STRATEGY & a #3MinuteStrategy video from my personal story about why churches shouldn’t be using the word “assimilation” in their #GuestServices.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Click the picture below to see my latest “3-minute strategy” video on Biblical Leadership Magazine that just dropped on their website. Learn what the building behind me (Chicagoans – do you know it) can represent in the minds of Gen. X (and how we should adjust our guest services in response).

Read more at … https://www.biblicalleadership.com/videos/video-a-church-consultants-story-about-assimilation-and-how-it-relates-to-the-borg/

#3MinuteStrategies #ChurchVisitors101 #GuestServices

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & Working From Home: 53% Of Remote Workers Are Quitting Due To Outdated Benefits.

by Jasmine Browley, Essence Magazine, 6/15/22.

Working remotely has become heavily favored by many workers over the last few years for many reasons that include better work-life balance, money saved on daily commutes and comfortable work environments are key factors that come to mind. 

But according to a new study, this isn’t enough to keep workers around. 

Paychex survey more than 1,000 employees across the U.S across various leadership levels about what they’re looking for in benefit packages. The participants also discussed how important these benefits are when considering the viability of the companies they’re working for. 

While 88% of employees reported satisfaction with their benefits while working on-site, and that number dropped to 71% when they switched to remote work. That number rose to 77% for those participants whose companies offered upgraded benefits workers. 

The survey also asked which benefits were most important. The most common benefit updates for remote workers included flexible working hours and performance bonuses. When asked which additional benefits were most important, employees said they valued a home office stipend (31%) and reimbursement for internet costs (30%). 

The full report can be found here.

And read more from Essence Magazine here … https://www.essence.com/news/money-career/remote-workers-importance-of-benefits-workplace-morale/

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & Angela Duckworth, author of the bestseller “Grit,” explains why, two years into the pandemic, even the grittiest people are quitting, stepping down, or scaling back. And, she suggests three things to do to address this.

by Danica Lo, Fast Company Magazine, 6/15/22.

It’s been six years since psychologist and University of Pennsylvania Professor Angela Duckworth published her bestseller Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. After more than two years of behavioral and societal shifts that have drastically altered cultural values around work and achievement (see: the Great Resignation), Duckworth discusses Grit in hindsight in the first episode of The Next Chapter, a new podcast created for the American Express Business Class platform, out today.

For Duckworth, the tenets of Grit still hold true—that high-achievers are people who not only possess passion, but who also persevere. But, especially in these post-pandemic years, finding passion, or a directional focus, an be difficult and confusing. “For many of us, work ethic, getting feedback, practicing things we can’t yet do, being resilient—all that is easier than knowing what to be persevering about,” she says.

…“When someone is super-gritty, it’s because they’re pursuing something they really love and they actually feel there’s hope to make progress on [it],” Duckworth says. “One reason people might be burning out right now is that, for whatever reasons, there is some erosion of that hope that the future is bright for what they’re doing.”

…“The lesson in the pandemic is that if we want to be grittier or if we want to understand how to make other people grittier, there has to be some valid sense of hope for that person—that what they’re doing is going to be enough and that the future has some reason to believe that it’s brighter,” Duckworth says.

1. Mentorship …

2. Connect workers to a higher purpose

3. Establish a culture of grit …

Read more at … https://www.fastcompany.com/90761050/burnout-angela-duckworth-grit?

PERSONAL OUTREACH & Examples from today (and the Biblical precedents). Guest wiki post by Tom Crenshaw.

by Tom Crenshaw, 6/6/22.

Yesterday was Mission Sunday in our church.

I had the privilege of introducing the ministry of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a ministry that is very near and dear to my heart.

As part of our service, we had a local college and a high school athlete share their testimonies of how the FCA had impacted their lives.

 In the course of introducing them on the stage, it dawned on me that it was my 60thanniversary. No, I hadn’t forgotten my wife and our wedding anniversary; it was something even more important than that. It was my “new birth” anniversary. You see as I was introducing these two students, I was suddenly reminded that it was 60 years ago-almost to the very day- that I was in Lake Geneva, Wisc. attending an FCA summer conference where I committed my life to Christ after hearing noted track star Jessie Owens share his faith.

