With more and more of America’s youth leaving the church at a rapid rate, some ministries are crossing traditional boundaries to stay “culturally relevant.” But is there such a thing as going “too far” to attract believers to, and keep them engaged with, Christ?
In some extreme cases, churches have incorporated tattoo parlors into their ministries or founded “Christian” night clubs for believers who want to get their groove on in a non-secular setting. These moves, despite their good intentions, do not come without criticism. Some critics say such attempts to stay culturally relevant blur the boundary between Christian worship and a sinful lifestyle.
One ministry changing with the times is The Bridge church, located in Flint Township, Mich., which has incorporated the Serenity Tattoo Parlor into its community. more >>
A Michigan church has a very unusual ministry outreach – a tattoo parlor housed in its church building.
The Bridge, a non-denominational church in Flint Twp., Mich., opened a tattoo parlor within its building last month. Titled Serenity Tattoo, church members say it's showing people living an alternative lifestyles an avenue toward the Gospel. It's just one of many unusual ministry efforts that The Bridge's eclectic congregation believes is helping to evolve evangelism in the area.
"There's a huge misunderstanding in the American church today that the church is a building," said Steve Bentley, The Bridge's lead pastor. "It's not a physical location. The church is us. We use our space for whatever we can to serve the Lord and our community." more >>
IRVINE, Calif. – Calvary Chapel movement founder Chuck Smith, who also was a key figure during the nation’s “Jesus people” era that began more than 40 years ago, shared much of his life’s story in a rare interview with evangelist Greg Laurie Thursday evening.
Smith, 84, who told his congregation at church last Sunday that he had lung cancer, was asked by Laurie toward the end of the interview if he was afraid of anything. The two were seated at a desk facing the crowd of nearly 2,000 in attendance at the Irvine church’s main sanctuary and overflow.
As he stared back at Laurie with his well-known grin, pausing briefly, Smith answered, “Not really.” more >>
Increasing boldness by extreme Islamists is one of six top religious news stories that the Institute on Religion & Democracy predicts will make major headlines in 2012.
The religious freedom advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., warns that proclamations such as those made by the terrorist group Boko Haram declaring that all Christians must leave Nigeria indicates more of the same for this year.
“Islamists globally are making more assertive demands against vulnerable religious minorities,” IRD officials stated in their “IRD Predicts Top Church News of 2012” report released Thursday. “Egypt's Coptic Christians may face rule by Islamic parties and accelerated attacks by emboldened militants.” more >>
A Pentecostal fellowship ended up opening more churches in the United States of America in 2011 than there were days in the year.
According to its records, the Assemblies of God, a denomination with around 3 million members, opened up 368 new churches in 2011.
Pastoral training and funding for these endeavors came through the Assemblies of God’s “Church Multiplication Network,” which is a department in the organization’s National Leadership and Resource Center. more >>
More people are attending church services in the U.K., and many are sharing their theories behind this rise.
According to Peter Oborne of The Telegraph, although figures have shown church attendance in the U.K. to have declined since the 1980s, recent figures show this is now changing. The report refers to one British church, St. Mary's congregation, which he claims has seen a 20 percent rise in church attendees in the past twelve months.
In the U.K., 76.8 percent are said to be religious according to sources, with Christianity being the dominant faith. more >>