A newNational Geographic TV show that will air tonight will follow a trio of mission-minded entrepreneurs who will help struggling houses of worship across the nation to avoid bank foreclosure.
"We're selling the greatest product on the planet," Kevin "Rev Kev" Annas, the trio's business consultant with years of entrepreneurial experience, told The Christian Post in an interview on Monday. He and his teammate emphasize the "conservative" trait of staying true to the scriptures and the "liberal" ability to reach out and empathize with specific groups of people.
Annas teamed up with sales and marketing specialist Anthony "Gladamere" Lockhart and pastoral counselor Jerry "Doc" Bentley to work on their local church five years ago. They spent three years developing a business plan, and then decided to take their ministry into the world. Two years ago, they transformed their nonprofit ministry into a business, and "Church Hoppers" was born. more >>
NEW YORK — A former New Yorker who says he grew up knowing how to "play church...really, really well," has uprooted himself and his family from Georgia and moved back to the once dreaded borough of Brooklyn to develop a church plant targeting New York City's disaffected and disillusioned young people who, according to recent Pew studies, consider themselves religious or spiritual, but want nothing to do with church.
"I'm a preacher's kid. I was raised in church, I've done the church thing. I know how to play church, and I know how to play it really, really well because I did it my whole life before college. I don't want to create anything near that. I want people to be who they are. I want them to accept the radical power of the Gospel and allow their lives to be transformed," said James T. Roberson, pastor of The Bridge Church, a fledgling faith community centered in Downtown Brooklyn's trendy Park Slope neighborhood.
Roberson's experience includes helping to found a campus ministry while in college and serving at four church plants in the South, his most recent stint being the missional communities pastor at Blueprint Church in Atlanta, Ga. In February, after "the Lord began to make His call on our lives a tangible reality," Roberson, his wife and their two children found themselves in the "borough of churches" — one of Brooklyn's nicknames due to the number of churches that call the NYC district home. more >>
A Presbyterian Church (USA) special committee has recommended that the denomination look to add more racial and ethnic diversity to its process for clerical ordination.
The PC (USA) General Assembly special committee filed its interim report late last month and included recommendations for the "Standard Ordination Examinations" clergy candidates undergo.
"That presbyteries be encouraged to broaden the pool of readers of the exams to be more representative of the diversity of the PC (USA) and to include more representation from racial/ethnic persons," recommends the report. more >>
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Kicking off the first plenary session at the Mosaix 2013 Multi-Ethnic Church Conference on Tuesday, Pastors Mark DeYmaz, Derwin Gray and Eugene Cho, and theology professor Paul Louis Metzger shared their belief in this movement that aims to reflect God's love for all people and the diversity of the kingdom of heaven by planting and growing economically and ethnically-diverse churches.
DeYmaz, who planted Mosaic Church in Little Rock, Ark., where he's the directional leader, noted that among all of the churches in the United States, 86.3 percent fail to have at least 20 percent diversity in their congregations, adding that churches are 10 times more segregated than the communities in which they sit and 20 times more segregated than nearby public schools.
"Surely it breaks the heart of God that so many churches throughout this country are segregated ethnically and economically from one another," DeYmaz commented, "and little has changed in more than 100 years since it was first heard that Sunday morning is the most-segregated hour of the week." more >>
The foundations for Christena Cleveland's new book, Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart, began when she was eight-years-old. As a child, growing up in her father's "a quarter black, Hispanic, Asian and white" church plant in the culturally heterogeneous San Francisco Bay Area, this was Cleveland's reality.
"It was normal for you to interact with people who were different. It was normal for cultural conflicts to come up and for you to work through them, rather than run away from them. It was normal for me to sing worship songs outside of cultural comfort zone," Cleveland told The Christian Post. "Church was an adventure."
But as Cleveland, who attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire for undergrad and subsequently entered a doctorate program at University of California, Santa Barbara, left her childhood behind and began to move around the country, she quickly saw that many American churches had nowhere near the diversity she had taken for granted as a child. more >>
An Oklahoma-based Pentecostal congregation had their church built for them over the weekend after the "Church in a Day" (CIAD) program gathered over 300 volunteers to help build a worship site that was ready for use by Sunday morning.
Landmark United Pentecostal Church in Yukon, Okla., is a growing church that was in need of a larger space than what they were in. Helpers from across the state were on site at 6:00 am last Friday and worked for about 30 hours to complete the building while equipping it with a fully functioning sound system, heated baptistery, Sunday school rooms, a fellowship hall and a carpeted sanctuary.
"It's really no less than a miracle to me when people come together and they really bind together and they try to find their part in a project such as this," said Pastor Chris Moore, reports Oklahoma City-based KFOR-TV. more >>