Over the years, reaching men with the Gospel has been an important but challenging effort. From the early days when Edwin Louis Cole launched the Christian Men's Network, to Coach Bill McCartney's Promise Keepers, hundreds of thousands of men have been transformed, and yet momentum has been difficult at best.
But now, a local pastor with a national media ministry is turning "men's ministry" on it's head. G. Allen Jackson, pastor of World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, has taken his experience leading one of the largest churches in America and re-thought exactly what it means to reach men in the 21st century. That strategy is culminating in the "Mighty Men Conference" featuring Jackson and Angus Buchan in Nashville on November 23rd. I had the opportunity to discuss the subject recently with Pastor Jackson, and here's what happened:
Phil Cooke: What we call "Men's Ministry" is alive and well, but it's not in the headlines much anymore. In the 1980's and 90's it exploded and culminated with Promise Keepers, which was one of the biggest movements of it's time. What going on today? more >>
North Point Community Church lead pastor Andy Stanley clarified to The Christian Post about tweets he made earlier in the week that appeared to be criticism of Southern Baptist Convention leaders calling for a spiritual revival, explaining that he was talking about local revival rather than a Great Awakening-style revival.
On Tuesday, Stanley tweeted,"Instead of praying for revival leaders of the SBC should go spend three weeks with @perrynoble Why pray for one when you can go watch one." "Praying for revival equates to blaming God for the condition of your local church." "Why not call the Church to pray for the things Jesus & New Testament writers prayed for? Why add Revival to the list?""Churches that need reviving most are the very churches that resist it most."
Stanley conceded that the conversation spiraled beyond what he had intended it to be after he and others began diverging on what they meant by "revival." more >>
Two members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been notified that each faces excommunication from the church for apostasy — one for his LGBT activism, the other because she's the founder of Ordain Women, an organization that's pushing for female priesthood.
Kate Kelly, whose organization protested the church's General Conference in April advocating for females to become priests, and John P. Dehlin, a psychology Ph.D. student who created a podcast in 2005 that featured an array of stories about Momorns of various racial backgrounds, sexual orientations and approaches toward faith, have been notified by LDS officials that they might be dismissed from the church for apostasy.
Following a meeting last month with Scott Wheatley, the president of the Oakton Virginia Stake, Kelly was informed in a letter that she was being put on "informal probation" by the chuch for her actions. As such, Kelly, is no longer a member in good standing in the LDS church. more >>
A group of Messianic Jewish leaders have signed an official statement denouncing Presbyterian Church (USA)'s consideration for divestment from companies doing business with Israel.
Released Thursday, the statement reaffirmed the leaders' commitment to supporting the modern state of Israel as the United States' largest Presbyterian denomination considers a divestment proposal at its upcoming General Assembly meeting.
"Amid continuing efforts to pressure and marginalize the state of Israel through boycotts and economic sanctions, the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly, meeting in Detroit, June 14-21, will consider proposals to pressure Israel through financial divestment," read the statement in part. more >>
A Virginia church has generated a lot of controversy over its distribution of a pamphlet that some claim wrongly stereotypes Muslims.
Bible Baptist Church of Roanoke made local news when some in the city's Muslim community expressed concern over the distribution of a pamphlet on Islam. Titled "Unforgiven?" the pamphlet was created by Chick Publications, a fundamentalist Christian evangelism outlet.
In an interview with local media, Roanoke resident Hussain Al-Shiblawi said the messages in the pamphlet suggest that Muslims are violent and condemned to hell. more >>
The number of very large churches continues to increase, as our graphic dramatically illustrates. And within that group, the biggest churches continue to get bigger. In the past I've written about everything from sanctuary sizes (very few new ones over 5,000) to the first megachurch (start with Pentecost when "about 3,000" were converted, per Acts 2:41) to global megachurches (Korea and Nigeria are currently leading).
But what about the people who attend really big churches? Fellow researcher Scott Thumma and I surveyed some 25,000 of them, with some fascinating discoveries:Nearly two-thirds of attenders have been at these churches 5 years or less. Many attenders come from other churches, but nearly a quarter haven't been in any church for a long time before coming to a megachurch. New people almost always come to the megachurch because family, friends or coworkers invited them. Fifty-five percent of megachurch attenders volunteer at the church in some way (a higher percentage than in smaller churches). What first attracted attenders were the worship style, the senior pastor and the church's reputation, in that order. These same factors also influenced long-term attendance, as did the music/arts, social and community outreach, and adult-oriented programs. Attenders report a considerable increase in their involvement in church, in their spiritual growth, and in their needs being met. Attenders can craft unique, customized spiritual experiences through the multitude of ministry choices and diverse avenues for involvement that megachurches offer. In many ways, large churches today are making good progress in reaching people and moving them from spectators to active participants to growing disciples of Jesus Christ.
For more interesting facts about people who attend megachurches, download the free report Not Who You Think They Are: The Real Story of People Who Attend America's Megachurches. more >>