Monday, March 13, 2006

Megachurches Report

Check out the Megachurches Report, published by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, at .

I found a few things espescially interesting, including:

  • The section on eleven misconceptions explored (page 16) is a great list of busted myths. For example, the vast majority of megachurches belong to a denomination (6% are AG).
  • Washington state is ranked 12th among the states, with 30 megachurches (appendix A, page 20). That is particularly interesting to me since we're told, a lot, that Washington is unchurched. Don't try to tell that to the 37,000 people who show up to worship in those churches next Sunday.
  • As the education levels of the pastors decrease, the rates of growth of these [mega]churches increase (page 15).
  • It seems that these days, the musical instrument that indicates the difference between contemporary worship and traditional worship is the piano. The word organ only appears once in this 27 page document.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I habitually underestimate the power of vacations.

I have had a sense that my brain is working better this week (no real proof that my brain is working better this week... just a feeling that my brain is working better). It occurred to me it is probably due to the 5 days and nights I spent with my family over President's Day weekend at Sun Peaks. I think a vacation like this benefits my leadership ability along a couple of lines:
  • Rest - That's the obvious one, right? I've heard a lot of people say that it takes them weeks, even a month, to really disengage and relax. I think I can disengage and relax in as little as 3 days; I must be lucky. Or it could be that I have really good people around me that can handle whatever comes-up in my absence. I'm also a guy who is glad for technology, as long as I know I can be reached in an emergency, I can easily let the cares of work stay at work. I don't think I ever realize the magnitude of cumulative fatigue until after I'm able to shake it off with real rest.
  • Connection - I really like my family, especially the four of us in my immediate family. Laurie, the Boyz, and I genuinely enjoy one another's company. We enjoy every bit of vacation, even the long rides in the car. The solid bonds of connection that are strengthened on vacation provide a foundation for everything else I do.
  • Fresh Perspective - A few days away gave me opportunity to step away from a few projects that were stalled on my desk. When I came back to them, it was a cinch to move them along. It is so easy to get bogged down from time to time.