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VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 6   |   Release date: November 15, 2003

In This Issue
Second Coming Thwarted
Denominational Unity
Christians Believe Anything on Internet
"Holidays" Blamed for Low Attendance
Bow Hunting Analogies Increase
Top 10 Worst-Ever Life Verses
Survey Results
November Church Sign of the Month

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Pastoral Bow Hunting Analogies Increase
A recent Gallup poll of North American churches reveals a dramatic increase in sermon illustrations about bow hunting. An annual seasonal trend, the increase is greater than usual in 2003.

The poll agency asked 1,700 random respondents from evangelical churches a series of questions about past and current pastoral references to the sport of bow hunting. 54% of those surveyed (up 8% from last year) affirmed that their pastor had used "a few more" bow hunting illustrations, while 19% indicated that the increase had been "significant." Alarmingly, 8% of those surveyed responded that their pastor had used a bow hunting analogy in four or more of the past six sermons.

Rev. Jim Wakefield, pastor of the Nashua, NH Assembly of God, has been using noticeably more bow-hunting illustrations than usual lately, according to parishioners. George Christensen, long-time board member at the church, noticed the change last week, when, he claims, "Pastor Jim was talking about temptation, and he said it was 'like when you're setting an arrow in a compound bow,' I still don't really know what he meant."

Wakefield's choice of sermon illustrations goes so far as to be unsettling to some members, particularly women. Susan Hayes, speaking on behalf of the church's Moms Ministry, requested that Wakefield "be more considerate of the diversity of his congregation, particularly when it comes to sermon illustrations that may isolate certain hearers." Julie Bailey, a member of Nashua Assembly's youth group, put it more bluntly: "Killing a deer with a bow and arrow is totally gross."

The Gallup poll indicated similar responses from across the United States and Canada. Of those who indicated an increase in bow-hunting illustrations, 67% admitted at least "some level of discomfort" with the technique. Only 15% claimed the illustrations helped make sermons easier to understand.

The Gallup Organization has tracked opinion on social, political, and religious trends for over seventy yearas. The margin of error of this study was ± 2%

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