I thought back to that conference and my friend Chuck Beale whose persistent witness resulted in my being at that conference. 

As a part of the football team at Virginia Military Institute, we had become friends.

Almost daily Chuck had witnessed to me. He continually would bring up his experience attending an FCA summer conference, and he was persistent in wanting me to attend a conference as well. I don’t know how many times he asked me to attend, but I had no interest in giving up part of my summer vacation to travel 2000 miles to attend such a conference.

 However, Chuck’s enthusiasm finally wore me down, and I gave in and said yes- more out of my effort to avoid finding excuses why not to attend than really desiring to go.

In introducing our two FCA speakers, I became aware that I might never have been in church introducing these two young people, had it not been for Chuck’s persistent witness.

In thinking about those who were saved in the Bible, we tend to think of those miraculous conversions. Peter preached and 3000 were instantaneously saved. Phillip stopped a man in a chariot and not only was the man immediately saved, but they stopped to have a roadside baptism service. The Philippian jailor was saved in an instant as he cried out, “What must ZI do to be saved?”

But most conversions don’t happen like that. They happen because someone was lovingly and persistent enough to “keep on keeping on.”  Slow and steady wins the race, and that is the key to success in any endeavor, but especially in the spiritual realm.

Don’t give up. Be persistent like Chuck was. Don’t become discouraged. Pray and pray for that individual you desire to see saved. Find ways to love him/her and show them how much you care.

Galatians reminds us not to “grow weary in well doing.”  “I’m sowing seed, but I see no fruit.” Hang in their dear saint. The promise is “you will reap in due season if you don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9).

I wonder where I would be today if Chuck had given up on me. 

Remember, “The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like thy can’t be done.” Arnold Palmer

As Winston Churchill reminds us “Never give up, never, never, never!”

And that goes for witnessing.

NARRATIVE & How to Create a Powerful Narrative for Your Company- Combine experience with enthusiasm to tell your story.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: attaching a story to your mission can help people see how spiritual goals are attained through prayer, progress and God’s leading. Churches like 12Stone Church in Atlanta have effectively employed Old Testament stories to describe their missional journey. Check out this Inc. Magazine article for ideas how to craft a missional story.

By Frank Wazeter, Inc. Magazine, 6/6/22.

… In my early 20’s I was fortunate enough to be in charge of a small company. We didn’t implement any best practices because we didn’t know any better. It was run on sheer enthusiasm, power of vision and daring to dream in an idyllic version of how things could be. Keeping the entire company focused on the pursuit of idealism had a surprising result.

… As time went on, I gained battle-hardened experience through recessions, booms and struggles. By the time I started my own company, I knew how to profit from vision, but something along the way had gotten lost. Boldness was replaced by measured risk assessment and experience-driven insight.

Experience gives you the ability to seamlessly overcome obstacles and challenges, but it also makes you act more conservatively or become skeptical on what can and cannot work. Conservatism comes because we simply don’t want to experience painful learning curves all over again.

…What you must do is rekindle that purpose in order to capture its power. To do that you’ve got to be in the habit of constantly reminding yourself of what it was that made you start the company to begin with. Write out a bold manifesto for your vision of the future and go back to it every single day.

… When you operate your company from a bold manifesto, an interesting thing happens. People begin to get attracted to you in a way that’s simply more endearing and long lasting than focusing on the mechanical benefits of what it is you do or the mundane daily details of operating.

Your hiring gets better because you attract like minded people. Your marketing gets better because you operate from a place of passion. You attract better and longer lasting repeat customers because they’re bought into your vision and feel like they’re just as much a part of it.

