Pastor's Corner

12 Jan
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Mid-Week Challenge

New Year Resolutions always mark the beginning of a new season in our life.  LifeWay Research has released their report on what Americans are hoping to improve on in 2022.  It wasn’t too surprising to learn that most people are focused on their health and less concerned with their work.  We are coming out of a season of home confinement and fear due to the pandemic and many are adjusting to new ideas of what Americans call work.  This past season we all learned what it meant to “work from home.” As things improved and folks returned to the workplace, many found the workload increase but the location did not.  Working from home has become the norm for many of us so it makes sense that only 18% of Americans are concerned about work in the New Year.  

It was encouraging to learn that almost 30% of Americans are thinking about their relationship with God. The study found that resolutions concerning a relationship with God are more popular among churchgoers, African Americans, young adults and those with evangelical beliefs. Those aged 18-34 (35%) and 35-49 (35%) are more likely than those aged 50 to 64 (25%) and those 65 and older (17%) to say they have made a previous New Year’s resolution about their relationship with God.  The study also discovered that 14% of the religiously unaffiliated say a resolution about their relationship with God has been part of their end-of-the-year reflections.  The unaffiliated are among the most likely to have made resolutions addressing their finances (36%), their use of time (29%) and their work (22%).

This renewed interest in our relationship with God has been helped along by technology.  According to Apple’s numbers, the two most popular podcasts in the United States right now are not about sports, news or even pop culture. They're about the Bible.  "The Bible in a Year," hosted by Catholic priest Mike Schmitz, is No. 1 in the U.S. on Apple's podcast charts, while "The Bible Recap," hosted by Tara-Leigh Cobble of D-Group, is No. 2.

"The Bible in a Year" features Schmitz reading Scripture and providing commentary in podcasts that span around 20-25 minutes. In "The Bible Recap," Cobble walks alongside the listener and reviews that day's Bible reading. Each podcast lasts around eight minutes. The podcasts rank higher than podcasts by The New York Times, NBC, Joe Rogan and NPR.

Given that the two most popular podcasts on Apple have to do with the Bible, it is safe to assume that those around you in the workplace have a religious interest. This opens up another opportunity to approach the subject of religion with those around you.  We need to look for every opportunity to engage our culture.  Take a chance this week and ask those around you about their podcast habits.  Maybe they are not aware of the rankings and it will present itself as a way for you to invite them into further dialogue concerning the truths in God’s word.  Make yourself available and see what God does with it! 

So Philip ran up and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.  “How can I,” he said, “unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Acts 8:30-31

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan

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