By Christy Barritt
Mystery Guests Rank Churches
Faith Perceptions, a church research and marketing firm, partnered with church leaders and sent out mystery guests to rate first-time visits at churches across the country.
The guests found that churches with 300 to 500 attendees gave the best first impressions, while their experiences at megachurches and smaller congregations weren’t as enjoyable.
The Faith Perceptions Church Index is designed for church leaders who want to understand how their church impacts first-time visitors. Mystery guests are generally unchurched. Churches that participate receive visits from mystery guests in 12 different services.
Mystery guests surveyed 1,152 separate church services between 2008 and July 2012 and used identical questions and criteria.
Large churches ranked lower in regard to children’s ministries, while megachurches ranked poorly in post-service atmosphere. Micro-congregations (those with less than 80 in attendance) did the best in post-
In terms of overall experience and whether one would return, microchurches ranked the lowest.
Kids Exposed to Sexual Content Have More Partners
A new study shows that the more sex kids watch in movies, the greater the likelihood those children will engage in sex at an early age and have more partners.
The study by Dartmouth College was published in the journal Psychology Science and was based on the examinations of several hundred popular movies, as well as interviews with 1,200 teenagers.
Ross O’Hara, the study’s lead author, said, “For every hour of exposure to sexual content on-screen, participants were more than five times more likely to lose their virginity within six years.”
He also added, “Parents need to restrict their children from seeing sexual content in movies at young ages. These movies appear to fundamentally influence their personality through changes in sensation-seeking, which has far-reaching implications for all of their risk-taking behaviors.”
Some of the movies studied were the Austin Powers series, Notting Hill, American Beauty, and the James Bond franchise.
San Francisco Library Supports Online Pornography
The San Francisco Public Library has installed plastic privacy screens on their computers so visitors can view pornography more discreetly.
According to the New York Times, the move came in response to complaints from library patrons that some computer users were watching hard-core porn in full view of anyone who passed by. Rather than restrict the access to this medium by placing network porn filtering software on computers, officials called the privacy screens an “elegant solution.”
The new plastic hoods that surround the computer monitors will make it so that only the person using the computer can see what is on the screen. The library has also placed signs near all of its computers asking users to be “sensitive to other
South Dakota Pro-life Law Upheld by Court
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a law requiring that women considering abortion be told critical biological information and directed to alternate means of help before undergoing an abortion.
The court found the majority of the law constitutional last September, but certain issues remained an open question until the court’s ruling in July.
By a 7-4 vote, the court upheld a portion of the law that informs women that abortion leads to an increased risk of depression and suicide, and increases their chance of hemorrhages and infertility.
“On its face, the suicide advisory presents neither an undue burden on abortion rights nor a violation of physicians’ free speech rights,” the court said.
The ruling ends a long-running legal dispute that began in 2005 as a part of a pro-life law.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.