What happens is you and your business become a part of a narrative. A part of a story, rather than simply another business out there.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/frank-wazeter/how-to-create-a-powerful-narrative-for-your-company.html

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & The Reformation Succeeded because of the Printing Press. Today’s #eReformation is following a similar trajectory with some churches embracing new avenues to make disciples.

by Joshua J. Mark, World History Encyclopedia, 5/24/22.

… There Were Reformers before Martin Luther

Before Martin Luther’s 95 Theses sparked the Reformation, other attempts had been made to correct what were seen as abuses and false teachings of the Catholic Church. The Paulicians and Waldensians had advocated reform while the Catharsseparated themselves completely from the Church. The two best-known proto-Reformers, however, are the English theologian and priest John Wycliffe (l. 1330-1384) and the Bohemian priest Jan Hus (l. c. 1369-1415). Wycliffe inspired Hus, whose efforts were the driving force behind the Hussite Wars (1419 to c. 1434) and the Bohemian Reformation (c. 1380 to c. 1436), two of the earliest attempts at reform. Martin Luther would later reference Hus, who was executed in 1415 as a heretic, as a role model for Christians in pursuing a true relationship with God based solely on faith and one’s own interpretation of scripture. Contrary to legend, however, Hus never ‘predicted’ Luther’s activism; this story is a later invention by Luther’s followers.

The Reformation Succeeded because of the Printing Press

… The Reformation succeeded, while earlier efforts at reform had failed, primarily because of the invention of the printing press c. 1440. Wycliffe and Hus made many of the same points later articulated by reformers but lacked the technology to share their views with a wider audience. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses were popularized through print, as were his other writings which were then translated and printed elsewhere, inspiring a wider movement outside of Germany… Translations of the Bible, commentaries on scripture, and attacks on the Catholic Church – as well as by the Church on Protestant sects – were all made possible by mass-produced books and pamphlets. The popularity of these religious works in print contributed to a rise in literacy in Europe, which is an aspect of the Reformation often highlighted.

Read more at … https://www.worldhistory.org/article/2003/ten-protestant-reformation-facts-you-need-to-know/

WORSHIP & These songs, curated by a team of neuroscientists, create a sensation scientists call “frisson” – a feeling or sensation of excitement, emotion or thrill.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Today there is a great deal of discussion about online worship and if it can be as powerful as face-to-face worship. Students of music theory have known for a long time that a powerful musical experience can be experienced in the concert hall or over headphones. Part of this is because the human brain is designed to react to certain surprising musical motifs and chord progressions. Read this article to learn more about “frisson” and how to incorporate it in the songs you write.

This 715-song playlist is scientifically verified to give you the chills, thanks to “frisson.”

by Sam Gilberg, The Big Think, 5/17/22.

… “Frisson” derives from French and is “a sudden feeling or sensation of excitement, emotion or thrill,” and the experience is not confined to music. Historically, frisson has been used interchangeably with the term “aesthetic chills.”

According to a 2019 study, one can experience frisson when staring at a brilliant sunset or a beautiful painting; when realizing a deep insight or truth; when reading a particularly resonant line of poetry; or when watching the climax of a film.

… Other reliable indicators include the entry of one or more instruments or voices; an abrupt change of tempo or rhythm; a new or unexpected harmony; and abrupt modulation. Music psychologist John Sloboda found that the most common types of musical phrases to elicit frisson were “chord progressions descending the circle of fifths to the tonic.” This is a deeply affecting chord progression common in many of Mozart’s compositions.

The 715-song playlist was curated by a team of neuroscientists and is available on Spotify. It includes some of my favorites (below):

