Roughly half the U.S. population is male, but fewer men attend church on average than women do. In the Assemblies of God, for example, the latest statistics indicate that men account for 31.5 percent of Sunday morning attendees, while women account for 40.4 percent. This gap in attendance reveals a ministry opportunity.
Earlier this year, Michael Zigarelli — professor of Leadership and Strategy at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania — conducted a qualitative survey of seven Protestant churches with greater parity in attendance between men and women. His working paper, “Churches that Attract Men,” identified transferable principles of man-friendly churches and is the springboard for today’s Influence Podcast conversation between him and me.
Topics of conversation include why attracting men is a good church-growth strategy and what man-friendly churches have in common. But Zigarelli also addresses “pushback questions”: Why are we talking about man-friendly churches in a culture that’s talking about “toxic masculinity”? Does being man-friendly trade on shopworn gender stereotypes or complementarian views of church leadership? And does attracting men create a void of ministry to women and children?
It’s an interesting, informative conversation, so make sure to listen to the entire thing!
In today’s episode, I talk to Chris Sonksen about his new book, Quit Church: Because Your Life Would Be Better If You Did, published by Baker Books.
Sonksen believes too many American Christians take a “noncommittal, casual approach” to both God and the Church. By doing so, they miss out on the tremendous blessings God has for them. Quit Churchis about quitting nominal religion and practicing a vibrant faith.
Chris Sonksen is pastor of South Hills Church, a multisite congregation in southern California; founder of Church Boom; author of When Your Church Feels Stuck; and an Assemblies of God minister.
To be a Christian is to bear witness to Jesus Christ in the place and time in which you live. Every age presents unique challenges to, as well as unique opportunities for, Christian witness. In this episode, I talk to Prof. Alan Noble about how Christians can bear witness to Christ in the midst of a distracted, secular culture.
Alan Noble is assistant professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University, cofounder and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture, and author of Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age, published by IVP Books and hitting bookstores on Tuesday, July 17.
May is Mental Health Month. In today’s episode, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Dr. Stephen Grcevich about a mental health inclusion strategy for the local church.
Dr. Grcevich is founder and president of Key Ministry. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with over thirty years of clinical experience and extensive research experience evaluating medication prescribed to children and teens for mental health disorders. A past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, he is the author of Mental Health and the Church, published this year by Zondervan. (The link takes you to my review of the book.)
In today’s episode, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks with Jay Mooney and Johan Mostert about how churches can support foster care parents and thus solve the twin problems of America’s foster care system: capacity and stability.
Jay Mooney is executive director of COMPACT Family Services, formerly Assemblies of God Family Services Agency. Johan Mostert is director of COMPACARE, one of COMPACT’S initiatives.
In this episode of the Influence Podcast (cross-posted with permission), I talk to Christian Miller about how to close the sanctification gap, the distance between who we are and who we ought to be.
Miller is A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University and director of the Character Project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton World Charity. He is also author of The Character Gap: How Good Are We? (Oxford University Press).
The conversation ranges over insights philosophy, theology, and psychology contribute to closing the sanctification gap. Take a listen!
On Monday, April 23, 2018, the Assemblies of God announced that Rev. Donna Barrett would succeed Dr. Jim Bradford in the office of general secretary. Her term beings June 1, 2018. This was an historic announcement, given that Barrett is the first woman in the denomination’s history to serve on the Executive Leadership Team. In today’s podcast, I talk to Barrett about her life and ministry and how God has led her to this point in time.
Episode 137 Notes
00:00 Introduction of podcast topic
00:47 Trending Up sponsor ad
01:24 Introduction of Donna Barrett
01:53 Life, conversion and call to ministry
03:01 Why we need to create environments where youth can sense God’s calling
06:01 History of ministry and leadership positions
08:28 What the general secretary does, and what Barrett brings to the office
11:54 Experiences as a woman church planter
16:06 Why it’s important for Pentecostals to make a biblical case for women in leadership, as well as for women to be “at the table” of leadership
20:16 Shifts in thinking from local church to national office, and advice for pastors going through transitions