In preparation for 2013, the staff at Facts and Trends has been evaluating our mission and purpose for the magazine, and we’ve made some changes to reflect a new vision.
We’ll continue to bring you research articles that provide insight to cultural and religious trends that are sure to impact the church. In this issue’s cover story, The Future of the Church in America, Ed Stetzer, president of Lifeway Research, talks about the decline of U.S. Protestants and the rise of the religiously unaffiliated. But he’s not ringing the death knell of Christianity in America; instead, he sees hope for a rise in robust believers and healthy churches.
In addition to key research findings, we’ll begin to include articles on leadership, effective church ministry, and practical resources you can use in your church. We’ve added a few new departments to give you easy access to information we believe will be beneficial to you and the leaders in your church.
Expanding on our name, the Facts and Trends department provides a snapshot of current issues, cultural and spiritual beliefs, as well as church trends. We’ll also report on what churches are doing to connect with their communities. This section is filled with bite-sized content you can read in a few seconds and chew on for days.
We understand life and ministry get busy and it’s impossible to keep up with everything. So, we’ve put together a department called On Our Radar to give you highlights of the best books, apps, conferences and more. Here you’ll find relevant and helpful resources to keep you focused and equipped for leading your church. Occasionally, we’ll include what some of your favorite authors, musicians and other Christian leaders are reading and talking about.
Calibrate means to adjust precisely for a particular function. In this department, we’ll offer practical ministry ideas you can use right now in your church or tweak for your particular ministry context. We’ll also give you examples of churches that have adjusted their ministries to meet the needs of their communities.
In each issue, we’ll strive to bring you articles that explore the challenges and joys of ministry. But don’t expect us to have all the answers. We’re hoping you’ll pass along the lessons you’ve learned while ministering to others.
We’re here to help you navigate those issues and trends impacting the church in today’s world. Most of all, we want to be an encouragement and a resource to you as you lead your church to live out the gospel. Our New Years’ resolution at Facts and Trends is to serve you, our readers, as we see what God has in store for His church in the days and years ahead.
By Carol Pipes, Communications Department