  • Twist & Shout, The Beatles
  • The Rite of Spring, Igor Stravinsky
  • Tears in Heaven, Eric Clapton
  • Toccata and fugue in D minor, Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Appalachian Spring, VII, Aaron Copland
  • Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Across the Stars: Love theme from Star Wars, John Williams
  • One for Daddy-O, Cannonball Adderley
  • Moby Dick, Led Zeppelin
  • Wonderwall, Oasis
  • Fields of Gold, Sting
  • Walking in Memphis, Marc Cohn
  • Vincent, Don McLean
  • The Sound of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel
  • This Must be the Place, Talking Heads
  • Rhapsody in blue, George Gershwin
  • Finale, Les Miserables
  • Battle cry, Imagine Dragons.
  • One Day More, Les Miserables
  • Untitled Hymn, Come to Jesus, Chris Rice
  • Strange Fruit, Billie Holiday
  • Sleigh Ride, the Ronnettes
  • One, U2
  • Walk on by, Dionne Warwick
  • Awaken, Yes
  • Oh Come All Ye Faithful, traditional
  • Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen
  • Things we said today, The Beatles
  • Born to run, Bruce Springsteen
  • Across the universe, the Beatles
  • Song for the King, Michael W Smith
  • I can’t get no satisfaction, The Rolling Stones
  • Living for the city, Stevie Wonder
  • Ripple, Grateful Dead.
  • Living on a Prayer, Bon Jovi

Read more at … https://bigthink.com/neuropsych/frisson-song-playlist/

CHURCH GUESTS 101 & “God loves autistic people the way we are,” says Chloe Specht of Sojourners Magazine. “Churches can too.”

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: reaching out to different cultures, including the physically challenged culture, is an important element of every hospitality ministry. However it’s been my observation that it is usually not done well. This is not because of lack of desire, but because of lack of strategies.

In a new course I’m writing for uDemy, titled Church Guests 101, I delve into how to meet the needs of those that visit our churches. Here is a good insight in this from Chloe Specht.

By Chloe Specht, Sojourners Magazine, 5/16/22.

Do you know the autistic folks in your church? Perhaps you’ve assumed that you don’t know anyone on the autism spectrum, but according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 5 million autistic people in the U.S. — just over 2 percent of the adult population. If this seems like an insignificant portion of the population, consider these similar demographics: The U.S. has around 4.7 million people with doctoral degrees and just under 2 percent of the population has a B negative blood type. Autistic folks are more common than you realize!

Despite the undeniable presence of autistic people like myself, the church often fails to make meaningful efforts to accommodate us. In my experience, congregations tend to project a message that everyone should bypass their own needs and conform to every congregation’s preferences, schedules, and means of access. For example, pastors in my life have told me that I should commit to attending every church function in person, even when my social battery is running dangerously low and I’m nearing burnout. Instead of understanding my need to replenish my energy, I’m told to “put God first” and ignore my body’s signals to rest. This is problematic because conversations around accessibility should center the folks who need it, not further marginalize us.

Autism is a spectrum — a marvelous color wheel of uniquely radiant and vivid expressions! Each autistic person has their own preferences and relationships to the language associated with the autistic community and the larger Disabled community. I identify as Disabled, and I capitalize the word to highlight the solidarity of our community and our ongoing movement to create equity and justice. I also exclusively use identity-first language (i.e., “autistic person” instead of “person with autism”) because autism isn’t something I have; it’s who I am.

For Disabled folks, accessibility is not a matter of convenience; it’s a basic requirement to honor our human dignity. Thus, the church cannot view accessibility as optional. Jesus didn’t treat Disabled folks like an inconvenience. Jesus didn’t warn people suffering with leprosy to keep their distance from him or scold the bleeding woman for touching him; far from it! Jesus drew near to those who wanted him. The church should work to meet the needs of the community just as Jesus did during his life and ministry.

…But how can congregations create accessibility for autistic folks?

Stop asking autistic folks to engage in the church in allistic (i.e., non-autistic) ways.Allowing autistic folks to engage in the life of the community however they feel comfortable and without judgment is the most important thing your church can do…

Learn the language of the autistic community and sit at the feet of autistic educators. In the age of the internet, it’s easy to discover autistic creators online and learn from them…

Make virtual services and events a permanent option at your church. Autistic folks tend to run out of social energy more quickly than allistic folks, which makes it difficult to consistently be present for in-person services and events…

Listen to autistic folks, and always defer to the wisdom of their voices. The church has a lot to learn from autistic Christians, so the community of faith needs to recognize that we are whole, creative, capable people. Keep in mind that these tips offer ways to begin creating accessibility, and you will need to explore the fullness of this work in your congregation’s unique context…

Read more here … https://sojo.net/articles/god-loves-autistic-people-way-we-are-churches-can-too?

