By Jonathan Howe
“On the Horizon” is a quick glance at important news items for your week.
Longest Possible Christmas Season Begins
The 2018 Christmas season is underway. This year’s shopping season is the longest possible one for retailers as Thanksgiving was the earliest it could possibly be on the calendar. Retailers are expecting modest gains over 2017, but it will be interesting to see if the 34-day Christmas season is a drain on consumers.
Growth for Giving Tuesday
Following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Youth Pastor Preaching Sunday, and Cyber Monday, tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. This unofficial holiday has seen tremendous growth over the past few years and large companies are starting to match giving on that day.
Tensions Rise at U.S. Border
The migrant caravan coming through Mexico reached the southern border of the United States. Tensions are mounting and, as a result, the border patrol closed the largest port of entry on the Southern border.
Russian Blockade in Ukraine Sparks Concern
In Eastern Europe, Russia and Ukraine are squaring off over the Kerch Strait. Russia has a blockade in place. NATO intervention may soon be needed.
SBC Transitions Continue
We’ve seen several entity and state level leadership transitions in the Southern Baptist Convention this year, and now we are seeing it on a local church level.
Back in September, Johnny Hunt (former SBC president and pastor of FBC Woodstock, GA) announced his transition away from pastoring. And this weekend, another former SBC president, Bryant Wright, announced he would be stepping down in the coming months as pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church.
2018 has definitely been a year of transition in the SBC.
Be sure to check Facts & Trends throughout the week for continued coverage of these stories and much more.
JONATHAN HOWE (@Jonathan_Howe) is Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources.