Pastor Leonce Crump chose over three years ago to launch Renovation Church in Atlanta on the weekend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. Why? Because the dream of racial equality and brotherhood King spoke about 50 years prior had yet to be fully realized, even in a city that was a bedrock of the civil rights movement.
The civil rights movement in Atlanta started long before King linked arms with other locals to march through town demand justice. Organized acts of resistance by African Americans against segregation, economic inequity, and racial violence in Atlanta go back to the late 19th century.
But it is King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech that reminds Americans every year that there is still work to be done in society, and even in our churches, when it comes to celebrating diversity and living in true brotherhood. more >>
Mercy Me, Phil Wickham and For King and Country will headline the Harvest America crusade at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Oct. 5, Pastor Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries announced Thursday.
"All three of these groups have been a part of Harvest events in the past, and understand the importance of their role to be used by God to prepare the hearts of those in attendance to hear the message of the Gospel," said pastor John Collins, executive director of Harvest America.
Harvest America in Dallas is planned as a national and even international outreach, utilizing satellite and live-streaming technology to simulcast the event to thousands of remote venues. more >>
A report released by the Southern Baptist Commission this week suggests that the country's largest denomination outside of the Roman Catholic Church is struggling to bring in new members from the Millennials and younger age group demographic.
According to the Pastors' Task Force on SBC Evangelistic Impact & Declining Baptisms, 25 percent of Southern Baptist churches baptized no new members in 2012, while 60 percent reported no baptisms for youth between the ages of 12 and 17. Also indicative of the denomination's struggle to attract Millennials were the 80 percent of churches which reported baptizing one or zero adults between 18 and 29.
Ed Stetzer, the President of the Southern Baptist-linked Lifeway Research, who worked on the team headed by Al Gilbert, the Vice President of Evangelism at the North American Mission Board which created the report, suggested the denomination had not focused enough on intentionally reaching non-Christians. more >>
NEW YORK CITY — New York City's declining mainline congregations can learn from their Evangelical sister churches, said Joel Gibson, the director of Faith Based Initiatives at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.
"Those churches [like Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian or the Trinity Grace Churches] that are growing and are large have very extensive community engagement networks and ministries, and people understand that the value-add from their faith tradition in their own life is made manifest when it is in relationship," Gibson told The Christian Post.
"God is relational. God created us man and woman. God created us to be in relationship, and the intention is that we replicate this relationship in terms of reaching out and being connected to others. Something I think that mainline churches can learn from the Evangelical churches is ... they're living out that reality," he added. more >>
An Arizona church that closed its doors after failing to attract a growing attendance, recently sold its property for $1 amid struggling financially to maintain itself.
First Southern Baptist Church of Payson, Ariz., announced its closing on an outdoor sign, saying it had "given" its facilities to Expedition Church, a congregation that held services at an elementary school cafeteria during the last six years.
"…With a predominately senior church, over time membership and attendance declined and giving followed suit," said senior pastor Rick Hatch in a statement. "Budgets became tighter and tighter until we could no longer afford to maintain the church's expenses." more >>
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 >>