By Carol Pipes
In January 1957 the first issue of Facts & Trends, then called the Newsletter, rolled off the presses.
Facts & Trends finds its origins in the desire to communicate with Christian leaders about trends in church practice as well as cultural trends that affect the church.
With an affinity for research, we’re always looking at what’s happening now, what’s changing, and what’s emerging in the future.
For the past 60 years, the editors and writers of this publication have brought its readers articles about everything from church budgets and baptisms to changing demographics and the future of the church in North America.
We spend a lot of time looking at data from the latest studies on faith and culture. And while we know statistics shouldn’t determine how we do ministry, they can help paint a realistic picture of the world in which we live and serve.
Statistics can provide a starting point for greater understanding, and they can be used as a tool to develop strategies for the church.
And so we dig into the numbers, the facts, the trends in an effort to interpret, educate, equip, and inspire.
We believe the church is God’s missionary agent. And through the church, the gospel of Jesus is extended to all people. We want to be a partner in ministry with those who serve the local church.
It was that same sentiment that compelled Baptist Sunday School President James L. Sullivan to create the original Newsletter.
He wrote in his column, then titled Facts & Trends, about the need for a monthly journal to “put into the hands of pastors, educational directors, ministers of music, and those persons closely related to religious education work in the churches” to assist them in their mission of making disciples.
Our team at Facts & Trends today is humbled and privileged to continue that assignment.
I never tire of hearing from readers who say they’ve been reading Facts & Trends since their early days in ministry.
Whether you’ve been with us for decades or picked up a copy for the first time, I hope you’ll find our publication to be a valuable resource to your ministry.
Since 1957, Facts & Trends has been a direct link between churches and Lifeway, providing Christian leaders with relevant information, practical ministry ideas, and biblical resources.
As Facts & Trends celebrates its 60th anniversary, it’s my hope we will continue for many more years to serve Christian leaders in their mission of making disciples while offering biblical solutions for ministry in the local church.
CAROL PIPES (Carol.Pipes@Lifeway.com) is editor of Facts & Trends.