Bulgarian Churches in America: Personal Xlibris

June 30, 2014 by  
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Excerpt from the chapter “How to Start a Bulgarian Church in America from A-to-Z”

X. Xlibris
Every community leaves a lasting xlibris on its accomplishments, victories and success through a time of celebration. After each major accomplishment, plan deliberately and allow time for celebration. Celebration will renew the motivation of your congregation. Thank God for what He has done, what He is doing and even for the future expectation of what He is about to do. Leave your signature, your identity, and your xlibris where God has placed you to exist. You can even chose a day in which you can celebrate the birth of the new church.

Y. Yielding
As the time of accomplishment and conclusion draws near, prepare yourself for yielding. Yield to God’s leadership for the future, to the needs of the congregation, to new ministers which the congregation has set forth, and to the needs of your family and yourself. This process will provide you with your next step.

Z. Zooming-out
If you have reached the final step in this program you have proven to others and yourself that you are a great leader and church planner. However, if you are a good church planner, you are probably not a good maintainer. It is too hard for an initiator to stop making things happen. It takes a different person to plan, water and grow. This is indeed a Biblical principle and it alludes to the law of the big picture.

If you are not ready to change significantly from planter to a maintainer, you will only hurt what you have planted. Therefore, prepare for change. You will either adapt to being a maintainer or you will have to leave. It is time to zoom-out and see the big picture. When it is the leader’s time to walk away, he/she has to be willing to leave. If this is the case, go back to point A. A new project from God is waiting for you.

2004 Prognoses about Bulgarian Churches in North America 10 Years Later

May 30, 2014 by  
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With the present rates and dynamics of immigration, the growth of Bulgarian immigrant communities across North America is inevitable. As it has experiences a great increase in the past fifteen years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Bulgaria immigrant community is has not only first-generation, Bulgarian-born members, but second-generation of Bulgarian Americans born in North America.

As the community and the churches within it continues to deal with the cultural dilemma, they will discover that that a new generation of immigrants will be eventually assimilated within the American culture. As North American cross-cultural dynamics in the beginning of the 21st century tend to preserve ethnic belongingness rather then assimilate it, they will perhaps present the Bulgarian American churches with an intergenerational opportunity for ministry.

Such change is a historical precedent, which demands preparation from both Bulgarian and American sides. In the past, the children of the immigrants have usually changed the ways their parents lived their lives. However, this dynamics have been reversed to a lifestyle that contains the old immigrant identity. The effect of such metamorphoses is overwhelming, since second generation immigrant must balance between the heritage of their parents and the reality of the new world in which they live.

In a religious context, the new generation is retaining or rather reinventing the old ways of worship inherited from their parents. Thus, while the secular world offers a context for assimilation, the religious community provides an atmosphere for preservation of culture. At the same time, second generation immigrants may switch to a congregation with that promotes a more American style of worship, role of women and social services. Such dynamics provide the context and reasons for church splits.

In their short modern history of the 1990s, the American Bulgarian churches have already experienced a number church splits. Some of the congregations have experienced even more than one split. Such experiences have been painful, but at the same time have brought sense to the reality of church dynamics and have sources of learning for both pastors of congregations. As the Bulgarian American churches grow in number and influence, the second generation immigrants take a more significant role in the church’s life and dynamics. In such context, programs for identity formation and church split prevention must become the focus of the church’s discipleship process.

Annual Conferences of Bulgarian Churches in America

May 25, 2014 by  
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bulgarian-churchIn the summer of 2002 the pastors of the Bulgarian churches in North America came together for their first meeting in Dallas. As a result, an organization called the Alliance of the Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in America was established as a first step toward networking between the churches. The church within the Alliance has over Memorial Day weekend every year since then as follows:

2002 – Dallas
2003 – Chicago
2004 – Minneapolis
2005 – Los Angeles
2006 – Dallas
2007 – Chicago
2008 – Minneapolis
2009 – Los Angeles
2010 – Houston
2011 – Las Vegas
2012 – Chicago
2013 – Dallas
2014 – Minneapolis
2015 – Las Vegas
2016 – Houston
2017 – Chicago

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When you change a GENERATION you change a NATION

November 20, 2013 by  
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nationIn the CHANGE of one GENERATION is a change for the whole NATION

The success of Israel was in the GLORY of GOD and its power to overturn evil kings and political systems

  • In the case of Moses this was the Pharoah
  • In the case of David this was Saul
  • In the case of Ezekiel this was Babylon

And EVERY TIME the people who followed the glory were blessed and received the covenant promises

See why this is important for US today

We live in a post-Christian America

November 15, 2013 by  
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nation1. Less than 20% of Americans regularly ATTEND church

2. Mid-sized churches are SHRINKING amid booming small churches and megachurches

3. Established denominations 40 to 190 years old are DECLINING and disappearing

4. By 2050, the percentage of the U.S. population attending church will be HALF of what it was in 1990

5. At the same times ABORTIONS are on the rise

6. There’s an open GAY reformation within the walls of the church

7. The next WAR is a matter of days

There’s absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that today we live in a post-Christian America!

