Hillsong United's 'Oceans' has become a new worship staple, and as is the case with new staples, artists are lining up to give their own spin on it. Some are more successful than others, but this hero drummer gives it his all, and we think you'll agree it's just the manic shot of energy the song needs. Some people might call it "overpowering" but, then again, some people called Galileo insane. Play on, hero drummer ... Discuss
According to new research from Duke University’s Mark Chaves, several kinds of Christian worship experiences—including speaking in tongues—are on the rise among American churchgoers. As The Atlantic explains:
Since Chaves and his team started tracking these trends in 1998, the portion of congregations that see hand-waving during services has increased by 11 percentage points; spontaneous jumping, shouting, or singing has increased by 9 percentage points; and speaking in tongues has increased by 5 percentage points.
Commenting on his National Congregations Study, Chaves told the outlet that the current trend in American religion is for worship and church experiences that are “more emotionally engaging, not just intellectually engaging” ... Discuss
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.