Fierce battles over whether classic hymns or contemporary tunes should be the linchpins of Christian worship may have subsided, but the arena is still messy, according to worship pastor and recording artist Lincoln Brewster. Some Christians are more excited about turning up for a concert than they are about getting to worship on time, he says from experience. Others have placed facilitating genuine God-connections on the back burner for the sake of being "cool."
Brewster, in his 40s, was such a maestro on the guitar as a youth that by the age of 19, he was considering a major recording contract. But he passed on the golden opportunity for what he believed was a more sure-fire deal — serving at his local church. He has since released seven albums in partnership with Integrity Music, and has produced for the label such worship anthems as "Everlasting God" and "God You Reign."
Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California, where Brewster has served as the worship arts pastor for the last 14 years, describes him on its website as "a multi-talented guitarist, singer and songwriter" who "speaks to the hearts of people who are hungry for non-traditional, passionate worship." His accolades surely attest to his skills, but Brewster, a married father, is reluctant to take on the "rock star" title. more >>
New York Jets Linebacker Demario Davis says he has a premonition that the 2014 NFL season will be his team's best year because he believes his intuition is coming directly from God.
Davis is a devout Christian who made a similar bold statement last year during a time when the Jets were under scrutiny. But this year he is taking a similar approach as another Christian football player did in believing that nothing is impossible.
"… Everybody says that this is their year. Everybody says it from all 32 teams, but who really believes it? [Seattle quarterback] Russell Wilson last year said, 'Why not us?' It's so much about believing. You're going to have so many doubters, so many believers. You have to go out there and believe that this is our time," Davis said to Metro news outlet. more >>
NEW YORK — The American Bible Society's' stated mission is to engage people "with the life-changing message of God's Word," and the 200-year-old Christian nonprofit appears to be pulling out all the stops to stick to that mission. Its latest form of outreach is a new interactive "immersive experience" — a 3D game, dubbed "Dive In" that is supposed to turn players' minds to the condition of their heart.
Dive In was unveiled less than a month ago outside of the American Bible Society's New York City headquarters, not far from the heavily-trafficked Christopher Columbus Circle.
The game uses a 3D camera that incorporates gesture tracking. Once a player steps up to bat, their body movements are tracked and they can then control their avatar's movements by leaning left or right, flapping their arms or waving as they swim through an imaginary water world. more >>
Lecrae, outspoken Christian and award-winning recording artist, has taken to his social networks to speak out on the frustration he feels in light of responses to the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. The rapper also has received pushback for suggesting that hip-hop artists lose credibility by rapping about "lawlessness" and then demanding "equality and justice."
"Regardless of your view on #Ferguson. If [you] have zero compassion for that community you are not loving your neighbor as yourself. These are my cousins, aunts, nieces, uncles, nephews, and our ethnic bond is strong," Lecrae wrote on Instagram Friday. "It does not supersede my bond of faith but at times it feels like my eternal family could care less about my earthly family."
He added, "I feel I'm only accepted if I perform well and don't act like my 'cousins.' I am the same as them but the grace of God has granted me opportunities they didn't get." more >>
NEW YORK — An American pastor of a diverse congregation in Israel known to be targeted by anti-Christian vandals, reminded those in attendance at a recent Mideast prayer service that, according to the Bible, the Jewish people were chosen by God in special service to the world, and never designated as "the teacher's pet." He also called for Christians to be careful in jumping to judgement and picking sides in the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Rev. Charles M. Kopp, pastor of the Baptist Narkis Street Congregation, a 100-member Christian church in West Jerusalem, made the remarks last Thursday evening at a World Evangelical Alliance prayer meeting at the Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission in New York City.
The occasion of the prayer meeting was "A Call to Prayer for the Middle East," with additional remarks made by the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President of National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Dr. Munir Kakish, Chairman of the Council of Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land (representing Evangelicals in Palestinian Territories); and the Rev. Harry Tees, WEA Ambassador to the Holy Land. During the prayer meeting, opened by WEA United Nations Permanent Representative Deborah Fikes, mention was made of conflicts raging in Syria and Iraq, as well as in other countries in the Middle East. more >>
A youth ministry in New York City is changing the way the Gospel reaches unchurched young adults under the direction of Pastor Chris Durso, who embraces creativity as a big part of his ministry's success.
Durso and his wife Yahris lead Misfit NYC, part of Christ Tabernacle Church, where young individuals take the initiative to reach others by using their talents in the arts every Friday night. Their purpose is to demonstrate how God can be seen as freedom and not as religion or law.
"If I'm going to be different, I know there's going to be opposition and people who are against it but I'm all about stepping out and trying anything new," Durso said during an interview with pastor Paula White. "What I've learned is that I'm not called to color outside the lines but I'm supposed to color the way God wants me to color within His parameters and that's the best way to use our creativity." more >>