Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren has said that he is no longer impressed by rapid church growth, given how many pastors he has seen burn out over the years, and revealed that God has instructed him to organize a teaching conference to help church leaders.
"Once a month I take an extended period in my prayer time to pray specifically by name for the next generation of pastors. Over my 40+ years in ministry I've watched too many great guys burn out or flame out and drop out before they made it to the finish line. Rapid church growth doesn't impress me anymore. Rockets burn out fast. Sustained growth decade after decade is what impresses me," Warren said in a Facebook post on Tuesday, addressed to pastors and church leaders.
Warren listed out his specific prayers for the pastors and their families, noting that he prays they will be able to maintain a "humble, teachable spirit," and that they will be able to increase their effectiveness every year, even if their churches hit hardships. more >>
A former member of the Church of Scientology can legally sue the religious sect for allegedly forcing her to have an abortion, a California judge has ruled.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John P. Doyle concluded last week that Laura Ann DeCrescenzo's lawsuit against the organization can proceed.
"In his ruling, Judge Doyle rejected the Scientology organization's assertions that they merely exercised their free speech rights when they persuaded DeCrescenzo to have an abortion when she was 17 and already married," noted law360.com. more >>
A Catholic university in California has reportedly suspended an employee for allegedly telling a trio of students, one of whom identifies as gender-neutral, that only two genders, male and female, exist.
Last month, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles suspended the unnamed employee of 15 years who works in the alumni relations department.
The employee's husband subsequently emailed a Catholic publication in April about the suspension and denounced the LMU student newspaper's coverage of the incident. more >>
Pastor Greg Laurie pulled no punches in his warning to congregants of California-based Harvest Christian Fellowship Church Thursday night, explaining that Christians are living in the last days and tougher times lay ahead, in a message based on the Bible's book of Revelation 6-19 titled "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."
"We are living in the last days and, yes, the worst is yet to come," said Laurie, listing major signs of the end times: "Antichrist. Armageddon. The great tribulation period. The four horsemen of the apocalypse."
The historic Doomsday Clock is ticking ever closer to global catastrophe, Laurie explained, saying according to scientists, it registers "3 minutes 'til Doomsday," when it says the world will experience a nuclear Armageddon. more >>
When it comes to generosity, there are two types of crazy: those who give first, and those who consume first, Pastor Kenton Behsore of Mariners Church said in a recent sermon.
In his latest installment of the "Things I Wish Jesus Never Said" series, Beshore addressed the topic of generosity, saying that our idea of giving differs far greatly from what the Bible says about giving.
Beshore cites Acts 20:35, which reads: "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" more >>
God encourages his followers to fear not 365 times in the Bible, one for each day of the year, Pastor Rick Warren says, emphasizing that He didn't intend for Christians to spend their days preoccupied with anxiety and worry.
Warren, who heads Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, wrote in a post this week that God's repeated mentioning of the phrase "don't be afraid" is clear evidence that he didn't want humans' minds clouded by fear.
God's encouragement is especially evident in Psalm 23:4 (NLT), which reads: "Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me." more >>