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & More houses of worship are returning to normal operations, but in-person attendance is unchanged since fall. #PewResearch

by Justin Nortey, 3/25/22.

As COVID-19 cases continue to decline and pandemic restrictions are eased across the United States, churches and other houses of worship increasingly are holding services the way they did before the outbreak began, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. But there has not been a corresponding rise over the past six months in the share of Americans who are attending in-person services.

A line graph showing that the share of churches and other houses of worship operating as they did pre-pandemic continues to rise

… The same survey shows that attendance at in-person services – which grew steadily from July 2020 through September 2021 – has plateaued, as has the share of adults watching religious services online or on TV.

… The survey’s questions about in-person and virtual attendance can be combined to provide a sense of how many people are watching services online instead of attending in person, and how many are watching online in addition to attending in person. The Center’s survey finds that among all adults who say they typically attend services at least monthly, 36% have both attended in person and watched services digitally in the last month, while three-in-ten (31%) say they have only attended in person but not watched online or on TV in the last month.

One-in-five (21%) may still be substituting virtual attendance for in-person attendance, saying they recently have watched religious services online or on TV but have not attended in person. Just 12% of self-described regular attenders report that they have neither gone in person nor watched services virtually in the last month.

A bar chart showing that roughly one-in-five Americans who typically attend services monthly have participated virtually but not in person in the last month

Read more at … https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/03/22/more-houses-of-worship-are-returning-to-normal-operations-but-in-person-attendance-is-unchanged-since-fall/?

COMMUNICATION & How to Write Email Subject Lines that Get a Response: If you want action, you need to tell your reader what you want.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: More and more communication is taking place online. The weekly or monthly printed bulletin mailed to congregants has become more expensive, too time-consuming and less effective. But in this new hybrid church world, people are increasingly bombarded with more communication due to the ease of email. Therefore, here are insights for helping congregants open your email amid today’s cluttered communication channels.

“How to Write Email Subject Lines that Get a ResponseIf you want action, you need to tell your reader what you want,” by Elizabeth Danzinger, Inc. Magazine, 5/16/22

… Here are three elements to include in your subject line to trigger a response from reluctant readers.

1. Tell the reader what to do.

⁃ Tell the Reader What to Do. By writing “Please Respond” or “Action Required” at the beginning of a subject line, clients tell me that their response rates soared.  In your subject line, write phrases like:

• Please Respond

• Response Required

• Immediate Action Required

• Please Approve

• Please Confirm

• Please Respond: Closing your file.

2. Tell the reader when you need it.  

People respond to deadlines. When everything seems urgent, how do people decide whom to respond to first? Often, the message with a credible deadline moves to the top of the pile.

So your subject line might say:

• Friday Approval Needed: Purchase of new scanner

• Respond by 5:00: Audit report review

• Please Confirm Now: Lunch Today at 1:00?

3. Tell the reader why it matters to them.

Adding a “hot button” spin to the subject line will generate more responses.  How will your reader benefit by opening your email? What will it cost him to ignore you? Don’t be manipulative or salesy when you touch hot buttons. For example, you wouldn’t write Act now while supplies last! because that sounds like spam. But you could write Send docs today to avoid late fee.

If you met a person and exchanged email addresses, remind them briefly in the subject line to remind them that you are a person they want to know.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/elizabeth-danziger/how-to-write-email-subject-lines-that-get-a-response.html

PREACHING & TEACHING: Researchers have found that framing is important; human memory doesn’t seem to fully engage in the absence of meaning and relevance. Explain how the biblical story is relevant to the listener, before telling the story.

Michelle D. Miller. (2014). Minds Online : Teaching Effectively with Technology. Harvard University Press.

