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A Christian brother in Jakobstad, Finland blessed us by arranging for us to rent this car for 8 days for 175 Euros!

So unless I purchase a new one in Finland, my hours are numbered for the internet.

This may be my last post until next week!

They will come dancing

“If the church is what it should be, young people will be there.  But they will not just ‘be there’ – they will be there with the blowing of horns and the clashing of high-sounding cymbals, and they will come dancing with flowers in their hair.”

Francis Schaeffer, The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century, p. 107.

My wife, Lois, and I are heading to Vaasa, Finland area for about two weeks. I have the opportunity to speak six times over the next couple of weekends. The first weekend will be at the summer conference for the Finland Swedish Baptist Union (Swedes who are Baptists who live in Finland). The second weekend, I will preach in three different churches!

How exciting.

I am not sure about my internet access for the first few days.

By next week, I should be able to post updates!

Prayer does not consist in an effort to obtain from God the things which are necessary for this life. Prayer is an effort to lay hold of God Himself, the Author of life, and when we have found Him who is the source of life and have entered into communion with Him, then the whole of life is ours and with Him all that will make life perfect.

    … Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), At the Master’s Feet

Pastor Burnout Statistics

You can easily find pastor burnout statistics all over the internet. Some are very overwhelming – like saying that 48% of pastors marriages end in divorce. I for one have my doubts about that one. As do I about quite a few numbers.

I wish they were all true – because then my job of convincing people that pastoral burnout is ravaging pastors would be easy. I tried to find the truth behind the pastor burnout statistics. I tried to find the original studies that produced the numbers. But in most cases I couldn’t find the source.

However, there are a lot of pastor burnout statistics that are reputable… and they are very troubling. Many of the numbers below come from H. B. London’s book, Pastors at Greater Risk.

Pastor Burnout by the Numbers

According to the New York Times (August 1, 2010)

“Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than most Americans. In the last decade, their use of antidepressants has risen, while their life expectancy has fallen. Many would change jobs if they could.”

  • 13% of active pastors are divorced.
  • 23% have been fired or pressured to resign at least once in their careers.
  • 25% don’t know where to turn when they have a family or personal conflict or issue.

For the rest of the post…

Dr. George Peters said this:

God, the church, and the world are looking for men with burning hearts—hearts filled with the love of God; filled with compassion for the ills of the church and the world; filled with passion for the glory of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the salvation of the lost…God’s answer to a world of indifference, materialism, coldness, and mockery is burning Christian hearts in pulpits, in pews, in Sunday Schools, in Bible Institutes, and in Christian colleges and seminaries.[1]


[1] Quoted in Wesley Duewel, Ablaze for God, 27.

Prayer Movements Building Stronghold in America

 

prayer
(Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji)

 

A rising tide of concern is sweeping through the body of Christ as America drifts farther and farther away from its moral and biblical moorings. In response, prayer initiatives are budding in an attempt to call people across denominational and parachurch ministry lines to seek God’s intervention on behalf of America.

“There is a very real sense that we are facing an unprecedented moral and spiritual decline in our nation,” says John Maempa, director of the Office of Prayer and Spiritual Care. “Desperation is building among many within the church to call upon God in these very challenging days. Conditions today are bringing the Church together as never before. We are battling a common enemy, Satan; addressing a common problem, sin; and presenting a common solution, salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

With this increase in prayer initiatives, the church is engaging in spiritual battle. “Prayer is a common-denominator discipline within the Church,” Maempa adds. “While there may be differences in doctrine and on some issues of faith and practice, the need to pray and the conviction that prayer makes a difference, are points of universal agreement. As we unite in prayer, God’s hand moves in powerful ways.”

OneCry, a prayer initiative launched under the auspices of Life Action Ministries early this year, is mobilizing thousands of people across the United States to pray daily for a spiritual awakening that will revitalize the Church and transform the culture. Drafting a “declaration of national spiritual emergency,” OneCry proclaims, “true revival is the only hope to reverse our spiritual recession and enable us once again to display the beauty of Jesus Christ and His gospel throughout the world.”

For the past four years, Cry Out America, under the Awakening America Alliance, has urged believers to gather at county courthouses to pray for God’s intervention in America. Again this year, a call to pray is being issued for Sept. 11, 2012. Additionally, on Sept. 29, many people will gather in Philadelphia for the America for Jesus solemn assembly,” an event that will be simulcast to churches across the nation. For more information about the assembly.

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