An economist volunteering at the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church has proposed a plan to help reverse the membership and financial decline of the denomination.
Donald R. House, who holds a Ph.D. in economics and chairs the SCJ UMC's Episcopacy Committee, released the 34-page proposal last Thursday titled "A Strategic Plan for Growth in The United Methodist Church." In an interview with The Christian Post, House explained that the plan derived from exhaustive research on church growth.
"I believe that the strategy will reverse the decline in the UMC in the U.S. My belief comes from considerable examination of almost 750,000 end-of-year reports among 32,000 local churches," said House. "I have considered pastoral leadership, demographic changes in neighborhoods surrounding local churches, and local church spending patterns in seeking to understand local church growth and decline. The strategy is based upon these considerations." more >>
Seattle-based Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll announced plans for a 15th regional church in Phoenix to be launched sometime in late January or early February of next year.
In making the announcement, Driscoll introduced Pastor Ryan Welsh, who said that he and his family plan to move to Phoenix in mid-August to begin planting the church.
"We want a core group of 150 people and for 30 people to raise up their hand and say, 'I want to be a community group leader,'" Welsh told Driscoll recently during an announcement seen in a video on the church's website. He said they will begin training for the opening as soon as possible. more >>
Editor's Note: In a season where every day seems to bring a new assault on traditional biblical views, there are nonetheless a whole new generation of young pastors preaching orthodox biblical Christianity and seeing their churches grow exponentially because of it. The Christian Post has picked but a few of scores of pastors enjoying the favor of God in this way, in an effort to find out what about the Gospel resonates in today's generation.
Pastors interviewed are under 40, most, but not all, in urban settings and are attracting Christians over a wide age spectrum, including Millennials and Generation X. These pastors uphold traditional biblical views of family and morality, yet attract young people and are gaining national reputations.
Today we spotlight Levi Lusko, 31, pastor of Fresh Life Church, a multi-site church in Kalispell, Montana. more >>
Hillsong Church NYC Pastor Carl Lentz has said that critics of his unconventional style give him "fuel for the fire," as his ministry continues growing.
"Along with his half shaved head and slicked back Mohawk, he's dressed in his usual Sunday attire: black jeans and an unbuttoned denim shirt with a tank top underneath. His tattooed arms, including one with two guns crossed, peek out from under his rolled-up sleeves," an Associated Press report on Thursday describes the 34 year-old pastor, whose church draws an estimated 5,500 people each Sunday at Irving Plaza near Manhattan's Union Square.
Lentz acknowledged that some find his methods unconventional and even crazy, but the success of his evangelical church, which is a branch of the Pentecostal church in Australia with a 21,000-attendance, is showing that his style is connecting with young people in one of the world's largest cities. more >>
A fast-growing North Carolina megachurch has been given approval to expand its facilities to include a new 22-acre site.
Elevation Church, the multi-site worship community headed by Pastor Steven Furtick, received unanimous approval by the Charlotte City Council on Monday for a new site. Set to be located in the Ballantyne neighborhood of Charlotte, Elevation Church has major plans for the location, according to local media.
"The church wants to construct a 264,000-square-foot building, which would include a 42,000-square-foot worship center with 1,600 seats," wrote Steve Harrison of the Charlotte Observer. "The church may also build a 22,000 square-foot children's ministry and a 200,000 square-foot office, according to its rezoning application with the city." more >>
A megachurch based in Hawaii on the island of Oahu will be moving to a 200-plus acre piece of farmland in order to expand its facilities for worship and education.
New Hope Leeward Church, a nondenominational church founded in 2003 that has about 4,000 regular attendees, signed for the purchase last year and is presently awaiting approval on zoning changes for the spot in the town of Waipahu located in West Oahu.
In an interview with local media, New Hope Leeward Senior Pastor Michael Lwin explained what will be present at the new site, located by Kunia Road. more >>