Take a moment to read over the following set of instructions:

The first thing you want to do is decide how many items you want to incorporate. Take t hem out of t he container — it doesn’t matter which ones, as long as there aren’t any obvious signs of damage. Place them somewhere secure, as they tend to move without warning and this can be disastrous. Take the first one you want to deal with, and grasp it lightly along the short axis, then make contact between this and a fi rm but not sharp object. Be sure you also have an adequate container for the material inside. You can repeat this pro cess up to two times, but after three, you should probably start over. With practice, you will end up with a clean separation, but even experts find that it’s diffi cult to keep the various components totally under control. Remember, this is a skill that gets better with practice, and physical strength is less important than dexterity and fi nesse.45

If you read this paragraph in an online course, do you think you could accurately remember many of the key points? Or would it simply go past you in a swirl of confusing, disjointed details? But what if I told you that this “mystery process” was a description of cracking an egg? Look back at the paragraph— it probably seems far more memorable with that key piece of context. Framing is important; human memory doesn’t seem to fully engage in the absence of meaning and relevance. Thinking back to the “function-alist agenda,” this makes a lot of sense— why should we invest scarce cognitive resources on information that doesn’t complement what we already know about the world?

45 This “myster y pro cess” description is adapted from the experimental materials in J. D. Bransford and M. K. Johnson (1972), Contextual prerequi-sites for understanding: Some investigations of comprehension and recall, Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 11(6): 717– 726.

PREACHING & TEACHING: People can only keep about four things in their mind at a time. And usually just one or two things is the working memory span of most people. So, use just 1-2 bullet points in your PowerPoint presentation (and not seven or more).

Michelle D. Miller. (2014). Minds Online : Teaching Effectively with Technology. Harvard University Press. p. 94.

Limitations on working memory. You may have read somewhere that we can only hold about seven items at a time in working memory. That’s a reassuring enough figure, and might imply that students will do best when we present only seven points at a time— say, seven topics on a web page, or seven bullet points on a PowerPoint slide. But this long- repeated number is now under question as researchers devise ways to measure capacity that factor out rehearsal strategies, imagery, and other mnemonic tricks. Using these updated methods, researchers have found that working memory span is closer to just four items.8 And even within this set of four things, there may be just one or two that are active enough for us to actually use.9 Pinning down the precise number is an important goal for mem-ory theorists, but isn’t really germane to real- world teaching.

8 N. Cowan (2010), The magical mystery four: How is working memory capacity limited, and why? Current Directions in Psychological Science 19(1): 51– 57, doi:10.1177/0963721409359277.

9 N. Cowan, E. M. Elliott, J. Saults, C. C. Morey, S. Mattox, A. Hismjatullina, and A. A. Conway (2005), On the capacity of attention: Its esti-mation and its role in working memory and cognitive aptitudes, Cognitive Psy-chology 51(1): 42– 100, doi:10.1016/j.cog psych.2004.12.001

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & The Cure for Burnout, According to Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman: Play More. Apparently, even genius physicists experience burnout. Here’s how one overcame it.

by Jessica Stillman, Inc. Magazine, 5/6/22.

It’s official: Post-pandemic America is incredibly burned out. “According to Google Trends, which since 2004 has collected data on what the world is searching for, queries for ‘burnout’ –from work, life, and school–are at an all-time high in the US,” Quartz recently reported.

In his 1985 book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! physicist and Nobel Laureate Richard Feynmanrecounted his own case of burnoutand explained what worked to cure him (hat tip to Kottke). His prescription is a whole lot more pleasant than a lot of advice you’ll get about rejiggering your work responsibilities or schedule: Play more.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/burnout-richard-feynman-albert-einstein.html

PREACHING & TEACHING: Listeners remember more when they see what they are learning is relevant for their survival. #Salvation #Eternity

Michelle D. Miller. (2014). Minds Online : Teaching Effectively with Technology. Harvard University Press.

