Francis Chan bared some of his struggles with doubt and being a model disciple of Jesus Christ Tuesday during the opening session of the 2013 Exponential Conference attended by thousands in Orlando, Fla.
Chan spoke before 5,300 in-person attendees at First Baptist Church of Orlando, the chosen conference venue, and another 20,000 viewing the event live via the Internet. Chan was the second minister to take the stage to address the need for Christian discipleship, or "discipleshift," the theme chosen for this year's Exponential gathering.
However, instead of delving into his prepared remarks on discipleship, a subject he has been on a mission to revive in churches and faith communities since leaving his California church, the evangelical Christian minister confessed that he felt convicted by the message of the previous speaker, Pastor Jim Putman, on the issue of ministers letting the opinion of others sway their messages and define their work. more >>
A North Carolina megachurch known for its fast-growing congregation has received approval for further expansion of its facilities to an old theater.
Elevation Church, one of the state's largest churches, got a zoning approval on Monday evening by the Cornelius Board of Commissioners to the old Palace Theater, located in an area called Lake Norman.
Tonia Bendickson, director of outreach and communications for Elevation, told The Christian Post that the congregation was "thrilled" at the approval. more >>
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has decided to send $3.1 million to several projects connected to the Church in Latin America.
According to Catholic World News, the USCCB's Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America has granted the money to 132 different projects based in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Bishop Eusebio L. Elizondo, M.Sp.S, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee, said in a statement that the projects focused on helping the less fortunate. more >>
With more than 75 percent of American churches experiencing some kind of conflict and 25 percent reporting disputes as "serious," according to Faith Communities, conflict experts believe planning for its inevitability can help churches arrive at more peaceful resolutions and stay out of damaging court battles.
According to a report from Peacemaker Ministries, born-again Christians in America file between four and eight million lawsuits annually and they are often against each other. The cost of these cases is a reported $20 to $40 billion.
Some 1,500 pastors also leave their posts monthly in the U.S. due to conflict, burnout or moral failure. more >>
While many public assemblies of Christians in China are now being allowed as the result of a more Westernized country, there is a need for pastors and Christian leaders to have strong mentors now more than ever, says persecution watchdog Open Doors.
"Not so long ago, Christians were forced to meet in secret, sing softly and whisper their prayers to avoid unwanted attention from the local authorities," Open Doors stated recently. "Now, in many places, believers are free to gather and to be a church. The growing freedoms and the rapid urbanization have left the Chinese Church puzzled. The Church is in need of a mentor who shows her how to effectively function in a more free society."
Open Doors describes one of the first pastors they mentored as fitting the profile of many other Chinese pastors, including being in his early 30s, and having grown up in a rural area. He now serves as the leading pastor of one of many Chinese urban churches. When Open Doors came into contact with him, the pastor was struggling in many areas of his ministry, including his family life. more >>
A Texas megachurch will soon be opening up a new 500,000 square-foot campus for its congregation to worship.
First Baptist Church of Dallas, which is headed by Dr. Robert Jeffress, will open the campus located in Downtown Dallas on Sunday.
In a statement released back in February, Jeffress explained that the main purpose of the new campus was to reach out to areas usually untouched by the megachurch movement. more >>