As cycles of unemployment, poverty and death have set in on many working class communities across America, are churches overlooking their responsibilities to help alleviate the pain and suffering of plighted working class families?
Although manufacturing jobs once provided the economic stability needed to make life worthwhile in many small, rural and working class towns located far outside the reach of cities and suburbs, the American industrial job market's decline over the last few decades has left many of these communities to face serious problems with unemployment, drug abuse, and alcoholism that foster a cycle of poor decisions that undermine potential economic mobility.
Dr. Kevin Shrum, who pastors at Inglewood Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and is also a professor of religious studies at Union University, Henderson, told The Christian Post that there is a "challenge" when it comes to churches "abandoning" the actual residents that make up their neighborhoods today. more >>
Leadership for the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s Presbyterian Mission Agency has approved a 15 percent budget cut for 2017 and 2018.
PMA's board approved the 2017-2018 budget last Thursday and will allocate about $63.5 million for 2017 and 2018, which is about $11 million less than this year.
Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director for PMA, told The Christian Post the budget decrease was part of an overall restructuring of the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination. more >>
Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini argues that there are some pastors in America who instead of helping Christians grow, are standing in the way of revival, and suggests that church walls, or obstacles separating Christians from reaching society, must fall.
"After being far from the USA for four years and in prison and thousands of hours of prayer have happened, I see that more Christians seem ready to step into revival but not all pastors and leaders," Abedini reflected in a Facebook post on Friday.
"Could it be that pastors are so busy with ministry, church, financial growth plans, and building walls around their church that they are missing the most important thing?" he asked. more >>
MIAMI BEACH — In our new secular age, there are two possible trajectories for evangelical churches, Christian philosopher James K.A. Smith argued at Faith Angle Forum.
Smith's March 14 talk, "Re-Imagining Religion in a Secular Age," to 20 journalists plus other attendees in Miami Beach, sought to explain different ways of thinking about secularism and how those distinctions can aid our understanding of religion in the public square.
"Secular" can be understood in different ways, Smith explained. It can refer to things that are worldly, as opposed to sacred, spiritual or not religious. This view has led, in some circles, to a view that secular is neutral, or objective, while religious views are unobjective, or value laden. more >>
Do you wish you could know the future?
Frankly, I am content with enjoying the blessings of today. I don't need or want to know the future.
But I can see trends emerging and patterns developing. For that reason, I can say that the next new church staff position will be the pastor of community evangelism. For some it will be a full-time position. For others it will be part-time. And still others will have lay volunteers handling this responsibility. more >>
In a message tailored to leaders within the local church, North Point Community Church senior pastor Andy Stanley cautioned attendees of Catalyst Cincinnati against putting theology above ministry, encouraging them to keep people first and to be good neighbors in their communities, loving enemies in order to "be the generation to awaken the culture to the wonder of God."
Seeking to help church leaders leverage their ministries, Stanley explained that rigid ministry systems and "lines in the sand" on cultural issues often "bump" people out rather than win them over. "There are no one-size-fits-all ministry rules," he said at the inaugural Cincinnatti event on Friday.
Stanley reminded the audience of 2,500 of how Jesus Christ disregarded status and appearances when he walked among the people, instead putting their needs first. "If Jesus was worried about guilt by association, he would've stayed in Heaven," Stanley said. The pastor added that the Church can have greater impact when it follows Christ's example of putting the needs of the people first. more >>