Authorities are investigating a number of fires at African-American churches to determine if they were intentionally set. (Creative Commons photo by Erik Olson)
Authorities are investigating a number of fires at African-American churches to determine if they were intentionally set. (Creative Commons photo by Erik Olson)

Black church fires evoke both fear and faith in Baptist communities

Baptist leaders say the recent spate of African-Amerian church fires in the South have been disturbing — even when not ruled arson — because of the recent AME church shooting in South Carolina. 

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Merianna Harrelson preaches at Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship in Lexington, S.C. (Photo courtesy of Merianna Harrelson)
Merianna Harrelson preaches at Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship in Lexington, S.C. (Photo courtesy of Merianna Harrelson)

On their own: The challenges, blessings of being sole pastors of small churches

Financial difficulties and feelings of isolation are overshadowed by the loyalty and humility found in small churches by the pastors that lead them — often alone.

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Voiding toxic thinking and behavior in church is as important as voiding toxins in the body, church coaches say. (Creative Commons photo by Josh McGinn)
Voiding toxic thinking and behavior in church is as important as voiding toxins in the body, church coaches say. (Creative Commons photo by Josh McGinn)

Finding an antidote to toxic churches and toxic leadership

Poisons can inflame the body of Christ and render missions and ministry ineffective by putting self above God, church health experts say.

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At First Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, last Sunday, the pulpit remained vacant and draped in black in memory of victims at the Charleston, S.C., church.
At First Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, last Sunday, the pulpit remained vacant and draped in black in memory of victims at the Charleston, S.C., church.

Confronted with shocking violence, pastors struggle for the right words

Sermons last Sunday focused on the racially motivated killings at a South Carolina church.

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Art by Lindsay Bergstrom
Art by Lindsay Bergstrom

In grappling with autism, from surviving to thriving

If you asked families living with autism spectrum disorder how they really feel about going to church, you would find a chorus of answers.

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Often the congregation is the source of toxicity that undermines ministers. (Creative Commons photo by James Thompson)
Often the congregation is the source of toxicity that undermines ministers. (Creative Commons photo by James Thompson)

Churches unhappy with pastors should look in the mirror, consultants say

Often, those complaints about poorly trained ministers result from toxic churches where few pastors could succeed, experts say.

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Church apologizes for botched discipline case

The Village Church debacle isn’t the first time an attempt to recover the practice of church discipline has gone awry.

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Many congregations opt to renovate instead of build new when facilities issues arise. (Creative Commons photo)
Many congregations opt to renovate instead of build new when facilities issues arise. (Creative Commons photo)

Church on a tight budget? Renovate, don’t build

While there are some exceptions, many congregations find that renovating and repurposing existing facilities offers signficant savings. 

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Saddleback Church raising $71 million in largest campaign

At 61, Rick Warren isn’t ready to rest on his laurels, and neither is his 24,000-member megachurch, sixth largest in the United States.

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Whether in the church or at a seminary, experts say Baptists and other lay Christians should seek to broaden their knowledge of theology, scripture and worship. (Creative Commons photo)
Whether in the church or at a seminary, experts say Baptists and other lay Christians should seek to broaden their knowledge of theology, scripture and worship. (Creative Commons photo)

Baptist scholars urge churches adopt in-depth theological teaching for lay people

Baptists and other Christians educated about the history of Scripture, church and doctrine make better disciples, experts say.

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