NEED MEETING & The 25 Top Topics Searched for in the Bible

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Bible Gateway is a go to website for finding biblical references. Their release of the “Top 25 topics most searched for in the Bible” can help leaders in two ways.

First, it indicates the topics for which people are searching for biblical answers. These should be the topics of our sermons and our Bible studies.

Secondly, this gives us a glimpse into the needs for which people are seeking answers in the Bible.

Familiarize yourself with these topics and allow more of your ministry to revolve around answering them. (And, if you want to know the most popular scriptures search for the other Bible Gateway, see this post: )


By Bible Gateway, 2015.

Here are the most-popular keyword searches in 2015 in both English and Spanish.

Rank English Español
1. love amor
2. faith fe
3. peace paz
4. hope oracion
5. joy corazon
6. marriage gracia
7. grace amigo
8. prayer esperanza
9. holy spirit misericordia
10. healing espiritu santo
11. forgiveness mujer
12. strength perdon
13. children gracias
14. fear luz
15. love one another gozo
16. heart diezmo
17. forgive ofrenda
18. trust pecado
19. comfort padre
20. pray obediencia
21. light ayuno
22. salvation salvacion
23. worship espiritu
24. fruit of the spirit fortaleza
25. love is patient palabra

Based on over 1.6 billion pageviews and over 160 million unique visitors to Bible Gateway from December 2014 through November 2015, this data provides a glimpse at how people engaged with the Bible in 2015.

Read more at …

SPIRITUAL FORMATION & Should Employees Be Given Spiritual “Development Days?” Yes! Here’s why.

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 6/24/15.

I was thinking about how organizations sometimes give employees “development days” to pursue education, attend conferences, etc.

But since I encourage 50/50 development, 50 percent on professional development and 50 percent on spiritual development, I believe one option might be that ouGBA_Med1r development days should also be divided equally. (For more on how to balance 50% of your employee’s development in the spiritual arena too, see my chapter “Missteps with Staff Education” in Growth by Accident, Death by Planning, Abingdon Press, 2004).

Here is my response to a former student on this issue. I hope this sheds some light on my thinking regarding how to foster 50/50 learning in our congregations.


Hello ____student name____;

I appreciated that you stated, “I have found that if I can keep the personal development days focused on personal skill development, there is a high interest. I am afraid that if it drifts towards ratios (i.e. 50/50) … interest may change.”

Thank you for your posting. You are correct, many employees are highly interested in developing their skills.

But, I am concerned that 50/50 learning be reflected in our development days too. Let me explain. Church Growth studies are critical, and should be part of the 50% professional development segment. But also spiritual development is needed in the other 50%, lets call this spiritual development.

I suggested to another student in your cohort that 15 days should be expected per year minimum for personal development. Thus, 7 days for professional development, and 8 days for spiritual development.

Thanks for getting me thinking.
Dr. Whitesel


BIBLE & Top Bible Websites, Plain and Simple #DJChuang

by DJ Chuang, 9/20/14.

… The most valuable resource for all humanity has become that much more accessible through the Internet! … the 20 most popular Bible websites with a very brief description:

  1. – providing the Bible online for over 20 years, currently with over 70 languages and 180 versions (a division of The Zondervan Corporation)
  2. – provides quick access to many Bible versions and multiple languages, topical studies, interlinears, sermons, commentaries (a production of the Online Parallel Bible Project)
  3. – with multiple Bible versions in English and a large resource library for in-depth Bible study (Salem Web Network)
  4. – the King James version of the Bible; the most popular website for the most popular version
  5. – home for YouVersion and the Bible app (
  6. – home of the NET Bible (New English Translation), “where the world comes to study the Bible”
  7. – with multiple versions of the Bible, linked with Bible-centered study aids and courses (a ministry of Sowing Circle)
  8. – “Bible Study Online” (a service of Faithlife / Logos Bible Software)
  9. – “a simple, ad-free Bible that brings God’s Word into your daily life,” links to
  10. – English Standard Version of the Bible by Crossway—an “essentially literal” translation of the Bible in contemporary English
  11. – the Bible and prayer resources used in the Church of England and in the wider Anglican Communion and elsewhere
  12. – EasyEnglish is clear and simple English (vocabulary with a smaller word count), developed by MissionAssist
  13. – “eBible aims to capture all the answers, to all the questions, about all the verses in the Bible.”
  14. – “Bringing the Bible to everyone in the world in their heart language, in text and audio, free of charge”, a ministry of Faith Comes By Hearing
  15. – the Bible in English and Chinese (GB and Big5)
  16. – Bible website with “Zip Search With AutoComplete,” part of the suite
  17. – nice visually-designed online Bible and Bible verses with Facebook covers and images for social sharing
  18. – links to an online study Bible by Digital Bible Society with robust UX and other Bible resources
  19. – provides the King James Bible in HTML, viewable and downloadable, by
  20. – many Bible versions and languages, with desktop and mobile websites, provided by American Bible Society, and free Bible tools (widget, highlighter, API) to bring the Bible to your audiences

Read the list at …

BIBLE STUDY & Bible’s Abraham to Be Tried in New York #WSJ


The Wall Street Journal, 11/13/14

It was a father-son hiking trip gone terribly wrong. When they reached the mountain peak, the father tied up his son, placed him on a pile of firewood and prepared to slash the boy’s throat—until he heard a voice telling him to stop.

On Sunday, the father—also known as the biblical patriarch Abraham —will be brought up on charges of attempted murder and endangering the welfare of his son, Isaac, in a mock trial at Temple Emanu-El synagogue on the Upper East Side…

“Let’s be honest here—if I put an ad asking people to come study Bible on a Sunday morning, not many people will come,” said Gady Levy, the new executive director of the synagogue’s Skirball Center, which is hosting the event.

With this program, he said, “people are going to come and study Torah. But they’re going to do it in a creative way—and in a way that makes religion relevant to their lives.”

Read more at …