I will never forget the first time I met my pastor. Our family had been at the church for two years before a meeting with another staff member threw me into his path. The first words out of his mouth were, "Jen Wilkin. You've been hiding from me!" A giant grin on his face, he draped me in a friendly hug, and then proceeded to ask me about the people and things I cared about. He kept eye contact. He reflected back what I was saying. I was completely thrown off. I don't remember what books were on his desk or what artwork hung on the walls, but I left his office that day with a critical piece of insight: this room is not haunted.
He was right—I had been hiding. Coming off several years of "part-time" ministry at our previous church, my husband, Jeff, and I were weary and in no hurry to know and be known by the staff at our new church. But as a woman with leadership background, I had other hesitations as well. Any woman in ministry can tell you that you never know when you're walking into a haunted house.
If you're a male staff member at a church, I ask you to consider a ghost story of sorts. I don't think for a minute that you hate women. I know there are valid reasons to take a measured approach to how you interact with us in ministry settings. I absolutely want you to be wise, but I don't want you to be haunted. Three female ghosts haunt most churches, and I want you to recognize them so you can banish them from yours. more >>
A diocese that broke away from The Episcopal Church over theological differences and the treatment of its bishop has passed a resolution barring gay marriage ceremonies from being performed at its facilities.
The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, a church body that broke away from the liberal mainline church in 2012, passed the resolution earlier this month at their convention.
Known as Resolution R-4, the document was titled "A Resolution to Adopt a Standing Resolution on Marriage" and was passed in response to the current debate over marriage definition in the United States. The resolution also states that the diocese will only host weddings for couples (one man and one woman) "whose birth gender identities were respectively male and female." more >>
Speaking to a congregation about the ugly conflicts that plague our world is a challenging task for any pastor. But he is called to search the Scriptures and guide the flock entrusted to him by God in all matters of life.
One such challenging topic was addressed in a recent article by Criswell College adjunct professor of theology Brandon D. Smith: the Islamic State. Smith demonstrated well the classic struggle that every pastor experiences on Sunday morning when preaching about the justice and mercy of God. How does one find a balance? How does a Christian know when to be just and when to be merciful? In the case of ISIS, how should a pastor instruct his flock?
Unfortunately, Smith's advice to pastors about this question turned out to be just as inconclusive and unhelpful as a non-answer would have been. His final analysis: "Non-violence might be the right action, but it might not. War might be the right action, but it might not. Preach that." more >>
Pastor Rick Warren's multi-site megachurch will soon celebrate its 35th year of ministry at the Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.
Saddleback Church, an influential congregation that boasts 14 campuses on five continents, will hold a community-wide service on Saturday celebrating the milestone.
In a statement released Wednesday, Pastor Warren said that he and his congregation "thank God for 35 years of blessing our church." more >>
Gospel star Kirk Franklin fired wincing shots at "a pastor who wants people to buy him a private plane" Monday, the same day popular televangelist Creflo Dollar abandoned an appeal to the public to help him purchase a $65 million luxury G650 airplane for his ministry.
"When a pastor wants people to buy him a private plane while a missionary in Somalia bathes children with sores, that's a shortage of character. When I camouflage my 'greeds' to look like 'needs,' that's a shortage of character," wrote Franklin in a blog post on Patheos titled "The High Cost of Character."
As public outrage grew last Friday over an appeal from Dollar, who is founder of World Changers Church International, to raise $65 million from 200,000 people to purchase a luxury Gulfstream G650 airplane, his ministry confirmed that he was traveling "commercial." more >>
The Church of England is set to invest £700,000 in a new program that aims to promote greater engagement between Christian leaders and the scientific community.
The creation of the initiative, which will be part of a three-year Durham University program, was announced during British Science Week, a 10-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and math that concludes on March 22.
The program will offer trainee priests and others access to resources on contemporary science, and will also research attitudes toward science from church leaders. Durham University professor Rev. David Wilkinson spoke out about the divide between faith and science during a recent interview with The Christian Post. more >>