The North American Church is finding itself in an odd position, where it is now receiving missionaries from the countries it once sent missionaries to. With this shifting of the "Christian center of gravity" away from the West, what role should the North American Church – with the U.S. still ranked as the top missionary-sending country in world history – now play in global mission?
Paul Borthwick, who teaches missions at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., and is a senior consultant for Development Associates International, explores this difficult question in his latest book, Western Christians in Global Mission: What's the Role of the North American Church?
Far from giving readers an easy answer, Borthwick takes them through nearly 100 pages of context, including statistics on the astounding growth of Christianity in Africa (11.7 million Christians in Africa in 1910 compared to 495 million Christians in 2010), a nine-point "State of the World" report, and an assessment of the North American Church. more >>
After stepping down from 33 years as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn., John Piper, 67, will begin the transition of the church's leadership in May by moving his family to Tennessee.
In an open letter to his congregation on Wednesday, Piper explained that he wants Bethlehem's new pastor, Jason Meyer, an assistant professor of New Testament at Bethlehem College & Seminary who was voted as Piper's successor last May, to develop a strategic vision for the church without distractions.
"The aim is to give Jason and his team unencumbered freedom to discern God's leading and move forward," wrote Piper. "I am thrilled with our new leadership and have total confidence in their spiritual discernment for the future. Love them as you have loved me," Piper wrote. more >>
Up to 20 churches have decided to no longer be under the direction of Sovereign Grace Ministries because of disputes over the leadership capabilities of the group's president, Pastor C.J. Mahaney, and its executive board, say former and present associates.
A pastor who was at one time a close adviser to Mahaney compares the behavior by the SGM's leadership team, including Mahaney, during the fallout due to the controversy, to that of President Nixon and his staff during the Watergate scandal of the early '70s.
"I also expect C.J., the Leadership Team, the interim Board and the current Board will all get full pardons like Nixon by those who fill their shoes," stated Brent Detwiler, who has offered his opinion and documented what transpired at SGM in his blog over the last two years. He told The Christian Post on Tuesday that as one of the original leaders at SGM, he was considered Mahaney's right-hand man. more >>
Demolishment has begun on a large symbol of a bygone era in 1980s American televangelism history located in South Carolina. "The King's Castle," the central building for the former Heritage USA Christian theme park in Fort Mill, once owned by the Bakker family, will be leveled.
The removal of the centerpiece of the abandoned theme park began earlier this week, with residents from nearby recently developed homes commenting to NBC Charlotte about their approval of the demolition due to the poorly maintained structure being seen as "an eyesore."
Tracy Horton, a spokesperson for Morningstar Ministries, which currently owns the property for which The King's Castle is located, told local media that they also approved the demolition. more >>
A Christian economic professor has argued that the problem of poverty is based less on a lack of material goods and more about "broken relationships."
Dr. Brian Fikkert, founder and executive director of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College, told those gathered at a Christian leadership conference held in Raleigh, N.C.: "I would like to submit to you this morning that poverty is fundamentally rooted in broken relationships.
"And once you define poverty as being rooted in broken relationships, it orients everything you do. It changes everything in your approach to working with the poor. " more >>
Having your own hunger for God is an essential foundation for ministry work, well-known pastor and theologian John Piper told those attending and watching the Internet livestream of a Christian leadership conference held in Raleigh, N.C. on Tuesday.
"The foundation of your ministry is a hunger for God," said Piper at the Advance 13 conference. "Above that, the foundation for your ministry is being satisfied in all that God is for you in Jesus. The goal of that ministry is to help people go there. All your life, give yourself to that – to bring those people from loving the world, being satisfied in the world, until they put all that to death and to praise Jesus as their all satisfying treasure. That's the goal in ministry, to help them get there."
Piper, whose last sermon as the lead pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis will be on Easter Sunday, said he believes that ministry leaders should have the joy of Christ inside them in order to lead well. more >>