By Christy Barritt
Characteristics of Genuinely Friendly Churches
Thom Rainer, President of LifeWay Christian Resources, analyzed data on what he calls GFCs or Genuinely Friendly Churches. He measured the Guest Return Rate of churches for his study.
Rainer found that GFCs have a Guest Return Rate that’s six times greater than other churches, but only about 1 in 20 churches met the criteria. Some characteristics of GFCs are:
• Churches were intentional about being friendly.
• Churches had leaders who modeled warmth, humility, and friendliness.
• The buildings had clear signage on how to navigate, clearly marked information stations, and were clean and neat.
• The websites were guest friendly.
Other characteristics of GFCs can be found on Thom’s blog (ThomRainer.com).
Preach Environmentalism, Get a Tax Break
A Maryland county is offering churches a tax break if they preach “green” ideas to churchgoers. Prince George’s County is trying to encourage ministers to preach environmentally focused sermons to educate their congregations; in return they’ll avoid being hit with what’s commonly referred to as the “rain tax.”
The rain tax got its name because of a proposed tax bill that will charge businesses and churches for the amount of “impervious surface” on their property. Roofs, driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots qualify for a “rainwater remediation fee” to “protect the Chesapeake Bay.” This tax will cost churches an average of $744 a year.
The director of the Department of Environment for the county said that churches don’t have to preach, per se, but they can provide educational programs to teach parishioners about how to be more sustainable.
Introverts, Extroverts, and Coffee
A new book on personality science by psychologist Brian Little suggests that introverts and extroverts process coffee differently.
In his book, Me, Myself, and US: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being, he suggests that after two cups of coffee, extroverts are able to carry out tasks more efficiently. On the other hand, introverts perform less efficiently after consuming two cups of coffee—and this deficit is magnified if the task before them is done under time pressure.
The author explained that the reason for this is because of the “neocortical arousal in the brain” or, in other words, how alert and responsive people are to their environments. Introverts are more easily stimulated than extroverts.
He suggests introverts not have coffee until later in the day and never before important meetings.
One in Three Adults Drink Excessively
A new report released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that approximately one-third of U.S. adults drink excessively, but most of these people are not alcoholics.
Many were labeled excessive drinkers because they engaged in binge drinking on multiple occasions. Binge drinking is when someone consumes four or more drinks on an occasion for women, five or more drinks on an occasion for men. Excessive drinking was also defined as consuming eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more per week for men.
Only 10 percent of drinkers were alcohol dependent, meaning they either craved alcohol, continued using alcohol despite problems, or had an inability to control their alcohol consumption. Binge drinking was most common among people with annual family incomes of more than $75,000, while alcohol dependence was most common among people with incomes less than $25,000. Overall, only three percent of adults are alcohol dependent, according to the report.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author in Chesapeake, VA (christybarritt.com). She and her husband, Scott, have two sons.