And while all this is happening:

  • PRAYER is not what it used to be in our churches
  • People are still playing church POLITICS
  • Corporate strategies are replacing the vision of GOD

And we as a church are failing to ENTER the GLORY of GOD

Paul said: “Our fathers were under the cloud and all passed through the sea;
And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud
And did all drink the same spiritual drink of the spiritual Rock that followed them
And that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased…

We claim that we’ve been  saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost, but do we please GOD today?
For the change of a generation leads to a change of the whole nation…

Annual Conference of the Bulgarian Churches in North America

May 25, 2013 by  
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bulgarian-churchBulgarian Churches in the United States meet this weekend for their annual conference in Dallas, Texas. They are hosted by the local Assemblies of God as the Bulgarian churches represent Full Gospel, Foursquare, the Church of God and independent works. Currently, there are regular Bulgarian church meetings in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. Through the years, small groups have sporadically started meetings in Buffalo, St. Louis, Seattle and three places in Florida: Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa and Jacksonville. Through the years, we have assisted with the church projects in Atlanta, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. There have also been attempts to restore the meetings in Washington State, where the difficulty is that most Bulgarians live in the outer suburbs.

See all Bulgarian Churches in the United States, Canada and Europe on our catalog website http://bulgarianchurches.com/

America for Jesus 2012

September 25, 2012 by  
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Bulgarian Churches in North America

April 15, 2012 by  
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bulgarian-churchBulgarian Churches in North America results from a comprehensive dissertation work on emerging Bulgarian American congregations. The book incorporates some twenty years of research, which the author began while involved with the establishment of the first Bulgarian Church of God in North America initially located in the city of Chicago. The work presents an overview of the historical presuppositions and immigrant dynamics associated with Bulgarian churches is offered to enlighten the current problem of ministry. Next, a detailed contextual analysis describes the churches participating in the project. The project model design explains the research methodology and the study’s findings, which provide the first ever statistical overview of Bulgarian American congregations. The work concludes with a series of prognoses of the explored movement of evangelical churches, various considerations and an A-to-Z church planting proposal to serve as a paradigm for ministry and church planting among Bulgarian immigrant communities in North America.

Increase of Religious Non-Identifiers in America

April 10, 2012 by  
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religionThere is a documented and marked decline since 1990 in the number of Americans espousing a religious identity, from less than one-tenth of the public to nearly one in every six adults today. Far from being randomly distributed in the population, the data portray non-identifiers as more likely than those expressing a religious affiliation to be young, male, living in the West and New England, moderate-to-liberal politically, and unmarried.

A lingering question for this research is whether the decline in psychological affiliation with any church or denominational organization will persist, level off, or reverse course. Will the decline in religious identification observed in this research continue or prove to be a temporary phenomenon?

If the question is meant to refer to the traditional, established churches and faith systems that have been with us for some time, the answer is very likely to be yes, it is likely to continue. But if we expand the concept of “religion” to include the increasingly popular forms such as New Age religions, EasternWestern blends, multi-stranded hybrids, the “small-group movement,” pseudo-scientific spiritual formulations, and other types, then maybe no.

This study is an excerpt from the larger report on The Decline of Religious Identity in the United States by Sid GroenemanGary Tobin published in 2004 via the Institute for Jewish & Community Research (http://jewishresearch.or)

Religious Change in Contemporary America

March 25, 2012 by  
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religion_declineCompared to even 15 years ago, fewer Americans today espouse a religious identity. In this report we examine not religious practice like church attendance or membership but rather religious identity.

Approximately one of every six Americans has no religious identity
Sixteen percent of United States adults either fail to place themselves in any denominational category (answering “none” or ”no religion”), or they describe themselves as secular, humanist, ethical-culturalist, agnostic, or atheist.

Individuals who identify with no religion are a growing population
Based on a review of survey evidence, the proportion of non-identifiers appears to have grown substantially in the last 10-12 years.

The non-religiously identified make up the third largest group in the country
The two largest groups are Catholics and Baptists. Those non-religiously identified are virtually tied with Baptists as the second largest group since the difference in estimated size between them is within “sampling error.”

Those raised in no religion are most likely to not identify with a religion
About 1 of every 9 Americans who was raised in some religion now identify with no religion; nearly three-quarters of those with no religious upbringing are current non-identifiers.

Being raised in more than one religion may lead to no religion
Those raised in multiple religious traditions are more than twice as likely to be non-identifiers as adults than those raised in a single religion.

Younger Americans are less religiously identified than older Americans
Younger adults (under 35) are most likely to be non-identifiers, and those over 65 are least likely to be. Religious identification shows a steadily increasing association with age. It is unclear whether this represents a persistent growth trend in non-identifiers, or if it reflects a snapshot in time, with younger people likely to become more affiliated with religion as they pass through customary life-cycle stages. Non-identification in the United States likely will continue to increase

This study is an excerpt from the larger report on The Decline of Religious Identity in the United States by Sid GroenemanGary Tobin published in 2004 via the Institute for Jewish & Community Research (http://jewishresearch.or)

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