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10 Things Effective Churches Do Well

A Young Man\'s Ideal Church

I've written posts for this site and my own that describe some of the negatives our church consulting teams and "spies" have found in churches. The goal of this post is to show some of the positives we've seen in different churches. The topics vary, but perhaps something will help you in your church.

Gun Control and the Gospel

Umpqua Community College shooting

What happened at Umpqua Community College was at a level of malevolence beyond any earthly explanation or solution. Like a river of magma underneath the earth's crust, unimaginable evil burst forth yesterday. Tragically, it's eruption extinguished ten precious lives and devastated countless others.

5 Ways Churches Can Reach Millennials

Pastor Touré Roberts of One Church LA in Los Angeles.

Not too long ago a young man tweeted me, thanking and commending me for being a 21st century pastor. After a few moments of back-patting, and feeling good about myself, a sobering question came to mind. Should his comment be considered a compliment, or should I take it as a passive reference of the Church's overall state today?

Christians Have Become Desensitized to Ungodly Media

Shane Idleman

Famed radio host, Janet Parshall, aired a program in 2013 about new movie sensations that are depicting ungodly themes, such as Twilight and others. Her guest made the point that the church is losing the power of discernment. I couldn't agree more.

Would You Take a Bullet for Jesus?


If a gunman was demanding people to state their religion, and then killing those who professed faith in Christ, would you admit you are a Christian? That is how Chris Harper Mercer chose his victims during his shooting rampage in Oregon. Those who acknowledged Jesus as their Savior were shot in the head.

3 Encouraging Stories of Adoption

Rob Schwarzwalder

In the midst of the distressing stories of Planned Parenthood's heartless abortion industry and the gruesomeness inherent in destroying a child within the womb, compassionate and committed people in our country and in many other places in the world are putting their lives and incomes on the line in adopting children who desperately need families and homes.

Inside the Vatican Synod on Family: Pope Francis Delivers Bible Reading on Love (Day 2)

thomas schirrmacher vatican synod

Today the Pope opened the Vatican Synod with a service in St. Peter's Church. The more than 300 delegates came in order of rank – all covered in green robes. They were seated in a huge semi-circle around the altar. Only three fraternal delegates showed up, representing the Baptists, the Anglicans and the Evangelicals. The ordinary Bible reading happened to center on love and on family.

Christians in America Murdered for Their Faith; Media Yawns

candlelight vigil for victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting

When a white supremacist murdered black parishioners in Charleston, SC, there was national outrage leading to the banning of the Confederate Flag and a fresh discussion of race relations in America. But when Christians are targeted and murdered on a campus in Oregon, much of the nation yawns.

The Facts About Pope's Meeting With Kim Davis

Kim Davis Stands Up For Her Faith

Big news this week as "progressives" worldwide learned, to their utter shock and mournful consternation, that the pope is Catholic. Rumors are they will next examine wild bears, the woods and certain mysteries therein.

Inside the Vatican Synod on Family: An Expert Evangelical's View as a Fraternal Delegate (Day 1)

vatican synod and thomas schirrmacher

It is the Saturday before the official opening of the Vatican Synod on Family with a mass in St. Peter's Cathedral. So most delegates arrive today. The the so-called fraternal delegates stay in the Comunitá San Pietro Canisio, where Jesuits' stay during their time in Rome. It is only three minutes walking distance from the Vatican and two minutes from the office of the Pontifical Council for Propagating Christian Unity, that hosts the friendly delegates.

Gay Christians: Why I Can't Affirm or Condemn Them

matt moore

When I looked into the Bible, I saw no category for someone who could be authentically clinging to Christ while simultaneously saying they had no problem with their sexual sin. I'm not exactly on the same page I was a few years ago, but before I get into that, I want to be clear that there are solid biblical grounds for opposing the idea of a gay Christian.

Do You Have a Fast Friend?


What if one simple act, one singular dedicated effort or sacrifice could better your life, your soul forever? What if that sacrifice took just an hour or two or even an entire day? Would you do it? Consider it worth it? What if that very sacrifice could sharpen your focus, open your heart and move the hand of God in others and your own life?

For True Conservatism, See Pope Francis and John Boehner, Not Ted Cruz and Ann Coulter

Erica Wanis

Russell Kirk is widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most influential conservative thinkers. His Ten Principles of Conservatism are an attempt to articulate the sentiments that characterize the conservative spirit. The tenth and final principle reads, "the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society."

7 Internal Barriers to Church Growth

Thom Rainer

There is rarely a simple explanation for the decline of a church. It is often a complex mix of cultural, theological, attitudinal, and internal issues. In this article, I address the latter issue.

An Encouraging Word for Those Who Have Strayed

Shane Idleman

It's no secret that our generation has wandered severely off course: schools resemble battle-grounds, the family is in chaos, sexual perversion is an epidemic, and truth is mocked. We should be mourning for our nation and the future of our children. Are we too numb or indifferent to comprehend?

No More Brides and Grooms in Florida

Michael Brown

N. T. Wright is one of the most world's foremost New Testament scholars, a sober-minded man not given to extreme rhetoric. Yet when it came to the question of redefining marriage, Wright did not hold back, explaining how dangerous it is to change the fundamental meaning of words:

Can Pastor Counselors Be Prosecuted for Malpractice?

Anthony Ashton

It is not uncommon for congregants to seek counseling from their ministers. Whether described as marriage counseling, family counseling, or spiritual counseling, many congregants seek advice and guidance from clergy members to deal with problems they and their loved ones are experiencing. In providing these counseling services, clergy members enjoy certain legal protection, in part because of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but the protection in not absolute.

America Isn't a Theocracy — Because of the Work of Christians

Bethany Blankley

The beginning of American law, the concepts of independence and freedom, is rooted in the belief that moral absolutes exist within a universal standard of justice independent from political rulers. The Judeo-Christian faith is not separate from but foundational to just and fair public policies that encourage human flourishing.


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ISIS Beheading Christians at 'School of Death' Where Girls Are Sold as Sex Slaves (Video)

Christian refugees who have managed to flee the Islamic State terror group in Syria have revealed in a testimony video that the jihadists are trafficking captured men and children to a so-called "school of death" where they carry out beheadings and sell young girls at a slave market.


Barack Obama

Doctors Without Borders Rejects Obama's Apology for Bombing Hospital

The Doctors Without Borders charity group said that President Barack Obama's apology for the bombing of one of the group's hospitals in the Afghan city of Kunduz is not enough, and called for an international investigation into what it said was an alleged "war crime."

Max Lucado

Max Lucado's 'Glory Days' Revitalizes Stagnant Believers in Their Faith Walk

Prolific author and pastor Max Lucado has released a book meant to help guide Christians who might be feeling stagnant in their walk of faith. Titled "Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now," the book centers on helping to address this faith crisis within American churches.

Presbyterian Church (USA) Leader Sends Open Letter to Donald Trump Over Remarks on Refugees


Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has likened the influx of Syrian migrants into the U.S. to a coup, claiming that migrants "could be ISIS." However, in a recent open letter to Trump — who considers himself a Presbyterian — Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of the General Assembly, declared the church's compassion and support for displaced migrants.

Sadie Robertson
(Photo: Reuters/Danny Moloshok)

'Duck Dynasty' Star Sadie Robertson on Fame, Sexual Temptations and the No.1 Man in Her Life (Interview)

When her family first appeared on the A&E series "Duck Dynasty" three years ago, Sadie Robertson had no idea it would result in opportunities to write books, host award shows, star in movies, design clothes and gain millions of followers on social media. Still, the 18 year old says she's determined not to get caught up in the fame and has a plan to avoid the pitfalls that've plagued others who became celebrities after being on reality TV.

Yazidi women
(Photo: Reuters/YOUSSEF BOUDLA)

Women Are Committing Suicide 'by the Hundreds' to Escape ISIS' Sex Slavery

A Yazidi woman who fled captivity at the hands of the Islamic State terror group has claimed that hundreds of others are taking their own lives rather than be subjected to sex slavery by the jihadists.

Entire Middle East 'Will Be Destroyed' If ISIS Gains Power Warns Assad as Russia Escalates Syrian Airstrikes, Targets US Allies


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned that unless world powers find a way to work together to address the ongoing war in Syria, the entire Middle East region "will be destroyed." U.S. President Barack Obama has meanwhile launched an investigation into the bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Afghanistan by American jets, which killed 22 people.

David Gregory
(Photo: Courtesy of Marissa Rauch Photography)

George W. Bush, Joel Osteen, Russell Moore Help Former 'Meet the Press' Host David Gregory Reconnect With His Jewish Faith

David Gregory, a renowned journalist and former host of the Sunday morning political news program "Meet the Press," was inspired to reconnect with his Jewish faith by former President George W. Bush, and he details that experience in his new book, "How's Your Faith? An Unlikely Spiritual Journey."