There has been a lot of attention paid lately to the alarming numbers of a decreasing membership in mainline Protestant denominations in the United States in recent years.
Denominations like The Episcopal Church and Presbyterian Church (USA) have annually reported losses in membership and attendance figures for their churches.
However, the denominations are not losing members at as high of rates as in 2013, according to their spokespeople. more >>
Last week, Michael Paulson of The New York Times asked Pastor Brian Houston, founder of the Hillsong movement (which now has congregations in California and New York), "Can your pastors preside at same-sex marriages?"
Pastor Houston replied (in part), "It can be challenging for churches to stay relevant. Because many mainstream churches upheld what they would believe is the long established view of what the Bible says about homosexuality. But the world has changed around and about them. . . ."
He continued, "So the world's changing and we want to stay relevant as a church. So that's a vexing thing. You think, 'How do we not become a pariah?'" more >>
Hillsong Senior Pastor Brian Houston recently spoke about the importance of local churches and his plans to help build them.
The Australian megachurch pastor kicked off night one of the three-day Hillsong Conference in New York City on Thursday which he said is designed to "champion the cause of local churches everywhere."
Thousands gathered at the The Theater Madison Square Garden for a night of praise and worship and although the lineup of speakers, which includes Hillsong New York City pastor Carl Lentz and Christine Caine, are all from the Hillsong family, Houston said the event is more about local churches. more >>
When The Episcopal Church recently released its statistics on membership among its dioceses for 2013, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina was listed along with the others.
There is one problem, however: the South Carolina Diocese's leadership voted to leave the denomination back in 2012, taking most of the members and congregations with them.
Since 2012, the diocese and the denomination have been fighting a legal battle for ownership of the numerous properties presently held by the breakaway leadership. more >>
In order to last in ministry, church planters need to adhere by certain guidelines that change the mold of how they build their church structure, said Pastor Rick Warren during the Exponential West conference this past week.
Warren addressed conference goers to utilize his experience as a leader in ministry of over 40 years. He told church planters that about half of them were not going to make it, according to statistics, unless they started doing something radical.
"You must be very careful how you build. Some build with gold, silver, precious stones even wood, hay and straw but the day will come when fire will reveal the quality of your work and if what you build survives, you will receive a reward," Warren said on Thursday of the three-day conference. more >>
Pastor Craig Groeschel discussed the importance of moving from a self-reliant style of leadership to one of being empowered by the Holy Spirit during the Exponential West conference at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, on Wednesday.
Groeschel's message focused on his experience as pastor of Life Church, a multi-campus congregation in Oklahoma, and the trials he had to endure before realizing that the Holy Spirit needed to work in his life before he could lead a church.
"Church planters have a choice to be self reliant or spirit empowered ... Sometimes we try to lead out of our own ability but we forget about the power, the presence and the voice of God," Groeschel said. more >>