The 1 Percent
American pastors have a “brutal job,” yet only 1 percent quit the ministry each year. So concludes a recent survey of 1,500 senior pastors of evangelical and historically black churches by the North American Mission Board and LifeWay Research. Nearly half (44%) of senior pastors have led their current church for a decade, and only an estimated 13 percent who were senior pastors in 2005 have left ministry since then for reasons other than retirement or death. When they do leave the pastorate, here’s why:
New life for contraception challengers
In September, a federal judge granted March for Life an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate on moral—rather than religious—grounds. (It’s a secular nonprofit.) Weeks later, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the IRS could not penalize two Christian schools—Dordt College in Iowa and Cornerstone University in Michigan—for refusing to accept the mandate. It was the first time an appeals court upheld an objection to the latest iteration of the mandate: the Tenth Circuit ruled this summer against an exemption for five other Christian colleges. The circuit courts’ disparate rulings suggest that the Supreme Court will step in.
A month-long strike by almost 50 Christian schools ended after the Jewish state pledged to increase funding by US$12.5 million for the next school year. Christian leaders at the “unofficial but recognized” schools—which teach about 33,000 students, most of them Arab—had complained that the Education Ministry had significantly cut its support while still fully funding ultra-Orthodox schools. ...1
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Gleanings: November 2015
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