Researchers have flushed out these vestiges in a number of intriguing experiments, including several that show marked memory superiority for items that people process in terms of “survival relevance.” This “survival processing” paradigm asks participants to think of whether a given item— a hammer, say, or a chair— would help them survive living out on a grassland as a hunter- gatherer. Asked later to recall which words they saw in the experiment, participants performed better for objects they thought of in the survival context, compared to a control condition where they had thought of whether the items would be useful moving from one apartment to another, or other more modern survival- relevant activities. Researchers are still hashing out whether these fi ndings can truly be traced to ancestral survival challenges, but for now, evi-dence suggests that they aren’t merely an artifact of some confound-ing factors such as how emotionally arousing or attention- grabbing the different scenarios are.21

21 J. S. Nairne and J. S. Pandeirada (2010), Adaptive memory: Ancestral priorities and the mnemonic value of survival pro cessing, Cognitive Psychology61(1): 1– 22, doi:10.1016/j.cog psych.2010.01.005

MEMORY & Shorter study sessions are better than one big marathon. If you have, say, six hours to spend going over previously learned material, two three- hour sessions beats one big marathon, but three, four, or more shorter sessions are even better.

Michelle D. Miller. (2014). Minds Online : Teaching Effectively with Technology. Harvard University Press.

The spacing effect— sometimes also called distributed practice— refers to the increased payoff we get from spreading review sessions over time, rather than “massing” them in long, concentrated sessions.31 Like the testing effect, spacing is robust and holds up under a lot of different variations. There really is no magic number of study sessions or ideal length, as long as spacing is maximized. If you have, say, six hours to spend going over previously learned material, two three- hour sessions beats one big marathon, but three, four, or more shorter sessions are even better.

… Memory researchers have cited a number of mechanisms that feed into this effect, including the ability to link up information to a wider variety of cues. 

31 For a review see N. J. Cepeda, H. Pashler, E. Vul, J. T. Wixted, and D. Rohrer (2006), Distributed practice in verbal recall tasks: A review and quantitative synthesis, Psychological Bulletin 132(3): 354– 380, doi:10.1037 /0033- 29 0 9.132.3.354 .

PREACHING & TEACHING: Interleaving different media (e.g. video, music, drawing, computer screen, etc.) into your sermon increases retention. From a memory standpoint it’s best to alternate topics, circling back to previously exposed material rather than working straight through each topic one at a time.

Michelle D. Miller. (2014). Minds Online : Teaching Effectively with Technology. Harvard University Press.

Like spacing, interleaving has to do with how we organize our study sessions over time. We interleave material whenever we alternate between different topics, categories, skills, and the like, rather than just working with one at a time. To illustrate, participants in one line of research were assigned to learn to identify visual examples, such as different kinds of birds or paintings by different artists. Researchers found that mixing up the exposure to different examples across sessions— different artists, different classes of birds— improved learning.35 So from a memory standpoint it’s best to alternate topics, circling back to previously exposed material rather than working straight through each topic one at a time.

35 M. S. Birnbaum, N. Kornell, E. Bjork, and R. A. Bjork (2013), Why in-terleaving enhances inductive learning: The roles of discrimination and re-trieval, Memory & Cognition 41(3): 392– 402, doi:10.3758/s13421- 012- 0272- 7; N. Kornell and R. A. Bjork (2008), Learning concepts and categories: Is spac-ing the “enemy of induction”? Psychological Science (Wiley- Blackwell) 19(6): 585– 592, doi:10.1111/j.1467- 9280.2008.02127.x. 36. D. Rohrer (2012), Interleaving helps stud

BUDGETING & Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

… Clergy

Conduct religious worship and perform other spiritual functions associated with beliefs and practices of religious faith or denomination. Provide spiritual and moral guidance and assistance to members.


National estimates for Clergy
Industry profile for Clergy
Geographic profile for Clergy

National estimates for Clergy: 


Industry profile for Clergy: 

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for Clergy are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in Clergy, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Read more at … https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes212011.htm