The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees religious freedom to all Americans. A diversity of religious beliefs and practices spans the nation’s multicultural heritage. According to various polling reports, religion plays a “very important” role in American lives. The majority of citizens, nearly 80 percent, identify themselves as Christians.
Religion in the United States
There are no official directories for religious congregations in the United States, so sociologists must rely on statistical data gathered from national surveys. Unfortunately, the information they receive is up for debate. This is due to the fact that thousands of new churches welcome faith seekers each year, while thousands more close their doors for various reasons.
According to 2010 census estimates, the United States is home to 314,000 Protestant and non-denominational churches, 24,000 Catholic and Orthodox churches and 12,000 non-Christian religious organizations. Many large churches and parachurch organizations offer outreach ministries for evangelism, discipleship and more.
The ministry numbers are harder to count than churches since new ones open and close all the time. By most estimates, however, non-denominational Bible churches provide the greatest number of ministry opportunities. Not only do they reach their own members, but they also minister to people in nations around the world.
Christian Ministries and Outreach Programs
The gospel message of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Bible, is central to most ministries. However, many churches also focus on spiritual growth, Christian living, counseling and various outreach programs. Their audiences are as diverse as their ministry methods.
Some Christian ministries aim to reach pastors, counselors and lay persons in the church. Others minister to people in prisons, businesses and schools. The most common ministry methods include books, magazines, newspapers, television programs, radio broadcasts and the Internet – any resource that can reach churches, families and individuals with the gospel message.
Internet Providers of Christian Ministries
OnePlace.com is a good example of an Internet provider of Christian ministries. In fact, it is a leader in online streaming media for Christian radio broadcasts and television programs. These Internet sites feature hundreds of pastors, authors and speakers including David Jeremiah, Greg Laurie, John MacArthur, Charles Stanley, Rich Warren, Kay Arthur, Beth Moore and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. All of the familiar names in evangelical Christianity are represented on these sites.
Websites like OnePlace.com add new ministries to the roster every day. Ed Young Ministries is a popular new program on OnePlace.com. It features messages from the senior pastor at Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas. Through Ed Young Television, the ministry reaches millions of American and European homes with the gospel message. Internet access allows viewers to watch the television program any time of the day or night.
Other Resources for Spiritual Growth
Visitors to sites like OnePlace.com can view or listen to numerous different ministries online. Through web videos, podcasts and MP3 downloads, Christians can learn about important topics of interest like Bible study, Christian living, marriage, parenting, salvation, prayer, heaven and more.
In most cases, it is not necessary to register on the site to listen to a Christian broadcast. However, registered users usually receive additional resources like broadcast schedules, monthly newsletters and daily devotionals. These resources can supplement their Bible study or church attendance to help them grow in their faith.