Last Friday, we put together a list of ideas for your next Christian tattoo, and a few ideas to avoid. It was all in good fun, but that was last Friday, and the game done changed. We don't know much about who has this exquisite Pope Francis tattoo but, according to Tumblr, he's a Dallas resident named Ash with an affection for Doctor Who, Sherlock and killer tattoos. Ash, we aficionados of great Christian tattoos salute you ... Discuss
Leadership Network and Vanderbloemen are releasing what they claim to be "by far the biggest-scale, cross-denominational response anyone has ever collected about church finances.” Specifically, they interviewed 727 megachurches about how they spend their finances, and the report has some interesting findings, all of which are free to download here. Among the findings: A little under half of a church's annual income typically goes to staff, with senior pastors making at least 30 percent more than the next highest paid staffer. The biggest determiner of pastor salaries, by far, is the size of the church—race, theology and even age of the pastor had no appreciable bearing on on their income.
One interesting, perhaps unexpected finding: one of the biggest determiners of a church's growth is, increasingly, a children's pastor. Treat your children's pastors accordingly ... Discuss
Today’s edition of The New York Times features a front page story on a topic that may already be familiar to many evangelicals: Hillsong. The story, “Megachurch With a Beat Lures a Young Flock,” primarily looks at the growth of the church in cities like New York, but also examines the ministry’s appeal—combining cool music, compelling messages and hip venues—to millennials:
The church, Hillsong, has become a phenomenon, capitalizing on, and in some cases shaping, trends not only in evangelicalism but also in Christian youth culture. Its success would be rare enough at a time when religion is struggling in a secularizing Europe and North America. But Hillsong is even more remarkable because its target is young Christians in big cities, where faith seems out of fashion but where its services are packing them in.