A Tennessee church has experienced both a financial and attendance boost that began when construction started for a mosque next door.
Dan Watts, the interim pastor at Grace Baptist Church, told The Daily News Journal that since 2011 the numbers for worship and Sunday school attendance have tripled and total giving has doubled, coinciding with the start of construction for the controversial Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, which opened in 2012.
Watts, 42, who previously pastored in Mississippi before joining Grace Baptist three years ago, said that his church has found ways to reach out to the city's Muslim and Christian Arab populations. more >>
Participants at Pastor Ed Young's Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, attempted a world-record 17,000 square foot chalk portrait of Jesus on Wednesday as part of Easter activities.
"Easter is always a time of celebration, reflection, and renewal. This giant chalk drawing on our church's parking lot is just a great way to connect with so many people and to remind us what this week is all about," Young, who leads the 20,000-member congregation, said before the event.
"The message is clear - it's all about JESUS!! #ArtOfEaster," Young wrote on his Facebook page. "The portrait is done. History has been made. And now it's time to tell HIS STORY this Easter." more >>
Heaven is for Real tells the story of the small town Nebraskan Burpo family whose 4-year-old son Colton has a near-death experience where he visits heaven and meets Jesus.
The unraveling of this majestic vision is documented in the film, but it doesn't seem to be the main focus. Instead, the movie makers chose to deviate from stressing the vision, and decided rather to show the day-to-day life of the Burpo family and how they balanced church, work and bills with their son's experience.
Greg Kinnear does a fantastic job as Todd Burpo, a jack-of-all-trades that pastors a church, repairs things and fights fires. He becomes skeptical of God's actions once his son is laid up on the operating table for a ruptured appendix. He wrestles with the actual experience and this struggle continues well into the boy's recovery and his explanation of his visit to heaven. more >>
Mormons will share the stage with atheists Wednesday as part of a joint panel held in Salt Lake City, Utah, to discuss and dispel the myths and stereotypes that are believed about the two groups.
In a statement released last week, American Atheists President David Silverman explained that the panel will "challenge how atheists and religious people think of each other."
He continued: "It's true that many atheist Utahans are ex-Mormons, but many atheists around the country have very little direct experience with Mormons. And many Mormons have very little real-world experience with or knowledge of atheists. We want to fix that because a better understanding of where we're all coming from is needed to share political and social space." more >>
We often get asked why the church? What is the unique role of local churches in addressing the foster care and adoption crisis in Washington, DC? Why put so much energy in mobilizing churches? It's a good question, and as with anything, your strategy should be thought out, and well…strategic.
This is what we want to talk about today: Why is mobilizing local churches strategic in embracing and ensuring the success of every child in foster care? Here are a few reasons:
1) We are called more >>
About 800 to 1,000 Southern Baptist congregations cease to exist annually, largely due to a stagnant vision among the leadership and lack of impact within their communities, says a church planting director. However, church leaders say the closures are often the symptom of a greater problem.
"Churches are closing in large part because they have either become disconnected from culture and, or disconnected from Scripture. When this happens, life leaves the church," Joshua Hedger, director of Center for Church Planting at Midwestern Seminary, told The Christian Post.
Although the Baptist convention opened 1,300 new churches last year, Hedger says they are not gaining enough new ground and will rely on church planters to create a movement that will hopefully put an end to dying congregations. The church revitalization process usually involves new leadership taking over a declining church, who then implements a strategy on how to grow the congregation again. more >>