management than ever before. read more

Take Your Ministry to the Next Level With Dr. Mark Rutland

Dr. Mark Rutland believes in transformational change. With a history of successfully turning organizations around, he knows that leadership training isn't something you do just once-it is a process. That is why he has launched the National Institute of Christian Leadership, a yearlong program designed to help you take your ministry to the next level. read more

President Will Address a Less Mainline Protestant Congress Tonight

When President Obama delivers his State of the Union speech tonight, he will address the U.S. public in the presence of the newly sworn 112th Congress that, like its constituents, is less affiliated with mainline Protestant churches than ever before. An analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life of the religious composition of the Congress sworn in Jan. 5 offers an interesting revelation about its Christian makeup: read more

How to Create Healthy Small Groups

Strong, healthy small-group ministries succeed because they develop strong, healthy small-group leaders. So, naturally, one of the top concerns ministry leaders have is how to develop strong, healthy group leaders. How can you be sure they’ll lead well? What will slow down the turnover rate? How do you get more people to lead?

Healthy leaders are empowered leaders. Empowered leaders have been trained for success, entrusted with authority, sent out to lead (without micromanagement) and supported throughout the entire process. read more

Register Now for Leadership Sessions With Dr. Rutland

Are you a leader who needs a transformational change in your life and ministry? Do you need to make a directional turn to take your ministry to the next level?

Dr. Mark Rutland believes in transformational change, and he knows that leadership training isn’t something you do just once—it is a process. That is why he has launched the National Institute of Christian Leadership, a yearlong program designed to help you take your ministry to the next level. For much less than you would pay for a university degree, you get high-level leadership training. The first session is only weeks away. It will be held February 7-9. read more

High Court Sides With Colorado Church Over Land Use

The U.S. Supreme Court last week rejected Boulder (Colo.) County's request for it to review a land-use dispute with a local church. The county was appealing a federal court decision that supported plans by the Rocky Mountain Christian Church in Niwot to nearly double the size of its 128,000-square-foot campus. The church challenged the county's denial of the plans, citing the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which protects churches from discriminatory land-use laws. The high court's decision not to hear the appeal means the jury verdict and ruling of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals stands. It ends a seven-year legal battle for the church. read more

Updated NIV Bible E-Book Hits Best-Seller Lists

It’s official. Zondervan’s new NIV Bible e-book has made its way onto the USA Today best-sellers list. Released on Dec. 15, the digital release marks the first time that a new Bible translation has launched in a digital format before being published in print format.

Here are some additional breakthroughs: The NIV Bible made its debut as the No. 1 one e-book in the Religion & Spirituality Category of Apple’s iBookstore and rose to No. 7 for all books on Apple. It is also among the Top 100 in Amazon’s Kindle Store and a Top 25 e-book in Barnes & Noble's Nookbook Store. read more

5 Steps to Healthy Church Leadership

God’s work in Acts 2 gives us a look into the beginning days of the church. Certain characteristics were developing then that we can identify. As the church grew, it was unified with shared vision and like-minded effort. There was an environment of awe and excitement, and expressions of genuine care for each other. This all resulted in praise to God and favor with people:

“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. read more

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Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders