Efrem Smith, preacher, author and urban ministry advocate, delivered a challenging, uncomfortable and anointed message about evangelism, according to some of the thousands who attended or tuned in via a live webcast to the Exponential West Conference at Saddleback Church on Tuesday.
Smith, president and CEO of World Impact and author of The Post-Black and Post-White Church, preached a message titled "Rethinking Evangelism Through the Suffering," making the case that the atrocities and painful conditions people experience today require a refocused approached to doing outreach.
He began by reading to the thousands in person and likely thousands more watching online, the description of the multi-ethnic and multi-lingual kingdom of God described in Revelation 7, specifically verses 9-17. more >>
The grandson of televangelist Robert H. Schuller, Bobby Schuller, has been named lead pastor of Shepherd's Grove Church, the new name for Schuller's original congregation, which moved to a new location after selling the Crystal Cathedral building and campus to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County.
Schuller will also follow in his grandfather's footsteps with an hour-long religious television program called "Hour of Power with Bobby Schuller." The new program will be similar to the "Hour of Power" show made famous by his grandfather but the younger Schuller plans on reaching a different audience.
"When I came to the remaining Crystal Cathedral congregation in March of 2012, my goal was just to help the ministry as things were winding down to a close. Then more people started attending, and the church grew. It soon became clear that God had other things in mind for the ministry, and that he wanted me to pastor the church," Schuller said, according to Christian Newswire. more >>
Actress and singer Selena Gomez has fans wondering about her well-being after she took to Twitter Wednesday night and posted a tweet implying that she oftentimes does not feel as if she is good enough.
Gomez, who has been seen attending church services and Bible study groups with boyfriend Justin Bieber recently, noted that she has God by her side during tough times which prompted fans to reply to her tweet, asking if she was okay.
The California Catholic Conference filed a complaint Wednesday against the state's mandate that Catholic institutions cover all forms of voluntary direct abortion, including late-term and gender selection, stating that defending the sanctity of life is essential to Catholic beliefs.
"Catholic beliefs about life and human dignity animate and shape our Catholic ministries," said Bishop Robert McElroy, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and chair of the Institutional Concerns Committee of the California Catholic Conference.
"It's why we oppose abortion, but it is also why Catholic schools provide education, Catholic hospitals care for the poor and vulnerable and why Catholic social services provide assistance to people and families in need. It goes to the core of our moral beliefs." more >>
Rick Cole, pastor of the megachurch Capital Christian Center in Sacramento, California has ditched the comfort of his home and has pledged to live on the streets of the city's downtown area for up to two weeks or until he has raised $100,000 to help fund a program called "Winter Sanctuary" that provides food and shelter for the homeless at churches in the area during the winter months.
"Tomorrow, I'm going downtown on light rail, I picked up my light rail pass today…I've never ridden light rail in my life, not even once, not even for fun, and so that's gonna be my mode of transportation for the next two weeks and we'll adjust as we go along the way and we'll communicate to you as we go along the way," Cole explained in a sermon to his congregation Saturday.
"That's what I believe God wants me to do and what we're gonna do together," Cole continued. "I'd like us just to make our prayer about God's power to touch our city…This idea is not very old, probably about two or three weeks old and every step along the way it's only gained momentum and excitement. My wife even has grown Ok with it. That was a miracle all by itself so we are excited about the many things I think God wants us to do with this particular project and how we can grow and impact this community." more >>
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Evangelist Greg Laurie read a recent letter from Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is still being held as a prisoner in Iran two years after being arrested for his Christian faith, to his daughter during a somber prayer vigil held at the city of Newport Beach's civic center Friday at noon.
The imprisoned pastor was able to write a letter to his daughter, Rebekkah Grace, for her eighth birthday on Sept. 12.
"You are growing so fast and becoming more beautiful every day," he wrote in the letter released by the ACLJ. "I praise God for His faithfulness to me every day as I watch from a distance through the prison walls and see pictures and hear stories of how you are growing both spiritually and physically." more >>