Greg Locke, lead pastor of Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., rode his bicycle more than 400 miles in two days to visit members of his congregation for New Year's.
"As the church grows exponentially, I become a name and a face," Locke explained. He took the trip to maintain a closer relationship with his flock, he told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday. Locke biked approximately 240 miles on Dec. 31 and about 160 on Jan. 1 to visit 102 houses. He said he plans to finish the trip Thursday with a loop around his neighborhood, bringing the whole journey up to about 420 miles.
"We do some pretty outlandish stuff," the pastor acknowledged. In recent years, Locke has walked, biked, and sacrificed time for various humanitarian causes. In April, he walked from Murfreesboro, Tenn., to Paducah, Ky., – 240 miles – raising $10,000 for FaithUnity OutLoud, a publication which employs 155 homeless people. In October, he led five other church members on an 800-mile bicycle trip over six days to raise money for victims of sex trafficking in downtown Nashville. more >>
On Tuesday night, about 3,000 people from over 50 countries attended a prayer and worship night as part of Mission-Net's biannual congress.
"The countdown to New Year is a concert of prayer for the nations, both within Europe but beyond to the world," Jason Mandryk, author of the seventh edition of Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation, told The Christian Post in an interview Tuesday.
Mandryk described Mission-net as "basically a European Urbana," only smaller and more diverse, representing over 40 European nationalities along with others from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East (European immigrants). On Tuesday, the Facebook account of Operation World, which teams with Mission-net, announced that about 3,000 people from over 50 countries would attend the New Year's concert. more >>
If you studied a map of Christianity in 1900, eight of 10 Christians could be found in Europe and North America. But today, the numbers in those continents are set to be dwarfed later this century by Africa and South America where there are 411 and 517 million Christians, respectively.
The Pew Research Center, a polling institute that studies religion globally and has been studying Christianity's demographic changeups, has released a short poll on its website where test-takers can see how well they have kept up with the global expansion of Christianity.
In his new book, From Times Square to Timbuktu: The Post-Christian West Meets the Non-Western Church, Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, the former general secretary of the Reformed Church in America, details the scope of Christianity's new geographic look and outlines the responsibilities that now confront the Church. more >>
King Leonidas (the famous Spartan leader of the "300" who defended Greece against the Persian invasion at Thermopylae) has got nothing on Abram who was called on by God to face an overwhelming and daunting assault by evil upon his family and region. This story sizzles. It reads like a Hollywood script but its biblical history is recorded for our benefit if we have the courage to apply it as a model and pattern of leadership put there by God. Without delay, let's roll the film and deconstruct some lessons that are powerful for us as pastors as we battle against evil in our cities.
The four evil kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. They also carried off Abram's nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom. When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his own household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and other people." Genesis 14:14-16 NIV
Impressive. more >>
Although his physical appearance denied that he once played in the NFL, Pastor Ken Hutcherson, reduced by the ravages of the cancer he fought for more than a decade, looked at me as I entered the room for his men's discipleship meeting on a Monday night in early November with the eyes of his former linebacker self – he read me like he was gauging a quarterback about to take a snap.
"Hutch," sitting at the table with about two dozen men, was disarmingly gentle in his demeanor. However, one thing was certain, the leader of Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, Wash., had the cutting edge sharpness of a sword when it came time to studying and diving deep into the word of God with his men.
Without doubt, the mightiest thought the mind can entertain is the thought of God, and the weightiest word in any language is its word for God. Thought and speech are God's gifts to creatures made in His image; these are intimately associated with Him and impossible apart from Him. It is highly significant that the first word was the Word: "And the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We may speak because God spoke. In Him word and idea are indivisible. more >>
The megachurch movement in the United States is not dying or slowing down, according to a recent, end-of-year report that shows a growing number of attendance, averaging 2,000 people in 46 states.
"With each passing year, megachurches are more in both number and size and the ones at the top of the list are larger than the ones at the top of the list in previous years," Warren Bird, director of research and intellectual capital development for Leadership Network, told The Christian Post.
Megachurches tend to be more protestant in nature and, by definition, hold services for 2,000 members or more. In the U.S., several congregations surpass that figure by large numbers, including Rick Warren's Saddleback Church based in Lake Forest, Calif., and Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, among others. According to Bird, there are currently 1,650 established megachurches in the country, many of which draw a sizeable percentage of young adults. more >>