A shipment of 83,723 Spanish-language Bibles are headed for Cuba and will be distributed to a number of Southern Baptist churches in both Western and Eastern parts of the island nation, SBC's International Mission Board announced this week.
IMB, which is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, announced that the shipment of three 40-foot containers filled with Bibles left from the ports of South Florida and is being distributed this week to various churches throughout Cuba. The announcement added that the Bibles will arrive in the capital of Havana on March 25.
The shipment is the third since 1999 that Southern Baptists have sent to Cuba and have sent nearly 500,000 Bibles in total, IMB strategy leader for Cuba, Kurt Urbanek, said in a media statement. 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 >>
A first-of-its-kind gathering of over 25 different influential Christian organizations and leaders, including the Southern Baptist Convention and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte), convened this week to discuss and trade ideas on how to plant and grow multi-ethnic churches throughout North America, including strategies to establish 1,000 such churches over the next seven to ten years.
The Christian Post obtained the program of the closed-door, two-day meeting titled the 2015 Multi-Ethnic Church Planting Leaders Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event, from Wednesday to Thursday, was organized by Mosaix Global Network along with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's Center for the Development of Evangelical Leadership in Charlotte.
In addition to discussion on strategic partnerships to establish 1,000 multi-ethnic churches within the next decade, attendees also discussed how to facilitate the process of 20 percent of the churches in North America, having 20 percent racial diversity by 2020. more >>
A new Pew survey of 44 countries reiterates what other surveys have shown for years: Americans are more religious and Americans are more hopeful about their ability to improve their future than are other wealthy countries.
Americans are more prone to think hard work will uplift, to reject thinking that outside forces control their destinies, to be happy and to prioritize religion. Over half of Americans say religion is very important to them, twice the rate found among Canadians, Australians, British and other wealthy nations.
In fact, Americans have more confidence that hard work will uplift than any other country. And Americans reject fatalism more than any country than, interestingly, Venezuela, which is perhaps Venezuelans subversively rejecting the nonsense rhetoric of their socialist regime. more >>
Although snow is burying cities from Nantucket, Massachusetts, to Nashville, Tennessee, many churches are finding ways to connect to their congregations through technology. According to The Boston Globe, those who could not attend services during the latest snowfalls were able to avoid isolation through live-streamed sermons, posted prayers via Facebook and emailed hymns and readings ahead of time so people could worship at home. Congregants responded by posting pictures of worshiping in their homes and messaging friends who also could not attend.
Outreach to members is not the only way churches are embracing technology. Congregations are also using social media for outreach and evangelistic efforts. One survey done by ROAR, a religious social media organization, said 98 percent of the churches it polled use Facebook, and 77 percent use Twitter. Blogs, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ are less popular, but are still used by some churches. This shows that more people are communicating and discussing their faith online.
Leading pastors and even everyday ministry leaders have Twitter, Instagram and Facebook followers. These advancements — eagerly embraced by the church — mean the message of the church is passing far outside the four walls of the building. more >>
Although multiple real estate interests were in the running to purchase the prime urban Seattle property owned by the now-defunct 15,000-member megachurch Mars Hill, the Ballard neighborhood church facility will remain a sanctuary, as a nearby congregation won the bidding on Tuesday with a $9-million offer.
After Mars Hill, which owned 15 properties across five states, announced its plans to dissolve into a number of independent churches last fall, after controversy sounded the leadership of its head pastor, Mark Driscoll, the congregation put up for sale nearly $25 million worth of its properties in late October.
The real estate company Colliers International announced Tuesday that nearby Quest Church won the sale of the 40,000 square-foot property with a $9-million bid, even though the facility in the bustling Ballard shopping district was bid on by nine different real estate developers. more >>